Today’s digital users have an unlimited amount of information at their fingertips. On average, smartphone users check their phone about every nine minutes. When you consider the constant stream of information and content being delivered to these users, it’s a wonder that anything ever gets done. The digital world has changed the way that daily activities and routines are experienced – from communicating with family/friends, to shopping, to reading books, to planning vacations and trips.
As this heavily digital environment evolves, advertising has changed and grown with it. With advertising campaigns being broken into “offline” and “online”, more priorities and budgets tend to be devoted to the “online” portions. Within the realm of online advertising, an ever-increasing concern is the millennial. Advertisers constantly ask themselves: how do we reach the millennial audience? Referred to as digital natives, millennials (age 18-34) make up about a quarter of the population. According to an eMarketer study published in August 2016, there is 93% Internet penetration across this age group, with 84% being social media users. Because of their huge digital presence and increasing spending power, millennials are becoming a core targeted audience segment by many brands.
One of the ways millennials differ from their predecessors is through their planning and decision-making processes. These processes rely heavily on the Internet, social media, and digital platforms for information and access. For example, millennials approach travel planning from an almost exclusively digital position. Both domestic and international trips are researched, planned, and purchased online. During and after a trip, millenials share their trip’s experiences through social media, online reviews, etc. Advertisers have a chance to get in front of millenials at all points of their decision making process in a way that encourages brand engagement. Also, with mobile devices replacing desktop as primary online platforms, it is possible for ads to reach consumers during any part of their daily routine.
While this may seem daunting, there is good news for advertisers. The heavily millennial based online sphere produces more opportunities to get your brand/message in front of your target audience. Because so much of millennials’ planning and decision-making is done online, advertisers are able to reach consumers at pivotal times. The continued blurring of lines between offline and online results in increased chances for advertisers to incorporate synergy between their offline and online campaigns. By increasing their online presence and social media interaction, brands are able to build relationships with consumers in a way that isn’t possible offline. Through employing the vast array of data that these digital natives generate, online advertising holds the potential to target key audience segments even more successfully than offline advertising.