Data-Driven Marketing

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How Marketers Need To Engage Millennials

Posted by Chris Winter on Sep 10, 2016 3:51:59 AM


Visual engagement analytics firm Sticky recently ran a study to compare how hard it is to engage Baby Boomers vs. Millennials with digital ads. They evaluated the digital ads on the AOL Lifestyle site featured below. The results may surprise you. 

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  1. Baby Boomers See the Ads Up to 3x More than Millennial Do
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As you can tell, there are three areas in question: The Seamless Ad, Zodiac Signs, and the AOL Lifestyle Ad. In all three areas, it was easier to engage the Baby Boomers than the Millennials.

Seamless Ad: 31% of Millennials see it; 83% of Baby Boomers see it.

Zodiac Signs: 31% of Millennials see it; 70% of Baby Boomers see it.

AOL Lifestyle Ad: 6% of Millennials see it; 83% of Baby Boomers see it.


  1. Baby Boomers See the Ads Faster than Millennials 
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Seamless Ad: It takes Millennials 5.5 seconds to see the ad; Baby Boomers see it in 4.5 seconds.

Zodiac Signs: It takes Millennials 10.9 seconds to see the ad; Baby Boomers see it in 8 seconds.

AOL Lifestyle Ad: It takes Millennials 13.4 seconds to see the ad; Baby Boomers see it in 11.2 seconds.


  1. Baby Boomers Engage with the Ads for Longer
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Seamless Ad: Millennials look at the ad for 0.5 seconds; Baby Boomers look at it for 2 seconds.

Zodiac Signs: Millennials look at the ad for 0.9 seconds; Baby Boomers look at it for 1.5 seconds.

AOL Lifestyle Ad: Millennials look at the ad for 0.2 seconds; Baby Boomers look at it for 1.6 seconds.



Key Takeaways

Since Millennials have grown up in the digital world, they’re more familiar with it, so they’re better than Baby Boomers at filtering out what they don’t want to see (this is also the age group most likely to have ad blockers on their browsers). Therefore, marketers need to try even harder to engage Millennials, and they’ll need to try new things like different page placements and funny, relevant content to earn the engagement and attention of their audience.


Where Email Comes In

Some people still believe that email isn’t “cool” enough for Millennials. In 2010 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared email dead saying, “We don’t think that a modern messaging system is going to be email”. Statements like those caused many marketers to doubt email as a way of reaching Millennials. However, it has since become absolutely clear that yes, millennials use email!

Research from Adestra points out that almost three quarters (73%) of millennials prefer email, because it’s “part of everyday life.” Millennials just use email differently. While social media is used for everyday messaging with friends and family, email provides a relevant channel for brands to offer the personal, relevant experience that millennials crave.

According to Inc., Millennials are the most brand-loyal of any previous generation. When they choose to engage with your brand, it means they really do want to be a part of the community. The more you can build an identity, community, and sense of something bigger than what you sell, the more millennials will embrace you.

Learn more about how Visual Engagement Analysis can help take your digital campaigns to the next level. Contact Us.

Topics: email, email engagement, millennials

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