A Primer on Millennials: List of 25 Research Reports

There is a lot of interest in the marketing and HR community about understanding the Millennial generation, including who they are, what their interests and expectations are,  and what their preferences are relating to work and shopping.

There is no real definition on what the age range is of a Millennial.  Wikipedia mentions that that some are using birth years from the late 1980’s to the early 2000’s.  Some refer to Millennials as Generation Y, some are even mentioning a new Generation Z as part of this category.   Regardless, there is no question that Millennials now represent the future workforce and purchasing power of the developed economies of the world.  Marketing professionals want to learn more about how this new generation consume marketing messages and what their purchasing preferences are.  HR professionals want to learn more about how to attract and retain this this new generation of workers.

Studies seem to agree on certain generalizations and characteristics of this new generation.

 

  • Heavily reliant on social media and technology … and communicate with people differently because of it
  • Raised differently than their parents were, primarily because the environment has changed dramatically
  • Live in a completely different world of media than their parents (real-time access to information, fewer filters on information)
  • Relatively unattached to organized politics and religion
  • Many entering the job market are burdened by debt
  • Inherently distrustful of people
  • They are in no rush to marry
  • Optimistic about the future
  • This is a racially diverse generation
  • Able to multi-task better than their parents
  • Naturally Group-oriented and collaborative
  • Values peer opinions (typically gathered via social networks)
  • Generally confident about their abilities to succeed
  • Values lifestyle above work
  • Impatient.  Expects things to happen now
  • Open-minded.  Receptive to new ideas and ways of living
  • Self-expressive (online as well as offline)
  • Desires constant feedback
  • Competitive.  Will compete to winFor those of you digging deeper into understanding Millennials, I have done some research for you.   Below is a list of 25 research reports and resources that you can download.  Most of the reports include findings of surveys that were conducted over the past year or two.  The reports are presented below in alphabetical order by the organization that published the study report.
    1. Accenture: Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want?   Accenture research to understand the needs of the Millennial consumer.  Surveys were conducted of both retailers and consumers, then 50 face to face interviews were conducted.
    2. Barkley:  American Millenials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation  A 90 page report from Barkley based on research conducted as part of a joint partnership with Service Management Group, The Boston Consulting Group and Barkley.  With 5,493 survey respondents and more than 4 million data points, this was a detailed study with many insights.
    3. Bentley University:   The PreparedU Project: An In-depth Look at Millennial Preparedness for Today’s Workforce   Survey commissioned on the subject of preparedness of Millennials for joining the workforce.   More than 3,100 people were surveyed from nine different groups who all have a stake in this issue, including leaders in higher education and business, corporate recruiters, current high school
      and college students and their parents, recent college graduates, and the public at large
    4. Boston Consulting Group:  Millennial Passions:  Food, Fashion, and Friends A 6 page summary of the results and findings from the Barclay study (see above)
    5. Deloitte:  The Deloitte Millennial Survey:  Big Demands and High Expectations  Survey of more than 7800 Millennials was conducted October 11- November 11, 2013 about career and workplace expectations.
    6. Hartman Group:   Outlook on the Millennial Consumer Syndicated Study for 2014  Comprehensive new research to understand the lifestyles, life stages, preferences, and behaviors of America’s largest and most influential demographic group.
    7. IdeaPaint:  2013 Millennial Workplace Trends Survey: Corporate America Begins to Solve the Millennial Paradox   Survey of 600 employed Millennials was commissioned by IdeaPaint.  The goal of the survey was to see if modern workplaces were tapping into the potential of their young talent by engaging in more collaborative ideation techniques or if they were leveraging more traditional business models.
    8. International Journal of Emerging Research in Management &Technology:  Future Workforce “The Millennial”    The generation X has built a perception on what they have see about the generation Y and the generation Y comes with a different perception about them.  This study attempts to evaluate and asses their perceptions built by the generation x on generation y and also to determine what the generation y thinks about them and their expectation on the managers in the organization
