Many Small Businesses Aren’t Marketing to Millennials, Says Manta Report

Marketing to Millennials

Small business owners are missing out on a potentially big piece of the action by not marketing to millennials, a key consumer demographic, according to a recently released survey.

Only 15 percent of small businesses across all industries are marketing to millennials, the survey results reveal.

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As a result “the vast majority are missing out on a large and powerful segment of the consumer population,” says Manta, which released the data. The company polled 791 of it small business members to produce the report.

Targeting Millennials is difficult. The market is fragmented, for one thing, with some preferring the “yuccies” label (for Young Urban Creatives) versus the larger “hipster” Millennial group that some companies gear their marketing efforts towards.

Small business respondents offered a list of reasons why 85 percent of them are not marketing to millennials. (Manta polled 791 small business owners this past April via online survey for the results.)

Most (26 percent) say they lack the budget. Almost as many (25 percent) simply don’t believe Millennials are significant consumers.

Still, marketing products to this consumer group is well worth the effort, according to Manta, which notes that 80 percent of small business owners who do market to them see positive results.

The majority (55 percent) of businesses polled that focus on millennials do so via social media, primarily using Facebook, the dominating platform by far.

Manta notes:

“A closer look at small business owners’ social media efforts to reach Millennials reveals that … Facebook still dominates the social network arena, with 63 percent of social communication between business owner and Millennial customer, followed by LinkedIn with 18 percent.”

Some small businesses — particularly online-based entities offering convenience services – certainly cater to Millennials in other ways, if not by marketing to them as consumers.

Considered “the most tech-savvy generation,” millennials tend to spend a lot on online services such as Uber and TaskRabbit. This is why more than half (57 percent) of small business owners have changed or are planning to change their products and services to better cater to this generation.

For those interested in learning more about millennials and how to target this overlooked generation, Manta is offering access to a free on-demand webinar featuring Millennial marketing expert Brendan Shaughnessy.

Young Professional Photo via Shutterstock

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Ed Lieber Ed Lieber is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. He is a journalist and marketing copywriter with 20 years of experience writing, editing and managing for print and digital vehicles.

6 Reactions
  1. They should market to millenials. They are the highest spending part of the market right now. Skipping them is like skipping the bigger part of the pie.

  2. I think the article hits the concern on the head when it talks about how fragmented the Millenial audience is. You can’t have one strategy that will reach all of them and you can’t have a unique strategy for each sub-group. It’s a difficult proposition for most SMBs, but being authentic and transparent should attract Millenials because that is one thing they crave.

    • Robert Brady, I don’t know what generation you are from, but you do NOT HAVE to capture ALL Millenial groups – if you can get the attention of 10-25% of them, they will spread your offering by word of mouth and other social circles they have, and with each level of social notification where your business has a positive impact will in turn have positive feedback going back to the source recommending person, most likely on social media, as well as generating more forward recommendations. Then the passive impact of all the “friends” and “circles” being read by say a dozen people for each posting will generate at least one more lead… do no discount the power of social media…

      I am a Generation X person, as a matter of fact, I am an older GenX’er as I am only 7 years into that “group”, and I see the potential and effect of the social media. My wife is only 2 years into GenX, and has captured the social media circled for the dog rescue operation she is involved in. In just two years she built an active Facebook chain of friends that is about 100-150 strong, and passively read by over 2000 people we don’t even know. We have donations coming in from people all over the lower 48 and even occasionally from overseas!

      Just do it. Advertise to the group of GenX, GenY, Millenials, even Boomers. Use social media. You WILL see results!

  3. Robert – I agree that the Millennial generation has many sub-segments which is why it is important to keep a balanced mix of marketing efforts. You need to leverage traditional offline media to keep your older demographics engaged but you also need to invest in some online efforts including social media marketing to attract the younger demographics such as the Millennials.

  4. Which age period is a Millennial belonging to?

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