CHICAGO: Brands seeking to engage millennials may benefit from tapping the trend towards “adulting” displayed by this audience, according to a study by BuzzFeed, the media company, and Publicis Media, the agency.

Lindsey Noble, senior research manager at Buzzfeed, discussed this subject at The Market Research Event (TMRE) in Focus 2018.

Based on a poll of more than 4,000 consumers in the 18- to 45-year-old age range in the US, UK, Australia and Brazil, she reported that “adulting” was a striking theme.

This process is essentially a hit-and-miss – and sometimes decades-long – quest that defies the neat milestones and targeting of life-stage marketing.

“All the rules of the road to being an adult have really gone out the window for this younger generation,” Noble said. “Marketers can’t associate a particular age with a particular life stage anymore.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: BuzzFeed seeks to identify consumers challenged by “adulting”.)

The traditional model of becoming an adult has changed drastically, Noble continued, “from adulthood being a point in time to adulthood being a process that is ongoing, that you are constantly navigating.”

Brands can thus benefit by reaching out to these in-between consumers as they make their way, offering knowledge-based content that feeds their yearning for competence and confidence.

“We’re seeing a huge rise in digital and social in helping them navigate the path to adulthood,” said Noble. “People are Googling things from ‘How to boil an egg,’ to ‘How do I start a 401K?’ to ‘How many times a week should I wash my hair?’”

Resourceful marketers have long targeted the right message to the right people at the right time, and this is a vital strategy in the “adulting” space. “It’s not just about selling them a brand or a product,” Noble said. “They actually need help.”

Against this backdrop, marketers can step in to provide particular information that connects with a wide range of consumers who may feel the need to develop their skills and knowledge.

Sourced from WARC