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Are terms like ‘millennial’ actually useful for marketers?

Are terms like 'millennial' actually useful for marketers?


Are terms like ‘millennial’ actually useful for marketers?


Just 7% of marketers believe terms like Gen X, Gen Z and millennial are a very effective means of segmentation, according to an exclusive Marketing Week. In fact, 55% say such demographic groupings are not very effective or not effective at all.

Vodafone head of youth and mass segments Daniel Lambrou explains he would not use such terms to define behaviours or people.

“I wouldn’t use them as part of my marketing strategy, but I would use the generic terms in conversation if I’m trying to articulate a particular point about an age group,” he states.

Similarly, MoneySuperMarket’s head of customer insight, Jonathan Wood, disagrees with “stereotyping” people into a certain group based on the year they were born.

“Attitudes, needs, behaviours and motivations – not to mention life stages – are all very diverse and so, for us, it does not make sense to group people into a collective, just because they happen to be born within a few years of each other,” he adds.

Marketing and insight director at Digital Cinema Media (DCM) Zoe Jones explains that her team avoids what she sees as overly broad labels such as Gen Z or millennial. When researching the 16- to 34-year-old audience, her team was careful to acknowledge the significant differences between someone born in 1984 and 2002.

“There were some interesting differences within the 16 to 34 audience when we looked specifically at the younger end of the spectrum – those aged 16 to 24,” says Jones.

“Social video becomes more ‘binge-watching’ than just something spontaneous; live TV at a broad, non-programme-specific level, is more frequently associated as ‘low attention’; and perceptions of YouTube were more positive.”


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