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Meet the Millennials: Getting to Know the Biggest-Ever Generation

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Young man in suit "vogueing" for the camera[One of a Series] Millennials are a significant slice of the population that’s important to healthcare professionals. And if they are not a consideration in your marketing game plan today, they definitely will be soon.

Disclosure: I’m outside of the age parameters of the Millennial Generation. I’m pretty sure about that, but the trouble is that the definitions, and even the names, are often loosely defined. Let’s try to bring things into focus.

For starters, demographers don’t agree about the bracketing years. Various sources have it that these are individuals born between the late 1970’s (or maybe the early 1980’s), and up to (somewhere) in the early 2000’s.

Even the labels vary. Millennials are also referred to:

  • Millennial Generation—referring to the last generation born in the 20th century;
  • Generation Y or Generation Next—because they follow the Generation X group;
  • Echo Boomers—reflecting the group’s size compared to the Baby Boomers;
  • Net Generation—because, for them, there has always been an Internet;

plus a handful of other names, including,

  • Generation We, Global Generation, and the Me Me Me Generation.

If, for the sake of clarity, you assume the defining birth years to be between 1978 and 2000, there are about 78 million millennials in the US. (Or 80 million plus by other sources.)

Millennial Media: Always plugged in and always online

From one perspective, communicating with the “Net Gen” is a matter of getting your marketing or advertising message to any of their many digital screens. They grew up with computers, cell phones and now, smartphones and tablets.

Arguably they are the most tech-savvy generation ever. (At least, so far.) Accordingly they are comfortable with new technology and social media. In fact, they are nearly addicted to having a smartphone within immediate reach. (Many—41 percent—do not have a “land line.”)

Thus they are “always on,” for email, text message, Internet, online, video chat and social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and others.

Millennial Primer: Three things to know…

  • By any slice, age or label, at 80 million, Millennials are a big group, and the largest cohort size in history [US Census Bureau].
  • Millennials have never known a world without the Internet. They own, and nearly constantly use, computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones and smartphones. And they use them routinely to be online, text, and/or gravitate around social media sites and platforms.
  • Millennials represent a substantial buying power of about $170 billion.

We’ll be bringing you additional posts about Millennials. And for additional reference about mobile marketing, read this previous post.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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