The technological revolution has created an entirely new landscape for individuals to navigate in their personal and professional lives.
The marketplace consists of a divide between Baby Boomers, who grew up without the technology, and Millennials, who have a completely different view of the world around them.
How Millennials are disrupting a half century old balance of marketing power
The traditional method of broadcast advertising is fading into the past with the new generation becoming more of a presence.
Baby Boomers grew up surrounded by capitalism that was essential to their livelihood.
Millennials see the world through a completely different set of eyes as things have changed and the market has evolved to accommodate this.
Instead of looking at the situation from the top down, the new market structure has flipped to looking up to the top from the bottom.
1. Lower wages
Wages have become stagnant and are not rising at the same rate of inflation.
This means that younger individuals need to economize more to afford basic necessities such a housing, food and utilities.
Discretionary income to buy luxuries, invest in retirement savings or earn equity by purchasing a house are not nearly as common.
Businesses want consumers to purchase their products, but it isn’t possible to buy what is seen as overpriced luxuries when wages aren’t rising with the cost of living.
Renting, eating at home, and shopping at second-hand stores have become a staple for younger generations to sustain their living situation.
2. Creativity is exploding
Possessions aren’t the only thing that matter to the new generation of consumers.
Individuals are finding joy in experiences, creativity and engaging in groups of people with similar interests and hobbies.
The explosion of the Internet allows people to create and sell artwork, sculptures and custom pieces to others with similar interests without the need for a storefront or heavy start-up costs that are prohibitive to getting off the ground.
Millennials have access to and harness the ability of, social networks to spread the word about things that matter.
They have further reach and an advantage over Baby Boomers who needed to rely on word of mouth and local advertising to gain a share of the market for goods and services.
It’s also significantly easier for people to support causes and individuals that they feel passionate about through platforms such as GoFundMe, Patreon, and Kickstarter.
It’s possible to work from home, reply to gigs and become self-employed more now than ever.
3. Ideas left in the past
Values and ideas of success during the Baby Boomer generation have gone into the wind.
A significant investment and show of responsibility and stability, buying a house, is not as common as it was and not valued as one of the most important accomplishments for Millennials.
Purchases of this magnitude are largely out of reach due to low wages, increasing costs and the desire not to be tied down to a single place for long periods at a time.
It’s difficult for Millennials to find careers in their chosen fields, even with a college degree.
Traveling is seen as a priority while settling down in one place for the rest of your life, is an idea that is fading into the past.
This presents a potential problem for Baby Boomers who aim to sell their home at or above their appraised value since it’s not a life goal or priority for the younger generations.
4. Marketing Budgets and Methods
Figures show that more than half of a Millennials budget for marketing is through digital media, while Baby Boomers are lagging behind with less than 15 percent of their total budget spent on digital forms.
Mobile media is also becoming significantly more important, with nearly half of marketing funds spent to appeal to the mobile audience.
It may be beneficial for a business to employ a digital marketing firm if they find themselves lagging behind others.
5. Social networking
Social media and networking are no longer luxuries for businesses and individuals.
The entire marketplace for business opportunity and sales is on social media where people can like, comment, and share products and services that they use or like.
This rapidly expands the word-of-mouth approach to people all over the globe in an instant.
It’s easier than ever before to find people in your geographical region, re-connect with old friends or pursue hobbies with like-minded individuals
It’s difficult to transition from the thinking of Baby Boomers to that of Millennials.
Baby Boomers grew up in an age of perseverance and individualistic goals, while Millennials have always been exposed to technology and use it for nearly every aspect of everyday life.
They’ve made a statement to the rest of the world and older generations that they aren’t going to adapt to the way things were, but instead are aiming to create their own economy that they can flourish and prosper in without being treated as merely a commodity.
What observations do you see among Millennials? I would love to learn what you think! Just leave your thoughts in the comment section below.