Being digital in 2018 : Forget the millenials !

Among the many reasons cited to justify the digital transformation of a business, the digitization or launch of a 100% offer there are the millenials.

And why not ? The segmentation is the basics of marketing. Age based segmentation has been around for ages and new generation means new behaviors.


Millenials : an argument you can see right through it and an hackneyed argument.

But it’s easy to see right through the “millenials” argument.

Before,we had baby boomers,X…with geneations lasting from 30 to 40 years. Enough to mean a significant change in behaviors, skills or expectations.

Then we had Gen Z,millenials, digital natives, Gen G. Some follow one another, others overlap. Too fast, too short not to look like a distraction strategy, a marketing concept or a wild rush forward used to justify tomorrow’s projects without having to explain while yesterday’s failed.New generation, new context, new project.

Each time it’s quite the same behavioral promise and each time a new generation comes 2 years later. A way to admit that the previous one did not bring that much change.

So using the impact of new generations to justify a project may not be such a good idea.

• Millenials are a market. Lots of people are making money on them by offering consulting to businesses. But the trick is too visible and by always being told that a the generations that will change everything and eventually see that it changes nothing, leaders will be less and less likely to fall into the trap.

•Because it’s a market, people who live on it only use numbers that show that millenials are a serious matter. There are too many myths about them, regarding Gen X what they expect from an employer is not intrinsically different but contextually different and people often confuse generations with life stages.

• Because millenials themselves don’t recognize themselves in the way they are depicted.

• Because millenials are fed up with being used as an alibi for doing anything. Inside organizations they are used to scare the elder and justify change. Regarding marketing I’m ok with the idea of an airline for millenials but when it flies to Teheran I wonder how “millenial” is the destination.

• Because playing generations off  against each other is a huge mistake.

• Because non millenial employees and customers think no one cares about them.

So millenial-washing comes with many downsides :

• it raises people against each others.

• it gives your leaders the impression you’re trying to circumvent them .

• it gives millenials the impression they’re being exploited.

Millenial-washing comes with many downsides

A good way to avoid making friends when one needs to unite people.

You can still use millenials to sell anything to your leadership but don’t say you have not been warned.

Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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