A LinkedIn study recently took a look a Millennials in an attempt to erase the stereotype that they are lazy, entitled and unemployed. "Given the massive amounts of news coverage (44,000 articles and counting), it seems like everyone is desperate to understand my generation," said Alexandra Rynne who contributed to LinkedIn's Millennial Playbook (PDF). "Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on stereotypes or sensationalism to find out."
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions looked at the data of the 87 million millennials found on LinkedIn to gain some very interesting insights on who Millennials really are and whether they are still living in their parents basement or not. 🙂 There are over 2 billion Millennials on Earth, 85 million of those in the U.S., and worldwide have $1 trillion in purchasing power according a LinkedIn post. The Millennial Generation is roughly defined as people reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Michelle Lynn, EVP, Managing Director, Carat Consumer Insights, and Doug Ray, Carat's US CEO & Global President offered new research illustrating that Millennials are not a homogenous group. Marketers should not be targeting Millennials as a whole, since they’re only reaching 42% of their total.
Research by Carat Consumer Insights broke millennials into these 4 broad types of people:
- TrendNetters have a median age of 27 and make up 42% of all Millennials and align most closely to the general stereotype of Millenials: Digital extroverts who are easy to find and market to because they live their lives online
- AlterNatives have a median age of 24 and make up 23% of all Millennials (consisting mostly of males), are introverts and extremely elusive
- LYFPreneurs have a median age of 28 and make up 19% of all Millennials, consisting mostly of females who are extremely ambitious.
- BetaBlazers have a median age of 25 and make up 16% of Millennials and are an extremely forward-thinking group.
"I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of my generation are investing time on LinkedIn," said Rynne. "There are 87 million millennials on LinkedIn worldwide, and 11 million are classified as “decision makers.” Not only that, millennials represent 30% of long-form publishers on LinkedIn, even though we’re less than 25% of total members." In other words, millennials are already making an impact on society.
"There’s no denying millennials are chasing great," Rynne added while coining a new term. "Some of us want the thrill of recognition. Some just want to make the world a better place. Some just can’t resist pushing the boundaries of what’s possible."
Marketers are confused on how to "advertise" to Millennials because the generation is not like their parents. They grew up with the internet, free content, social media, ad blockers and fast forwarding through commercials. "How do we help a struggling brand that was born before the internet existed, adapt to this new economy?", asked Sanjay Nazerali in a blog post. Nazerali is the London based Global Chief Strategy Officer of the Dentsu Aegis Network. "One answer is to make marketing useful. Endless studies of so-called Millennials show that consumers expect brands to make a contribution to their lives. In this context, a brand could try to create a useful service, rather than an ad, to drive its marketing. In doing so, trust becomes less elusive: we’re not asking consumers to have faith in us, we’re asking them simply to experience our utility."
Millennials see themselves as very different from previous generations, with many thinking they can change the world, and marketers should pay attention to this perception. "We are not a generation of suits and ties, but rather creators and entrepreneurs," said Page Williams, who is a Senior Manager of Member Marketing & Communications, Social Media at LinkedIn. When asked which brand is killing it with Millennials she noted that Nike is "coming out strong with their women’s apparel line and global strategy and with the launch of their first YouTube series, they are reimagining how to reach this audience in a way that aligns with the audience’s lifestyle."
According to the Millennial Playbook study, by 2020, Millennials (18-34) will make up 50% of the workforce... and they are working now too. Over 2.7 million are working in sales, 2 million are software developers, and over 800,000 are entrepreneurs owning their own businesses.
Millennials switch jobs more than any previous generation. LinkedIn surveyed 5,000+ Millennials across the world to find out how and why Millennials switch jobs and the number one reason Millennials change jobs "is to advance their careers (67%), followed by compensation (60%) and the desire for more challenging work and roles that are a better fit for their skills and interests (51%)."
"Pick a fast-growing market that you’re excited about and go work for the smartest people that you can find in that market," said Jon Lombardo, Agency Team, Creative and Brand Strategy Lead at LinkedIn. "You will benefit by learning from leading thinkers, you will build a valuable long-term network, and you will be positioned for a career of growth in a strong market."
The study concludes that the top-performing Millennials are Social Millennials. "Your personal brand is your responsibility," noted Mel Carson, CEO & Principal Strategy Consultant at Delightful Communications, who was interviewed for the study. "Never before has there been more of an opportunity to use technology, social media, and common sense to tell your professional story, stand up, and stand out in an increasingly crowded digital space."
Alex Mann, Digital Strategist at Tweak, advises Millennials to be authentic, helpful and relevant when posting on social media as a personal growth and career advancement strategy. "That can be said for a soda as much as it can be for a human being," he says.