By: Daniel Stillman

For the last decade, marketers have been attempting to figure out the Millennials, a name given to the group of consumers that were born between 1980 and 2000. They have been called the “Selfie” generation as well as the “Me, Me, Me” generation. With the oldest Millennial being a new parent and the youngest Millennial being a new driver, marketers are now trying to figure out the consumer habits of the newest generation.

Meet Generation Z, the people born after 2000. They live in a post 9/11, post-Great Recession world. So what is the difference between Millennials and Post-Millennials/Generation Z? How do marketers advertise to each of these distinct groups?

According to Generationy’s site, Millenials are the technology generation. They are the age group that uses social media the most. Heck, a Millennial even created Facebook! The easiest way to catch a Millennial is to see if they have a smartphone or not. However, according to a 2003 study done by Rice University, Millennials are also very sheltered. The study suggested that Millennials grew up in a time of increasing safety measures, which includes car seats, airport security and school lockdowns. This may be the result of living in the age of terrorism.

Overall, Rice University’s study found that their most defining characteristic is their strive for achievement. In a time where grade point averages are rising and the crime rates are falling, there is a high focus on achievement in and out of the classroom. Millennials see college as a key player in getting a high paying job and the key to success.

So how do advertisers reach Millennials? According to Lani Rosales, Chief Operating Officer of, comScore mentioned, “The presence of key creative elements in advertising were shown to relate strongly to successful advertising.” The best way to reach them now is Twitter. In Millenial Marketing’s reference to A Pew Research study indicates that half of all Twitter users are Millennials. In markets where Millenials are the target audience, one tweet can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of consumers.

What’s the Post-Millennial Generation, Generation Z, like? Well, we don’t quite know yet. They are still growing up. What we do know, however, is that they are the real digital natives. They are the kids who can’t recall a time without technology. This generation is born into a world where social media and a connected world is all that they know. If you want to recognize a Post-Millennial, look to see if they are holding a tablet. Rick Gomez, the retailer’s SVP at Target said, “Ninety-eight percent of ‘post-millennials’ use their devices while they shop at Target.” Mobile shopping may be Generation Z’s preferred way to shop.

Today, companies are working to enhance their digital advertising and mobile platforms to learn how to best reach the Post-Millennials.


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s