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Millennials and Gen X not so different

News, 20 December 2016

SYDNEY: Brands don't need to reinvent their marketing strategy for millennials so much as simply tweak it, according to Yahoo Australia, which reports that the media habits of the two groups are remarkably similar.

"We hear a lot of wild claims about them [millennials] – claims that they're really different and we need to speak to them differently," Peter Hammer, head of insights and analytics at Australia's Yahoo!7, told the recent Millennials Marketing Conference in Sydney.

But that's not in fact the case. "In many ways they're more similar than different," he said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: Yahoo Australia reveals Gen X and millennial media habits.)

"If we write down a list of … digital daily habits, we actually see that millennials and Gen X are basically the same when it comes to online games, weather, finance, or search, blogs and shopping," Hammer stated. "And this is based on really big, robust data."

So, for example, marketers are used to hearing that to reach millennials, social media is the place to be. But Nielsen data has shown that in one month, Millennials spent 18 hours using social, Gen X spent 17 hours while Baby Boomers spent only 12.

In terms of sessions using the platforms, Millennials clocked 148 sessions, Gen X tallied 136 while Baby Boomers came in at 89.

"What this tells us is that Millennials are spending about the same amount of time, but in more, shorter sessions across the day," explained Hammer. "And that's reflected in their daily habits for search, as well."

All three generations had similar usage patterns throughout the day, with two excpetions being the middle of the day, when Baby Boomers were using less social media, and late at night, when Millennials were using more.

"They've got their selfie sticks and they're out posting on social media. But that's the key difference we're seeing. We're not seeing these massive changes in behaviour," said Hammer.

Data sourced from Warc