My fellow millennials and I currently comprise the largest generation in the American workforce and yet we sometimes get ‘dinged’ by the generations before us.
We’re frequently clumped as one, and for some, the word “millennial” takes on a negative connotation. While there are a few of us that have validated these stereotypes, we have so much value to offer the marketing world today. Our ability to constantly keep our eyes and ears open and use our observations of the world to approach challenges in an innovative way is unique to our generation.
When I look around at my peers, I see team players. People are more interested in experiences and sharing them with friends than they are in owning “stuff”. I see people who are driven by purpose and meaning and want to be a valuable contributor to society, and I see curious explorers who bring a lot to the table when given the chance.
Like it or not, we are here to stay and we are the future leaders. By shedding the negative millennial persona and focusing on our value, I believe all meetings are more productive when millennials are invited. Here are four reasons why companies can benefit from having millennials at the table:
We create our own paths and break away from the norm, which some other generations might not understand. To us, the investment of time and energy to better ourselves and the world around us, is the kind of investing we are driven to do. This doesn’t reflect a sense of entitlement, but rather a sense of purpose. Before we do something, we ask ourselves “Why? How will me doing this have an impact on someone else or drive meaningful action?” The drive to offer true and meaningful contributions at work will ultimately result in more conscientious employees and present the business, and the finished product, in a better and more socially-aware light.
While there’s always value in the wisdom that comes with experience, millennials bring a fresh perspective to the table that can lead to more innovative and out-of-the-box solutions. Because we don’t have as much experience from which to form our opinions, we’re likely to contribute ideas that may be considered risky by others. In a world of change, these are the ideas that may actually put you ahead of the curve.
By 2020, we millennials will be the largest generation in the consumer population, in addition to making up the largest generation in the workforce. One big shift is that we aren’t interested in spending our money on “big-ticket” items like cars or homes. Instead, we want to do things: take classes and learn about things we are interested in outside of work or school, go to concerts, travel to new cities, etc. The takeover of Uber, the abundance of music festivals, and cult-like following of SoulCycle provide clear examples of how brands have recognized this shift in priorities for consumers, and are reflecting it in their product offerings and marketing tactics. They’ve realized there’s no better way to keep up than to hear first-hand what their target demographic wants.
We grew up in the digital boom and social media is second nature to us. As digital natives, technology isn’t just an integral part of our daily lives, it’s a given. As marketing tactics shift further away from traditional channels and focus on the ever-evolving digital space, we bring an inherent understanding of how to use digital and social media to achieve business goals.
With the explosion of social media came the birth of the term “FOMO” (fear of missing out), and is something that haunts most millennials. Because of this, we are on top of the latest trends, taking part in the coolest activities, and prioritizing the things that make us happy, for fear of missing out.
The insight we bring could be the game changer for your company to think of new ways of marketing to keep up with the latest trends with the way things are moving. So, next time you set-up a meeting or you are trying to decide whose voices are most important around the table, don’t forget to include a millennial or two. We’d love the opportunity to inspire you!