Understanding what matters most to Millennials is critical to reaching them as customers. 2013 has been a year of disruption, innovation, and unpredictability, and Millennials are reacting in some surprising ways. Buzz Marketing Group investigates the latest trends among buyers, and this is a year-end compilation of our top trends of 2013 for Millennials, based on our monthly research studies.
1. Traditional values are still somewhat important to 20-somethings. Despite allegations regarding Millennials' lack of values, our research reveals the three most important things to this generation: being a good family member and friend, living a religious or spiritual life, and finding a good partner for life.
2. Millennials are paying attention to their money. According to our research, a little over two-thirds (64%) of Millennials feel financially secure, while 79% are completely financially independent. Over half (53%) are already saving for retirement, and 94% are aware of how much they spend.
3. Generation Y is on the move when it comes to employment opportunities. 94% of MIllennials have actively searched for a new job while still employed – "Higher salary," "More growth opportunities," and "Higher sense of purpose" were listed as the main factors that would cause these Millennials to leave their current jobs for new positions. Furthermore, members of Generation Y are not afraid to try different things until they find the right fit, as 34% have experimented with two careers, and 39% have experimented with three or more careers before finding the most fitting one.
4. This generation has strong opinions on issues. We learned that 80% of those surveyed believe that marijuana should be legalized, 76% believe that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, and 95% believe there should be mandatory background checks before any firearm purchase. Although opinions may vary depending on the issue at hand, these MIllennials are not afraid to express what is on their minds.
5. Media and technology continue to influence Generation Y. Almost half (49%) of survey respondents spend over six hours online per day, and about a third (31%) spend between three and six hours per day using the Internet. The majority (92%) owns a smartphone and a laptop. Although Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is not as popular as it once was, it is still the most popular among all social media sites, with 85% of Millennials checking in on a daily basis.
6. Social media and digital integration are key in capturing Generation Y's attention. Since they are spending so much time online, it comes as no surprise that the members of this generation are influenced by the advertisements that are presented to them through online platforms. Integrating traditional marketing with campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) can provide a truly useful benefit to any brand or store that aims to attract Millennials.
7. Digital media doesn't always win out. Though Generation Y spends an incredible amount of time browsing the web, these young people do not necessarily always prefer online versions of media to traditional versions. For instance, 86% prefer in-hand magazines over online editions, and 89% prefer actual books over their online counterparts. The only type of media for which Millennials prefer the online versions is newspapers.
8. Millennials enjoy giving. Research shows that 86% donate to local charities and 74% are much more likely to purchase a product if the proceeds go to charity. The most popular types of charity organizations among 20-somethings are those dedicated to children's causes (47%), health-related issues (22%), and environmental matters (14%).
9. Value propositions matter in purchasing decisions. Millennials are looking for more than just another product to buy or another store to browse. They seek inspiration, which is why brands such as Warby Parker and TOMS are winning out over the once-popular brands like American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN). The former offer a promise and an experience, while the latter simply do not.
10. Spirituality is on the rise, even if religion isn't. Only 9% of Millennials consider themselves to be religious, and 40% consider themselves to be less religious now than in the past. Although institutionalized religion is not as popular as it once was among Millennials, over 60% of surveyed 20-somethings consider themselves to be "spiritual."
Fool contributor Tina Wells has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook, Twitter, and Urban Outfitters. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.