Keeping Up With The Millennials: Voxburner #YMS16

by Tanya December 13, 2015

Trends move quickly when it comes to young people. Keeping up with the Millennials is difficult, because we have to re-think everything we know about marketing. Marketers struggle to develop new processes and ways of thinking. It’s now about marketing WITH Millennials, not TO them. It’s more about caring and bonding than just awareness.

How are the needs of the youth market developing and how should businesses respond?

Youth insights consultancy Voxburner review the top youth trends of 2015, ahead of their flagship event Youth Marketing Strategy ,which takes place in March 2016 (along with the launch of their 2016 Youth Trends report).

Here’s what we found out about the 16-24 year olds this year:

1. Righteous attitudes

We’re seeing the new goody-two-shoes youth consumer – whereas Boomers and Gen Xers had booze, sex, and truancy firmly at the top of their to-do list, a new bunch of 16-24s find righteous attitudes suit them much better.

When asked what’s on their bucket list, 56% of young people would like to spend more time with friends, 46% with family, while a higher percentage would prefer to give to charity than dedicate their time to partying harder.

This is refreshing for brands. By knowing that a large portion of their target audience is empowered by doing good, youth marketers should start to think about incorporating these ideals into future concepts.

2. Life skills

Young people are striving to understand themselves better as humans – self confidence is the number one life skill they’re eager to learn with 63% wanting to prioritise it over networking skills, new ways to keep fit and CV writing.

Everyday tasks such as cooking (45%) and understanding money (38%) are also high-ranking.

It’s imperative for brands to genuinely understand where this influential group gets their kicks from and what values they hold close to their hearts. These triggers hold the power to ignite inspiration for dynamic, thought-provoking projects and campaigns.

3. Growing pains

16-24s are increasingly craving guidance in general day-to-day activities, especially when it comes to finances.

They’re wary and unsure of how to save, how much to spend and how to get out of debt. Well over half of young people would like more direction when it comes to money whilst 65% would also appreciate advice regarding their career.

A brand’s support will speak a thousand words as the youth consumer can momentarily gain comfort from a brand’s offering.

4. Time-sensitive

Young people expect everything right now, which has enabled a shift in brand behaviour as they work to shorter time frames within the digital sphere.

82% of 16-24s consider their lives to be busy. Giving this time-conscious group the gift of time is essential, with their bustling lifestyles and other priorities they’d rather focus on such as spending quality time with friends and family.

The youth consumer therefore reacts well to time-sensitive concepts such as Uber, eBay Buy It Now and click-and-collect.

Brands that play within this field will come out winning. Showing them you understand that their time is precious by generating creative ideas will win them over.

5. Hyper-connected

Content needs to be hyper-connected, interactive and accessible when and where they want it to be. Short, concise and visual is where the focus should be when it comes to online content.

71% of young people said videos were the type of content they enjoyed the most, closely followed by Buzzfeed-esque lists and of course the ever-popular memes.

Less than a quarter enjoy lengthier posts such as opinion articles and interviews, which shows the shift in preferred content needing to be collective, engaging and somewhat witty, while requiring as little effort as possible to consume.

Voxburner’s flagship annual conference is back for a fifth year – Youth Marketing Strategy is the biggest coming together of the youth marketing industry in Europe. Join 1,000 brands, agencies, charities, higher education institutes, media owners and youth organisations for a 3 day festival at iconic London venue The Roundhouse.

With a line-up of over 60+ speakers, hear from the likes of Airbnb, Virgin Red, Google, Unilever, McDonalds, Marketing Week, Sainsbury’s, Guardian, Innocent, Odeon, Barclays, Sport England, Trek America on all things youth marketing – from campaign case studies to the latest trends, insights and ideas on how to to shape or refresh your youth marketing strategy. See the full agenda and speaker line-up here: http://www.voxburner.com/yms-london/


This is a guest article by Olivia Newman, a marketing manager at Voxburner.

They’re pleased to offer Lucky Attitude readers an additional 10% off YMS tickets – just use discount code LUCKY10 when booking your tickets here: http://www.voxburner.com/buy-tickets/

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The first Millennial blogger in the UK. Twitter @_luckyattitude

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