Millennials the grown-up versions of the kids that Barney promised would be special no matter what. The kids that had shelves upon shelves of participation trophies growing up, technology-obsessed, entitled, and downright narcissistic.


Millennials are also the most significant emerging opportunity for marketers.

Who exactly qualifies as one of these dreaded Millennials? According to, a millennial defined as anyone born in the 1980s or 1990s; a member of Generation Y.

As Gen Yer’s grow up and enter the workforce, they’re earning more money than ever before, and they’re pumping it right back into the U.S. economy. With an annual buying power of $200 billion, they’re an immense force. It’s time for smart marketers to learn more about this demographic’s behavior and start adapting their campaigns to target these new buyers. The bottom line is, you can love or hate them, but you certainly can’t afford to ignore them. In this post, we’ll share ten stats that may change the way you approach marketing to Millennials. We will add another five stats at a later date.

Stat #1: 89% of Millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand.

Gone are the days where celebrity endorsements were the number one way to attract new business. Very few Millennials are hitting up the Carl’s Jr. drive-through just because a scantily clad Paris Hilton loves their burgers. Instead, Millennials head there because they’ve heard great things about it from our friends and family; this is great for small to medium-sized businesses. Convincing your existing fans to promote your brand is way cheaper than paying stars to pose with your products. So, how do you go about creating these customer evangelists?

First things first, it’s critical to ensure you are giving all of your customers the best experience possible, in a world where anyone can take to social media and broadcast their dissatisfaction to thousands, every interaction with your business counts. Examine your processes closely to understand your customers’ experiences and brainstorm new ways to delight them with your services. Sometimes tweaking the smallest details can make a profound impact.

You may even consider running a “secret shopper” program to get a first-hand account of what it’s like to shop for, purchase, receive, and use your products.

Remember, all it takes is one negative experience for customers to bring to their social networks and destroy your reputation among their peers. While situations like these are bound to happen from time to time, it’s essential to be actively engaged with your community and address these grievances in a transparent, timely manner. If you deal with these issues the right way, you might even be able to turn a disgruntled customer into an advocate.


Stat #2: Nearly half (44%) of Millennials are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards.
Millennials are indeed not shy about sharing positive product experiences with our contacts, especially when there’s an incentive involved. We see an increasing number of businesses catch onto this trend and use it to their advantage. Perhaps the biggest success story when it comes to this tactic is from Uber, the app that is responsible for the popularity of ride-sharing.

When Uber launched in San Francisco in 2010, early adopters were huge fans. They raved to their friends about this new service that delivered a black car in minutes, eliminating the need to chase down taxicabs, deal with disgruntled drivers and scrounge up the cash to pay their fares. App usage spread like wildfire and the company attributed its growth mainly to these squadrons of customer advocates. Seeing the power of this word-of-mouth marketing, Uber executives sought to take this one step further. They decided to incentivize users to promote Uber to their peers in exchange for free rides; this was a genius move on Uber’s part. Based on their considerable experience with the app, users were already encouraging their friends and family to give it a shot. Adding a financial incentive made them ever more eager to recommend it. Given the positive recommendation and low barrier to entry (their first ride was free, after all!), scores of new users signed up. Since Uber’s implementation of these tactic years ago, we’ve seen many companies follow suit, including its top competitor, Lyft. When Lyft came on to the scene, most ride-share users were already Uber devotees. Since the services are nearly identical, there was no reason for Uber users to give Lyft a shot. So, Lyft offered an even more appealing incentive plan for new users. As a result, their market share is steadily growing.


Stat #3: 84% of Millennials report that user-generated content on company websites at least somewhat influences what they buy.
When marketing to Millennials, know that they don’t just want to hear what YOU have to say about your product, they want to listen to what your customers have to say about it. If there are no user reviews readily available on your website, they’re likely to hunt them down elsewhere. Do you want to risk having them leave your site? Instead, give clients the opportunity to share their experiences directly on your product pages.

Rent the Runway has this strategy down pat. Given the scores of formal events Millennials find themselves schlepping to, the concept of renting a designer dress, rather than shelling out the cash to buy it outright, is incredibly appealing. It’s also incredibly daunting. Without having the opportunity to try the dress on in person, it’s tough to know how it’ll fit. That’s where user-generated content comes in. For every article of clothing featured on Rent the Runway, there’s a slew of customer reviews. Users are encouraged to share a picture of themselves wearing the gown, a rundown of their physical characteristics, details on the overall fit and general feedback on their experience with the product. Paging through these reviews, you can get a perfect sense for the quality of the dress, whether it will work with your body shape, and an idea of what size to order.


Stat #4: More than 85% of Millennials own smartphones.
Millennials are addicted to their phones. They check their smartphones an average of 43 times a day! The bottom line is, if you want to market to Millennials, your brand needs to be present on our favorite, omnipresent devices.

You need to be running mobile ads and, more importantly, these ads must direct users to a top-notch mobile site. If you’re guilty of sending searchers to crappy landing pages, it’s crucial that you get your act together before you are left in the dust.

Making it easy to complete transactions on your mobile landing pages will pay off—Millennials do follow through with phone-based purchases. In fact, according to a 2014 Annalect survey of smartphone users age 19 to 33, 40% said they had used their smartphones to make an actual purchase. No doubt, as retailers create sophisticated mobile sites and apps, this behavior will continue.


Stat #5: 77% of Millennials participate in loyalty reward programs.
Despite Millennials steadily increasing buying power, most Gen Y individuals are by no means wealthy. Therefore, we’re the perfect demographic to target with loyalty rewards programs. Many Millennials are proud holder of rewards cards from CVS, Nordstrom, Walgreens, Sephora, Starbucks, and numerous other businesses. Whenever Millennials need to buy something, they tend to favor these establishments, knowing that they are building their arsenal of reward points or getting a discount on their purchases.


The best way to prepare for future marketing trends is to study the behavior of the demographic that will soon become the dominant buying power. Get to know Gen Y now and explore creative marketing strategies to connect with us. No doubt, it will pay off dividends in the years to come!

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About S-Squared Creative: S-Squared Creative is a Dallas-based branding and creative solutions firm, using its nearly 30-years of experience to create ideas to generate revenue for companies and individuals. S-Squared Creative understands the holistic relationships between solid planning, creativity and the appropriate use of media. Our work is award-winning and has delivered many results for our clients. First and foremost, we are seriously dedicated to our craft. We are a creative firm that provides full-service branding capabilities in all forms of digital and printed media. For more info on S-Squared Creative: Or call and email Steve Utley, Head of Creative and Strategies: · +1 (214) 334-1480