New Study Offers Nuanced Look at Millennials

There are nearly 79 million Millennials, and they may not be who you think they are. A common misconception is that people in this group, which encompasses those between the ages of 16 and 34, are all alike. But a recent study by marketing firm Barkley USA in partnership with Boston Consulting Group shows that there are indeed differences.

The study, The Millennial Consumer, includes several interesting findings. First, this group is larger than the Baby Boomer group, and its growing in influence. Most importantly, the study defined six segments within this group (see infographic here; note that registration is required, but its free). The segments are:

  • Hip-ennial: I can make the world a better place.
  • Millennial Mom: I love to work out, travel, and pamper my baby.”
  • Anti-Millennial: Im too busy taking care of my business and my family to worry about much else.
  • Gadget Guru: Its a great day to be me.
  • Clean and Green Millennial: I take care of myself and the world around me.
  • Old-School Millennial: Connecting on Facebook is too impersonal, lets meet up for coffee instead!

As you can see, marketing to each type will require different approaches and different messages. But, targeted marketing campaigns with the right message will be very effective. For example, public libraries could target Millennial Moms with childrens activities that incorporate both reading time and exercise.

Still, the study offers some important areas of commonality.

  • Most Millennials are tied to technology, especially their mobile devices. Libraries should consider developing mobile apps to reach this ever-connected cohort.
  • They expect instant gratification. Whether its surfing the web for a recipe for tonights dinner or seeking answers for projects, fast turnaround is key. To meet this demand, consider using Twitter as a tool for reference questions. Another option: target ebook promotions to the Millennial Mom, Anti-Millennial and Gadget Guru.
  • They believe in causes. The survey found that Millennials, more than non-Millennials, prefer to actively engage in a cause campaign by encouraging others to support it (30 percent versus 22 percent) or by participating in fundraising events (27 percent versus 16 percent). Public libraries should seek out Millennials and encourage them to become library advocates.



About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.