Entitled, disengaged, and spoiled multitaskers who give too little and expect too much. Sound familiar? The Internet has thousands of articles smearing the Gen Y generation (better known as millennials), for their less-than-favorable attributes. But with 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, businesses need to start shifting their focus to the new, largest living generation ever.
The telltale difference between Gen Y members and their predecessors is their upbringing. Gen Y grew up with technology: typing classes were offered in elementary school (I clocked 50 WPM in the second grade!), after-school activities consisted of chatting on AOL Instant Messenger (oh, the woes of dial-up) and playing computer games (Oregon Trail, anyone?). Growing up with quick and constant stimulation has resulted in some key generational differences that are crucial to millennial marketing, though.
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It’s a fact: Gen Y thrives on instant gratification, a by-product of our techy origins. That means we read less than the average user on the Internet, scanning for specific content online as opposed to consuming complete sites, books, etc. (Are you still with me, millennials?) Little patience and short attention spans, #nuffsaid. Not to mention 93% pay for streaming sites such as Netflix or Hulu, and 48% pay for music streaming. We want our information now, and we want it to work. Heaven forbid something goes awry online. Millennials hold companies accountable for ensuring their web pages are intuitive and responsive across all platforms at a much higher level than their Gen X and baby boomer counterparts.