Hey, Guys, the Millennials are Over Here!

They were born with smartphones in their hands, and can’t even imagine balancing a checkbook on the back of a statement. Rotary phones? That’s cute. Go to a bank? Not if their lives depended on it.

They’re the Millennials, and they are a “must-get” segment of the U.S. market, at more than 80 million strong.

So naturally, marketers are hitting them hard in the digital space. And that’s absolutely a misguided approach, according to one of their numbers, Ashley Leone writing in PrintingNews.

“Research,” Leone writes, “is proving time and again that when marketers move towards the latest technology, they are moving away from a channel with proven effectiveness and millennial draw: print.

“Print has a strong pull with millennials. They crave it, use it, and respond to it.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise for many is that the digital natives, who grew up around technology, crave the tactile interaction that paper brings,” Leone continues. “I may have three inboxes, but I only have one mailbox. Yet, I, along with 89% of other millennials, get our mail at the first opportunity, according to a study by the USPS in conjunction with Summit Research. It seems that millennials love print—who knew?”

There’s that word again – tactile. Millennials are getting all touchy, and marketers are finding that print – tactile, even nostalgic, print – is remarkably effective at engaging this crowd. And they’re annoyed by digital ads, especially when all they really want to do it watch cat videos, she notes.

“Of course, just because people consume something doesn’t make it effective,” Leone wisely reminds us. “But in this case, not only do millennials enjoy print advertisements, they spur us to purchase.”

Leone cites the research to back this up, including one Google study that shows “82% of those aged 18–34 cite print as part of their purchasing journey.” Print resonates, motivates and engages a massively important and lucrative chunk of the consuming public. Why print? The question really should be why not.

Leone echoes what we’ve been saying for the past few years now. “Print has a strong pull with millennials. They crave it, use it, and respond to it. Marketers who are not exploring the possibilities of print are throwing away an opportunity to connect with a demographic they can’t afford to miss.”