Marketing to millennials

Thom Forbes

Marketers will need to reassess their strategies as multicultural millennials become the dominant consumer group in North America.

If you think his article can offer a fail-safe game plan for selling to the coveted urban multicultural millennial target (or MMs), you haven't been listening to them. And if you haven't been listening — and, more to the point, responding with speed and authenticity — you run the risk of being as relevant to these consumers' lives as a home telephone line.

Putting multicultural and millennial together creates a modifier for what will soon be the largest and, arguably, may already be the most influential market in North America. You've probably seen the sheer numbers: there will be more millennials than boomers (83 million versus 74 million) by 2015, according to the 2010 Multicultural Millennials study conducted by the Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich Inc.), a global research firm with offices in New York and Chapel Hill, N.C., and Images USA, an Atlanta-based multicultural marketing communications agency. By 2017, millennials will have more buying power than any other generation, according to "Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People Over Brands," a 2012 report from Bazaarvoice, an Austin, Texas-based company that creates social communities for clients such as Procter & Gamble and Costco.

Who are they?