Why & How Marketers Need to Lean In on Millennials and Gen Z


By Michael Donahue

Why? Well, these population cohorts are critically important to marketers because, in early 2023, they account for over 40% of population and brand sales… but by 2030, they are projected to represent well over 50% of both population and brand sales. That’s because the older generations are leaving the planet
much faster than those born between 1980 and 2010.

1) By using first party data available from Purpose Branding, Experiential Marketing, Influencer Marketing, E-commerce and brand buying data, retailers are now selling to brands. Marketers can take advantage of what engages Millennials and Gen Z because these two cohorts are much more into engaging experiences than messaging of all kinds.

By using first party data, marketers will differentiate between the two cohorts: brand users who buy only when price is reduced and the two cohorts of brand loyalists who don’t need much if any price reduction to try the brand and retain their brand usage.

The Result

Improved short-term cash flow and profitability by not reducing price against brand loyalists and long-term brand profitability by retaining brand loyalists who love the brand so much they pay full price.
2) Marketers need to conduct research to fully understand what does and doesn’t engage Millennials and Gen Z.
3) To improve the two cohorts’ messaging response to media ads, marketers need to add a question to the creative brief which helps their agencies to create advertising which acknowledges the ad targets accepted belief and attitude about the brand and the brand category so the agency will create

FACTS: Focused Advertising Creativity That
Note: I have two examples of brand long-term successes because the creative directors took advantage of negative category beliefs which were true consumer perceptions and refuted those perceptions to the advantage of Miller Lite’s introduction in 1976 and Visa’s repositioning in 1985 to make it more attractive than the American Express Credit Card.

Michael Donahue is a former Executive Vice President of the 4As, Senior Director of the ANA and CEO of Connect the Dots, a management consultancy.

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