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  • Steven Wilson-Beales

Engaging with Millennials: Westminster Media Forum Highlights

I recently attended the Westminster Media Forum in London and spoke about how we’re engaging younger audiences through Capital FM, PopBuzz and We The Unicorns. I only had ten minutes so it was quite a speedy tour, but here were my notes from the other excellent speakers that presented.

  1. Jon Watts from MTM London questioned the value of classifying audience groups as ‘millennial’ – the interests attributed to this group are so broad that any analysis of this segment begins to lose any predictive power. In short, do we need to be more specific in our segmentation to understand how younger audiences actually behave?

  2. For example, millennials are usually presented as being wedded to technology. But what if millennials revert back to previous generational consumption habits after, say, 35? What if we’ve just observing a short term behavioural pattern and not a permanent long-term trend?

  3. I also liked the way Jon highlighted how media consumption has become truly international through platforms like Netflix. On brands like PopBuzz and We The Unicorns we see this a lot. Take Stranger Things for instance – that was a massive international hit and has dominated meme land for the last 3 months.

  4. Youth State asked a group young millennials who their heroes were. No, it wasn’t Simon Cowell or any X Factor contestant. Instead, they thought of their immediate family members. Grandparents officially rock.

  5. The Future Laboratory sliced millennials into useful interest groups which I’ll detail here once they have released their notes. I liked their idea of millennials ‘hacking’ traditional media formats so they consume their latest tv fix on the platforms they want.

  6. One trend Future Lab recognised was around ‘Revelation and Discovery’ – they said there was a real thirst in millennials to discover new exciting stuff – which would counter the whole filter bubble idea. Interesting point this…

  7. Tammy Smulders from Havas LuxHub had some useful insights when it came to millennial consumption of luxury goods. For millennials ‘luxury’ is not just about purchasing objects, it has to be linked with self-achievement.

  8. In the Havas report, when millennials were asked what they would buy if they were given £10k, most of them said ‘holidays’ or ‘festivals’ i.e an experience, not an object. Millennials want to display, not so much their wealth, but their ‘access’ and ‘connections’.

  9. Young millennials don’t give a fig for your heritage, they want ‘contemporary relevance’. So don’t bark on about the history of your brand, talk about the value that you can add right now.

  10. I learnt a new term: ‘Vampire Shopping’  (high street retail opening hours between 10-12pm. ) That’s something to get your teeth into.

Dad jokes were not part of preferred millennial consumption habits.

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