Slides for “Social TV, Transmedia Storytelling and Beyond” by Rick Liebling from Millennial Mega Mashup available here.
A major part of understanding Millennials can be explained by the SCARF model (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness), where there are five traits that can either serve as a reward or a threat to individuals. First, status is extremely important to teens as their identity is their status. If they are happy with who they are, this can be seen as a reward, but if not, it becomes a threat to their everyday lives. Certainty is also something that concerns them as part of growing up is not knowing what’s in store, especially given the time in which Millennials are graduating. But if they plan ahead and have a path, it becomes a reward rather than a state of threat.
Next is autonomy — the freedom to do something. Millennials are often denied of this as their parents, teachers, and administrators have control over them, but if given more freedom, they view it as a reward and embrace it, rather than feel threatened. Relatedness refers to the collaboration of trust. Millennials tend to have a close circle of friends as they aren’t very trusting of everyone around them. They also face peer pressure given their age, so if they don’t trust someone they view it as a harmful but if they do it’s a reward. Lastly, fairness is hard to come by but people feel rewarded if they see someone else treated fairly, or if they themselves are treated fairly. Yet most of the time, they don’t see or experience fairness and they thus feel threatened.
These five areas are essential in interpreting he Millennial mind, and moreover, in realizing how to market to this age group; focus on rewarding them through these principles."
— “Dispatches From The Millennial Mega Mashup: Neuoscience 101 & Understanding Gen Y” on YPulse
1. Parenthood doesn’t equal marriage
Marriage used to be the first sign of adulthood, with this audience it is the last. Only 21% of Millennials are married under 30 and that is unlikely to change, (40% boomers, 30% Gen X)
2. Multi: Cultural, Generational, Relational
Cultural hybrids are the new normal, more millennials are living in multi-generational homes (and Boomer grandparents are having a “second parenthood”) and Millennial parents are influenced by a new network of relationships
3. Super mom is dead
Millennial moms are more educated then any previous generation, 61% has a master’s degree, but more are working part time then Xer moms, and 52% of Millennial moms identify as Stay at Home Moms. As part of comes the rise of the “Mommy-Prenuers.”
4. “This is the new workforce”
Millennial Dads earn less degrees then their female counterparts and between 2007 and 2011 the number of un or underemployed dads doubled. And they’re OK with that: 68% will choose less money for time with their kids. Millennial Dads spend 45 minutes to 1 hour longer then older dads on a weekday.
5. Well rounded, balanced, not perfect
“I’m going to say yes to both” Millennial parents multitask it all at the same time. Technology, their backgrounds and the economy have all conspired to make it possible and probably for Millennials to do more.
Millennial parents turn to outside sources much more than previous generations and share with their extended community as well. “Share-enting” is a more “it takes a village” attitude to child rearing
Andrew Slack, Creator, Co-founder, and Executive Director, The Harry Potter Alliance presented an enormously quote-able, tweet-able presentation on “Using Story to Change the Story of Our World” based on his experience founding the Harry Potter Alliance and using the fandom to help social causes. Other takeaways were:
“you’re not just a wave, you’re a part of the whole ocean”
“the court of public opinion is more important then the actual court”
“The towers of Tower Records have fallen”
“Finding where the energy is in the culture and then moving that energy to create action in the world, that’s “Cultural Acupuncture.”
Our day wrapped up at Millennial Mega Mashup with our live Tween focus group. We learned some interesting things from this group of (super confident!) 8-12 year olds. For example:
Their interests were diverse: when describing their lives family, friends and pets were mentioned alongside sports and volunteering. Justice Clothing, Disney Channel and the World Wrestling Federation all got mentions as favorite brands.
Facebook is “boring:” one of the Tweens (who technically, is not old enough to use the service) dismisses it as just a place to look at pictures, she prefers twitter for interaction
Technology is a huge part of their lives: Every participant mentioned technology, from phones to DVD players to PSPs to iPads to iPods. If stuck on a desert island with 3 items, most of those items would be technology.
And yet… When asked to choose what one thing they would want the most for a birthday present objects (clothes, toys, a paintball gun) and experiences (a limo ride, a trip to Universal studios) won out.
Moms are cooler then dads. (but it’s only relative, Dads are just more “weird and embarrassing”)
Millennials want more adventures: when asked to reinvent an industry such as video games, vacations or TV multiple participants used this word. Be it experiencing it themselves or through entertainment, these kids are ready for an adventure.
We heard a little bit about use of social media with TV this morning from Channon Cook, but Mick Kelleher provided a deep dive this afternoon. ESPN, being a Cable network, skews older, so X Games is using social media integration to re-engage the younger, Millennial audience and drive interest and attention to the live event.
Using Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube and more, X Games delivers uniquely tailored content to each channel. Polls and caption contest drive fan feedback on Facebook for example, whereas providing athlete Twitter handles may be a more useful activity for Twitter.
Once I got over my personal jealous of their worldwide trending tweets and 1,100 retweets I could see some takeaways here for any marketer:
- Provide timely, relevant content (X Games loads event video within 2 minutes!)
- Keep it short and sweet (YouTube content isn’t longer then 2 minutes, Twitter 110 characters) allow room for the audience to personalize and share
- Speak to your demographic in their own voice: look at what language your fans use and speak back to them - authentically - in that tone
- Don’t make noise: X Games has key athlete stars, more unrelated content doesn’t get shared. Stick to your core messages.