The Millennial Connection

Source: The Nielsen Co.

Source: The Nielsen Co.

By Terry Munoz

Mil∙len∙ni∙al [mil-len-ee-uhl]: a person born in the 1980s or 1990s.

How much do you know about Millennials? Are you confused about how best to engage them? Are you challenged as to how to motivate them, unsure how they com- pare to the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations?

Here are a few insights into Millennials that you may want to consider:

■ They have different expectations concerning their values. They are ambitious and seek abundant opportunities, particularly opportunities to improve themselves and the environment. They always want to better themselves socially and economically. Bor- ing is bad … keeping them challenged and engaged in activities where they feel they are making a meaningful contribution is key.

■ They appreciate guidance and love feedback. According to research conducted by Booz & Co., Millennials are more willing to defer to authority than either Gen X-ers or Baby Boomers; Millennials want to look up to someone and learn. It is important to give them structure and set expectations early. Millennials also want feedback—and lots of it, both positive and constructive. And they value your building a personal rela- tionship with them through social media.

■ They value work-life balance. To Millennials, flexibility to work from home is not a perk; rather, it is a reasonable approach to the work-life balance. Given the technology available today, activities such as shopping online while at work are common practice. For Millennials, work and life will only continue to become integrated, as long as work- life activities do not damage their careers.

Every year, more Millennials are entering the consumer market as they graduate from high school or college. Understanding how their priorities differ from those of the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations is critically important to engage them and capture your share of their spending dollars.

—Terry Munoz is vice president of global business development segmentation & local market solutions for The Nielsen Co.