Go digital in 2018: forget about the Millennials!
Among the many reasons given to justify the digital transformation of a company, the digitization of an offer or the launch of a new 100% digital offer there are millennials.
And why not ? The BA-BA of marketing is segmentation. On the other hand, segmentation by age has always been done. And who says new generation in business says new behaviors.
Millennials: a big string and a well-worn recipe
But watch carefully the string is too big and the recipe partially worn out.
Before we had the baby boomers, X… with roughly generations that “lasted” from 30 to 40 years. Enough to signify a significant change in sociological, behavioral, skill or expectation terms.
After that, we had the Y, Z, millennials, digital natives, the G generation in bulk. Some follow each other, others overlap. Too fast, too short so that we do not sniff out a marketing smoke strategy or a race forward aiming to justify the big projects of tomorrow without being bored with the generational justifications of the projects which did not work yesterday. No problem, a new generation is coming.
Each time roughly the same behavioral promise and each time a new generation arriving two years later. A roundabout way of saying that the generation before didn’t change things that much.
So using the generational spring to justify a project or a product may not be as good an idea anymore.
• Millennials are a market, full of people making a living by providing services to businesses. But the string begins to be too thick and by dint of being presented with generations that will change everything and ultimately have not changed much, the leaders will stop falling for it.
• Because it is a market, we always only talk about the arguments that justify it. There is too much myths on the subject, compared to the X their expectations of the company are not intrinsic but depend on the context, and we tend to confuse generations and stages of life.
• Because millennials are fed up with being used as an alibi to do anything or everything. Internally they are used to scare the elders and serve as an alibi for change. In marketing, I want an airline for “millennials”, but when it flies to Teheran I look for the destination “millennials”. And they too.
• Because incidentally playing the generations against each other is a huge mistake.
• Because the client and the non-millennial employee feel like they are being ignored.
Millennial washing therefore has many side effects:
- he sets the generations against each other
- it gives your leaders the impression that you are starting to laugh at them.
- it gives millennials the impression that they are being instrumentalized.
Millennial-washing has many side effects.
How to avoid making friends when, on the contrary, we have to federate….
Then you can start using millennials to swallow any snake, but we will have warned you.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.