    9. Journal of College & Character:   Off Our Lawns and Out of Our Basements: How We (Mis)Understand the Millennial Generation   In this article, the author explores the existing research on the characteristics of Millennials within historical, social, and economic contexts. While many researchers have made claims about Millennials, they fail to consider how parenting styles, economic factors, historical events, and shifts in educational priorities may have created the unique traits of this generation.Millennial Impact:  2013 Report  and the report portal page at http://www.themillennialimpact.com/2013research
    10. Long Range Systems, LLC:      The Millennial Mindset:  How a Generation is Reshaping Hospitality   White paper discusses Millennials and their potential impact on the hospitality industry
    11. Millennial Inc.  What your company will look like when millennial’s call the shots  Results of a six-month study taking place in both the United States and the United Kingdom with the objective to understand what your company would look like if Millennials were already in charge.
    12. MODIS:  Millennial IT Professionals:  Millennials in IT show aggressive approach to career path in contrast to other generations   Modis polled 501 employed IT Professionals about their career ambitions and
      perceptions as well as their perspective on the IT industry
    13. Network for Good:   Engaging Millennial Employees:   Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Cause  This eGuide provides the evidence and advice to help your company better engage all employees, especially younger ones, through cause programs that foster both business and social impact returns.
    14. NPD:  Millennials’ Surprises This brief examines how Millennials consume a variety of products across some of the industries The NPD group tracks: foodservice, entertainment, home, and the automotive aftermarket.
    15. NPD:  Winning the Fight for the Millennial Shopper  Report discusses shopping behaviors of Millennials by retailer, channel, and category.
    16. Pew Research Center:   Millennials in Adulthood    Report discusses perspectives and expectations of Millennials as they enter adulthood.  Findings are based on a new Pew Research Center survey conducted
      Feb. 14-23, 2014 among 1,821 adults nationwide, including 617 Millennial adults, and analysis of other Pew Research Center surveys conducted between 1990 and 2014.
    17. Pew Research Center:   The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change   Old report from 2010, still provides some good insights.
    18. Pew Research Center:  On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now.  Despite Gains, Many See Roadblocks Ahead    Findings are based on a new Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 adults, including 810 Millennials (adults ages 18 to 32),  conducted Oct. 7-27, 2013. The survey finds that, in spite of the dramatic gains women have made in educational attainment and labor force participation in recent decades, young women view this as a man’s world—just as middle-aged and older women do.
    19. Princeton One:   Attracting Gen Y Employees   Highlights five items for employers to take into consideration when recruiting Millennials   Retaining Gen Y Employees  Five ways to retain top Millennial employees.
    20. PWC:   Millennials at Work – Understanding Your Future Workforce  Presentation at the 2013 Financial Management Institute PD Week
    21. PWC:   Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace  A survey of over 4,000 millennials designed to capture their perspective on what they value most in a career.
    22. Rainmaker Thinking:  Meet Generation Z: The second generation within the giant “Millennial” cohort    White paper discusses the Milllennial sub segment called Generation Z and the five key trends shaping this sub segment.
    23. Raytheon:  Preparing Millennials to Lead in Cyberspace   A Raytheon-commissioned study of attitudes, behaviors and career aspirations among young American adults online.
    24. Urban Land Institute: GenerationY: Shopping and Entertainment in the Digital Age   40 page report published in 2013.   Results of an online survey of Americans aged 18-35 (1,251 respondents) with an objective to understand Gen Y’s shopping habits and dining/entertainment preferences.
    25. Verizon:   Millennials & Entertainment – Final Report March 2014   results of a two-phased research project including a quantitative survey of 1,000 consumers and qualitative interviews of 8 consumers.  Focus of study was to understand how this generation connects with media, content, and entertainment.
  • Are there other reports I missed?  Let me know via Twitter (@HorizonWatching) or contact me on Linkedin (whchamb)

