3 Reasons It’s Not All About the Millennials

millennial marketing

If you want to feel old, then turn on the television – seriously.

Whether it’s the restaurant industry or the latest fashion designer, every brand in America seems to be targeting Millennials in their advertising. Now, I’m not saying that Millennials aren’t a coveted demographic to target – they certainly are – but let’s not forget about the rest of us either.

The fact is that because brands are so adamant about appealing to Millennials, they’re missing out on many advertising opportunities. For instance, the restaurant industry clearly targets young audiences, but did you know that Baby Boomers eat out more than any other demographic? According to a recent study by NPD Group, the trend is so strong that many restaurants are even redesigning their entire menu to appeal to our elders.

Do you like how restaurants are now allowing you to make custom orders that mix and match soups, salads, and sandwiches? Then thank the boomers.

While this isn’t to say that businesses are wrongly targeting Millennials, it offers an interesting perspective: What if we aren’t fully capitalizing on our ideal audience?

Millennial Marketing: Why Marketing Shouldn’t Be All About Millennials

Millennials Are Broke

According to the latest statistics, over 21 million Millennials now live at home with their parents. Saddled with student loan debt and a stubbornly slow economy, young adults are struggling more than those before them.

If so many Millennials are financially struggling to the point of being unable to regularly pay rent, why are they the center of every advertising campaign?

Young Adults Tend To Be Flighty

When you think about the boomers and other age demographics, you’ll see trends of brand loyalty. Older consumers establish relationships and attachments to specific brands and customers. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to follow the current modern trends and focus on the best prices.

This isn’t to say that Millennials can’t be loyal customers, many are, but you might get a higher long-term ROI (Return On Investment) by targeting other age demographics.

Other Demographics Are More Predictable

With the YOLO (You Only Live Once) fad still strong among Millennials, it has become hard to predict spending and buying patterns among this unpredictable consumer group. With Baby Boomers on the other hand, consumer-purchasing trends are relatively stable and easily predictable.

None of this is to say that you should completely ignore Millennials in your advertising campaigns. After all, they’re one of the most coveted demographics for a reason. However, similar to the restaurant industry wrongfully aligning their focus on Millennials when Baby Boomers compose a larger share of their market, it’s important to ensure that your marketing is hitting the mark in terms of who your customers really are.

Are you targeting your brand’s ideal demographics?

Millennials On Phones Photo via Shutterstock


Amie Marse Amie Marse is the founder of a small content generation firm based in Lexington, KY. She’s been a passionate freelance writer turned business owner for over 7 years. Her philosophy is that the essentials of content marketing do not change from the small business to the Fortune 500 level, and that creativity trumps budget every time.

6 Reactions
  1. You should define millennials in the beginning of this article. I figured it out from context but had to Google what exactly you were talking about.

    Pretty random that YOLO is brought up in this but the overall message of the article is good. Make sure you’re targeting the right demographic and avoid targeting young people IF the opportunity just isn’t right.

  2. Great points about the Millenial crowd. I think that many companies target Millenials because it’s believed that they influence other demographics (whether they have money or not, whether they move on to another company or not).

    Each business needs to decide which demographic they’re most interested in targeting and then market accordingly. Don’t worry about all the big advertisers that are chasing Millenials. Stick to your best demographics and expand once you’ve really nailed it.

  3. These fads are actually disappearing faster more than you expect. The YOLO trend has been decreasing as of late and it’s not even surprising. But you’re more than true. Depending on your type of business, you will just make as much in any other target demographic as you make in the Millenials.

  4. While I like the idea of targeting millenials, you should still look for a very narrow yet very loyal demographic. This is the only way to ensure repeat customers. You need a loyal following. This is much stronger than advertising to a broad demographic.

  5. And what would the poor little babies do if they couldn’t text Mommy 10 times a day so she would tell them what step to take next? They should be re-named the dependent generation, and it does not bode well for the future of our country.