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November 1, 2017

The Unreachables

We live in a world where our movements and media consumption can be tracked to the individual, but there’s a large segment who is being missed.

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If reaching your target audience keeps you up at night, the following will cause you sleepless nights. We live in a world where our movements and media consumption can be tracked to the individual, but there’s a large segment who is being missed. This segment is one of the most sought after and difficult to reach – Millennials. There are 47% of Millennials being missed by traditional advertising metrics and it’s a twofold issue. They don’t want to be tracked and their viewing habits are so diversified marketers cannot keep up.

According to Nielsen, a third of young households, less than 35 years old does not subscribe to a cable or satellite package. Further causing problems for advertisers to reach this audience is traditional TV experiencing a 30% decrease in time spent viewing year-over-year.

These unreachables are mobile first or only mobile. As of 2016, smartphone screens replaced traditional TV as the most popular device among Millennials. They’re spending a staggering amount of time on mobile. About 84% of their time is spent in-app and tracking is murky. Without the proper SDK integrations and technology, tracking is impossible.

With the decrease of traditional TV viewing among Millennials and skyrocketing rise of mobile, OTT (over-the-top) is becoming more popular with Millennials. With 73% of them subscribing to streaming services, the ways to track their viewing becomes increasingly important. They’re streaming close to 30 hours of video per week–more than half through OTT (over-the-top) devices. Only 33% can be captured by today’s standard tracking technology. These streaming services are winning the battle for this lucrative audience’s attention and Netflix is leading the pack. Nearly 78% of Millennials are streaming Netflix followed by Amazon (47%) and Hulu (38%). Basic cable, for the low numbers who have packages, is coming in around 22%.

The thing is, Millennials have enormous buying power to the tune of $1.3 trillion in the U.S. alone. Yes, that’s with a capital T. They are crucial to advertisers not only for the now but for the future as well. These tech and brand savvy young adults present a problem for marketers as they continue to become more unreachable. This problem isn’t Millennials not wanting to be reached, but an issue of their diversified consumption habits and our lack of action in integrated marketing tactics. They have a richer digital literacy than older generations and tend to ignore traditional media.

There isn’t a singular way to reach them, but you need to be creative in doing so. Traditional tactics won’t work and sinking all your budget into digital won’t either. So what’s the right strategy? One way to reach Millennials is through experiences. In a recent Harris Group study, 72% of Millennials chose an experience – festival, pop up garden, trade show, sporting event, concert, etc. over material items. The challenge here is weaving your message or product in seamlessly to seem authentic. That’s the next idea to reach Millennials – brand authenticity.  It’s important for brands to appear authentic through person-to-person interaction. A Cohn & Wolfe study found that 87% of global consumers said it was necessary for brands to “(act) with integrity at all times.” Millennials are more interested in authenticity than previously believed. In the age of social media, they still want brands to act with integrity and be honest with messaging.

Millennials are a tough crowd to reach, but they want to be sought after. Rather than sell to them, connect with them through an authentic experience with a story to tell using your product.