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5 Takeaways from Mastering ​the Millennial Mindset of Today​ 

Our survey, Mastering the Millennial Mindset of Today: A Post-Pandemic Deep-Dive into Millennial Attitudes and Behaviors, uncovered many data and insights about millennials. Our very own Dave Neway is sharing a new way to segment this audience of 72M people into six distinct archetypes or psychographic profiles with these key takeaways from our original research study with Provoke Insights. Download the free e-book to take a deep dive into the mindset of these six millennial groups.  

Meredith Cunningham Published: October 12, 2022

By Dave Neway, VP of Ad Sales Marketing, TEGNA 

Our story begins approximately 12 years ago​ when one couldn’t read an article in the trades without seeing a focus on millennials. Our industry was infatuated with understanding this newest, hippest generation on the block, and for good reason! ​ 

​Millennials are 72 million strong in the US, comprising 23% of the world’s population – bigger than Gen Z and Gen X (both have around 65M). ​We’ve admired their strength in numbers and tried to wrap our brains around their attitudes and behaviors, making some sweeping generalizations about their deepest desires and needs, including:​ 

  • Millennials love experiences versus “things.”​ 
  • Millennials will be much better off financially than their parents. 
  • Millennials are mobile-first! This generation will be tethered to their phones morning, noon, and night!  ​ 
  • They’re not interested in traditional rites of passage, like home ownership.​

But then, the world changed in some unimaginable ways.  

  • No one could’ve predicted we’d be where we are now, and given how much the world has shifted, what does this portend for our dear millennials?

As we plan for the future of advertising, how should brands REALLY be thinking about millennials in this new normal, and how do we reach them more effectively using first-party data – the currency of our new digital economy?  ​

There’s a Better Way to Think About Millennials​  

Our survey, Mastering the Millennial Mindset of Today: A Post-Pandemic Deep-Dive into Millennial Attitudes and Behaviors, uncovered a plethora of data and insights about millennials, and one of the biggest takeaways is a new way to think about segmenting this audience of 72M people into 6 distinct archetypes, or psychographic profiles: Confident Parents, Overachievers, In-Store Moms, Free Spirits, Glass Half Empty, and the All About Me Millennial. Download the free white paper to take a deep dive into the mindset of these six millennial groups.  

Reaching the Real Millennials of the New Normal​ 

Millennials are not monolithic, and therefore, your media strategy shouldn’t be either, so here are a few recommendations to help ground your thinking: ​ 

  1. Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. While millennials are a highly diverse group, we identified a commonality from our study: life stage and habits are far more important predictors of behavior than age. Advertisers would do well to apply life-stage and/or behavioral targeting on top of any age-based targeting to ensure you’re reaching the type of millennial who’s most likely to take action based on your ad.     
  1. Value Personalization and Immediacy.  Most millennials, likely because of their coming of age amid the dot com boom, place a premium on immediacy, and nearly half would switch to products they receive sooner. Loyalty is also fleeting among millennials, as half will switch brands if their trust in a brand is broken. Given consumer concerns on data and privacy, this makes personalization more critical than ever and especially effective when it’s enshrouded in brand trust and brand purpose. 
  1. Thinking Local. A whopping 80% of millennials report being engaged in their local community. In fact, those who are active locally find themselves happier, more confident, and wealthier.  Brands thinking locally and leading by serving the greater good of their communities will do well.  
  1. Uncertainty & Pessimism About the Future.  A confluence of factors (two recessions, 9/11, the Pandemic, lack of job opportunities, etc.) has kept a substantive number of millennials from feeling successful personally and professionally, with a strong correlation between optimism and employment status. However, 57% of millennials indicated that they feel moderate to very optimistic about the future, which leaves 43% feeling less positive and more cynical. advertisers that acknowledge the duality of the millennial mindset and offer a glimmer of hope will likely see good engagement across all of our millennial personas.  
  1. TV News Consumption Lives! News remains is a popular medium for millennials, with almost half consuming news at least weekly and via TV – especially among men and people with higher than average household income.  While we know millennials are digital natives, most believe in the power of broadcast TV and local news. 

How to Apply the Results 

Our findings about millennials’ affinity for news and their active interest in their local communities was welcome news for us at TEGNA, as local news is at the core of what we do, but we’re also cognizant of the fact that millennials, like many other cohorts, are increasingly accessing the news and all content through disparate devices, which can make them a bit elusive.​ 

That’s why we created TEGNA AudienceOne – one of only the first-party audience-targeting solutions in the local media landscape today. TEGNA AudienceOne is a way to reach TEGNA’s audience by using audiences gathered from the source: TEGNA Websites and Apps. ​ 

Privacy-safe and third-party-cookie-less by design, TEGNA AudienceOne allows brands to not only target TEGNA’s digital audience based on the contextual and buying behavior and household demographics – but it also allows them to reach those same users on our Audience Marketplace, expanding their reach as users continue through their daily digital journey, and in a way that scales.  

Is your brand ready to engage with this high-value audience??   

TEGNA AudienceOne, one of only the first-party audience targeting solutions in the local media landscape today, reaches more than 55% of millennials and can help your brand make more meaningful connections with millennials from all walks of life. Contact us and learn more.  

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