What Can we Learn from Gen Y?

by Sonja van den Bosch

What Can we Learn from Gen Y?

Gen Yers or the millennials (born between 1977 and 1994) make up about 25% of the Australian population. Not only is their spending power increasing, but I also feel that their behaviour is being adopted by the rest of the population.

When you think about your marketing strategy, here are 4 points to look at:

Connecting and seeking affirmation from peers
Gen Yers value the opinions of their peers, either face to face or via social media channels. They make decisions and form opinions with the help of their friends and rely on word of mouth when deciding to buy a product or a service.

I believe that word of mouth has always been a strong influence with everyone, but social media has amplified the effect of word of mouth.

Seeking information and engaging via social media
Gen Yers have grown up with social media and use these channels to communicate with their friends, engage with people or catch up on the news. They also expect companies and brands to engage with them via social media. They are more likely to voice their opinions, good and bad through social media sites.

More and more people are using social media channels, even if they haven’t grown up with it. How about all the grand parents that are on Facebook to follow the adventures of their grand children?

Early adopters of technology
This generation grew up at the forefront of the rapidly developing world of technology, so they welcome the latest, greatest version of technology instead of waiting until their old one is broken.

It’s true that genY is used to new technology, but a lot of older people are also embracing this now, especially with products like the iPhone and iPad that are extremely user friendly.

Supporting businesses that support causes they care about
Millennials want to have an effect on the world around them. They not only want to see the world, but they also want to change the world. They will support brands that support the causes they care about.

I think that it always has been a plus to be an organisation that is truthful and works on a good cause (in the broadest sense).

Here is an interesting video from the US about marketing to Gen Yers:


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Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

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