 

IBM’s 5 in 5 List for 2013: Humans and Computers Become Smarter Together

IBM 5in5 2013Every year around this time, the IBM Research team publishes a list called “5 in 5”.   The list is based on research into market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Research labs around the world.  As a foresight analyst, I love these annual lists as it’s a little bit of trends research readout and a little bit of scenario planning that’s all designed to get people thinking and talking about how our lives will be transformed in the near future by technologies that are being developed today.

This year’s IBM 5 in 5 explores the idea that humans and computers will become smarter together and as a result of learning insights from the vast amounts of data.  The 2013 5 In 5 lists explore scenarios in education, retail, healthcare, security and our cities.   IBM says that in the future, everything will learn – driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and engage with us in a more natural and personalized way. These innovations are already beginning to emerge, enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics and learning technologies all coming together. Over time, these computers will get smarter and more customized through interactions with data, devices and us.  Humans and computers will learn faster and the result will be that we will be able to solve previously unsolvable problems in education, retail, healthcare, security and our cities.

So this year’s 5 in 5 from IBM is as follows

1. The Classroom Will Learn You.    IBM says that the classroom of the future will give educators the tools to learn about every student, providing them with a tailored curriculum from kindergarten to high school and on to employment. In the next five years the classroom will learn about each student using longitudinal data such as test scores, attendance and student’s behavior on e-learning platforms, not just aptitude tests.  Sophisticated analytics delivered over the cloud will provide decision support to teachers so they can predict students who are most at risk, their roadblocks, and then suggest measures to help students conquer their challenges based on their individual learning style.  For more, read the full story around “The Classroom Will Learn You” 
2. Buying Local Will Beat Online.   Today, most physical stores are limited to the insights they can gain at the point of sale – and the trend of showrooming is making it harder to compete with online retailers who compete solely on price.  IBM says that In five years, new innovations will make buying local du jour once again.  Savvy retailers will use the immediacy of the store and proximity to customers to create experiences that cannot be replicated by online-only retail.  They will magnify the digital experience by bringing the web right to where the shopper can physically touch it.   For more, read the full story around “Buying Local Will Beat Online” 
3. Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well.   Imagine if treatment could be more specific and precise – where computers could help doctors understand how a tumor affects a patient down to their DNA and present a collective set of medications shown to best attack the cancer.   IBM is predicting that in five years, advances in big data analytics and emerging cloud-based cognitive systems coupled with breakthroughs in genomic research and testing could help doctors to accurately diagnose cancer and create personalized cancer treatment plans for millions of patients around the world.  Smart machines will take the output of full genome sequencing and scour vast repositories of medical records and publications to learn and quickly provide specific and actionable insights on treatment options for oncologists.  For more, read the full story around “Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well”    
4. A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online.  IBM says that by 2019, each of us could be protected with our own digital guardian that will become trained to focus on our digital and physical assets, offering a new level of identity theft protection. Security will assimilate contextual, situational and historical data to verify a person’s identity on different devices. By learning about users, a digital guardian can make inferences about what’s normal or reasonable activity and what’s not, acting as an advisor when they want it to.  For more, read the full story around “A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online”     
5. The City Will Help You Live In It.    IBM has been leading the discussion around Smarter Cities  for about five years.   IBM is saying now that within five years Smarter Cities will be able to react more in real time.  Computers will learn to understand what people need, what they like, what they do, and how they move from place to place.   Soon it will be possible for cities and their leaders to understand and digest new information freely provided by citizens, knowing which city resources are needed, where and when, so the city can dynamically optimize around the needs of the citizens.   For more, read the full story around “The City Will Help you Live In It”.

There is much more content for you to learn more about each one of the 5 in 5 prediction scenarios.   For more information, you can check out

And, if you want to, you can explore all the past lists of IBM 5 in 5 projects and how those technologies have progressed since appearing on the list.  For that go to Five in Five—where are they now?

IDC Retail Insights: Predictions for 2012 for the Retail Industry

IDC has released its IDC Retail Insights' Predictions for 2012 via it’s annual predictions conference call.  This was a global predictions call and was focused broadly on all types of financial services.  There are also other calls coming up that focus on regional predictions in both Europe and Asia as well as calls specific to sub-industries within Financial Services.   

Leading this conference call was Bob Parker Group Vice President.  Other IDC Retail Insights team members on the call were

Summary

According to IDC Retail Insights, the economic indicators are strong going into 2012.  IDC believes that year to year spending growths for Retail Industry segments will range from a low of 3.9% for for Home Furnishing to a high of 5.6% for Drug Stores.  Spending will grow the fastest in the software at 5.8% year to year, while services growth will be lowest at 3.5%.  Asia Pacific is poised to grow the fastest at 4.8% while Western Europe will only row at 3.6%.

The IDC Retail Insights team also confirmed four major IT trends that are reshaping the industry:  Cloud Computing, Social Computing, Mobile Computing, and Analytics.

The Ten Predictions

The 2012 predictions list below was sourced from the conference call slides.

