“Millennials Are NOT Much Different From the Rest of Us!” says NPAFE
The National Performing Arts Funding Exchange has released its long-awaited White Paper challenging the idea that Millennials are different than GenXers, Baby Boomers, or anyone else, and why this matters to corporate marketers at companies large and small.
Aptly titled “Millennials Are NOT Much Different From The Rest of Us” and available complete or in topline summary form at www.npafe.org, NPAFE’s White Paper is directed at business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, asserting that marketing time and dollars spent on reaching Millennials as a singular target is wasted.
“We poured through data from Accenture, Deloitte, Ad Age, Gartner, Nielsen, even the Census Bureau,” says NPAFE’s CEO Cliff Brody, “to find out what the numbers really show. No matter that headline after headline still claim that Millennials are different. Proof abounds that they are pretty much the same as the rest of us in terms of their goals, their hard work to achieve them, and their dislike of advertising that gets in their way. Too much data now exists to think otherwise.”
In its study, NPAFE defines Seven New Truths about Gen Y, each underscoring the major risks that Brody’s nonprofit believes corporate marketers run by thinking Millennials are different because of how they use smartphones and social media. Four of NPAFE’s Seven Truths jump out:
- The failure rate to increase Millennials’ customer loyalty using social media is increasing at near out-of-control cost to brands large and small.
- Millennials’ real expectations are universally shared by people in all geographic and age segments, and across all demographic groups.
- Like Millennials themselves, everyone is increasingly turned off by commercial content getting in their way when they use social media.
- All consumers, Millennials included, want to feel confident that whatever a brand stands for today will be the same as what it stands for tomorrow.
NPAFE bluntly states its bottom line right on the Paper’s first page, namely that Millennials are very much like the rest of us in terms of their wants and needs and that this has major impact on how companies should — and should not — be spending their budget time and money marketing to Gen Y.
To drive this point home, NPAFE’s Paper cites a Nielsen finding from earlier in 2017 that GenXers actually exceed Millennials in time spent using smartphones, with Baby Boomers rapidly catching up. “They all do it for the same reason: social media to stay in touch with their friends and the world, not for ads,” says Brody.
As for Millennials’ love of the “shared economy”, Brody is blunt: “That so-called shared economy doesn’t empower Millennials at all. They are imprisoned by debt to be a part of a shared economy that in truth they would love to escape. They work very hard to do it, too. They’ll tell you why if you ask them.”