Study: Millennials More Influenced by Print Ads

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 18 Mar, 2016

A new study is shedding light on the best way to market to millennials (the age group born between 1981 and 1997), suggesting that the customer segment may be more influenced by print media than digital media.


The "Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse" study from print and marketing services provider Quad/Graphics, shows that even though millennials are the most digital-savvy generation, nearly half ignore digital advertising. What's more, 77 percent pay the greatest attention to direct mail, while 73 percent pay the most attention to retail inserts and 54 percent attention to catalogs (see image). Additional data shows that nearly half of millennials have made a purchase because of something they read about in a magazine.



"By 2020, millennial spending power will surge to an estimated $1.4 trillion - just as they are reaching key life milestones such as getting married, purchasing a home and becoming parents," said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics. "It is critical for marketers in these industry segments to capture the attention and influence of these consumers early on in their buying journey."


It is also important to note that the study revealed that more than half of millennials read retail email, which is the highest among any other type of email marketing. Moreover, less than 1 in 10 millennials have based a purchase decision on what's happening in a social network, and 47 percent of millennial mobile users have discovered brands via social media (see image). Lastly, the study found that millennials tend to be both cost-conscious and multichannel consumers, who not only shop from catalogs and leverage print coupons, but mobile coupons too.


"Millennials are a connected, media-astute generation who are completely in control of when and how they engage with content across an ever-growing number of media channels," Quadracci said. "This has created a crisis of measurement for marketers who are challenged to optimize their marketing spend across channels to break through the clutter, engage with the end user, and increase response and loyalty. Our report shows that millennials engage with different channels for different reasons with all of them contributing value on the path to purchase. Further, our research supports that brands perform better when using a balanced approach with online and offline channels."