  1. Growth Strategy. “Consumers, not products or channels, create the basis for growth strategies.”
  2. New Retail IT Model. “The Omni-Channel Consumer directs a new Retail IT model for the industry – O3.” 
  3. Innovative & Efficient. “Retailers will race to innovate and will operate more efficiently.”
  4. Synchronicity. “Retailers will synchronize the supply chain with the clock speed of their customers.”
  5. Brand Experiences. “Retailers will create great brand experiences by enabling engaged employee experiences.”
  6. Customer Engagement. “Planning paradigms will begin to evolve to support genuine customer brand engagement strategies.”
  7. Assortment Planning. “Continuous assortment planning (AP) orchestrated for space becomes the planning hub.”
  8. Store Evolution. “The store evolves – welcome to the Omnichannel Store.”
  9. Social Conversations. “Customer experience improvements that boost online conversion will go beyond the web store.”
  10. Delivery Models. “eCommerce delivery models will fragment.” 

For More Information

Jack Uldrich: Predictions for 2012

Jack Uldrich is a well known author, blogger, columnist, keynote speaker, and global futurist.  Two books of his I recommend are 1) Jump the Curve: 50 Essential Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of Emerging Technologies and The Next Big Thing is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business.

Uldrich has released his list of predictions for 2012.  I like reading his list every year because his predictions are integrated into stories and potential scenarios that could very well happen.  The stories and scenarios bring the predictions to life and helps you imagine other uses for the predicted technology trend.

Here’s a summary of his list

  1. Blackout Friday. Retailers will admit to using advanced facial recognition software.
  2. Collegiate Guarantees.   University helps unemployed alumni with special offer.
  3. Augmented Political Reality.  A mobile app to help voters match candidates to special interest groups
  4. Potty “Gaming”.  A new game to help parents potty-train their toddlers.
  5. Urban Crops.  A city will initiate a major focus on urban farming to feed it’s citizens.
  6. Paparazzi Drones.    Advanced miniature robotic drones to be applied to the celebrity industry.
  7. Virtual Grocery Stores.  Subway walls to become a smartphone enabled virtual grocery store..
  8. Nano-Drugs.   Trial program launched to apply groundbreaking nanoscience technology to cancer treatment
  9. Networked Traffic.    Social networking apps to reduce traffic congestion.
  10. Phone Food Sensors.  New device attached to smartphones chemically analyzes food while shopping at grocery stores.

You can read the detail behind Uldrich’s list at his blog  http://jumpthecurve.net/health-care/futurist-jack-uldrichs-predictions-for-2012/

JWT: 10 Consumer Trends For 2012

A recent JWT press release 10 Trends That Will Shape Our World in 2012 caught my eye.  The press release announced the publication of JWT’s seventh annual forecast of key trends that will impact consumer decision making and purchase behavior.

This is a good annual list to take a look at for those in the B2C world.  Consumer behavior is shifting constantly and it’s important to understand why, how, and where those shifts are happening.

To research and develop it’s top ten list, JWT uses data gathered via quantitative surveys of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. as well as input from JWT employees, clients, and other influencers across a number of industries.

JWT’s Top Ten Trends:  Themes uncovered in the survey data include uncertainty about the economic future, the ongoing drumbeat of new technology in our lives, and and a new theme of shared responsibility with a focus on making better food purchase decisions.

Here’s my summary of the ten trends on JWT’s list…

  1. Navigating the New Normal:  Continued economic conditions force brands to develop new entry points for cost-sensitive consumers.
  2. Live a Little:  Overstressed consumers look to splurge once in a while or at least escape from the many worries of the day.
  3. Generation Go:  Enabled by technology, twentysomethings grow up and transform themselves, with many of them starting their own business
  4. The Rise of Shared Value:  Increasingly, some corporations are deciding that making a profit and being socially responsible can be achieved at the same time.
  5. Food as the New Eco-Issue:  The environmental impact of our food choices will become a more prominent concern.
  6. Marriage Optional:  Increasingly, women are taking an alternate life route, one that doesn’t include marriage as an essential checkpoint.
  7. Reengineering Randomness:  Greater emphasis will be placed on reintroducing randomness, discovery, inspiration and different points of view into our worlds.
  8. Screened Interactions:  Consumers are increasingly expecting to interact (touch, gesture, speech) with flat screens and surfaces
  9. Celebrating Aging:  Medical and cultural advances help seniors redefine what it means to grow old.
  10. Objectifying Objects:  Technology increasingly gets 1) embedded in all sorts of objects and 2) enables the creation of totally new products and services

For More Information