What You Need to Know About Millennial Entrepreneurs
- 4 Comments
- November 25th, 2007
Entrepreneurship keeps attracting younger and younger people — including “millennials,” i.e., those twenty-somethings and teens born since 1980. Since entrepreneurs are consumers first and business owners second, you have to understand their thinking as consumers.
A recent article in Advertising Age offers a fascinating glimpse into millennials’ thinking and debunks certain assumptions we may make about this group. In “Millennials: Clued in or Clueless?” the author, Carol Phillips, a marketing instructor at Notre Dame, writes:
Marketers are fascinated by Gen Y’s youngest cohort, the Millennials — and with good reason: They are an important market today and will become even more important as they graduate, start jobs, marry and establish households.
How to communicate effectively with Millennials is the topic of many research studies. … [W]e are informed that they have lived in a media-saturated world from a young age. Consequently, they are clued in to — and tuned out of — marketers’ most ingenious means of influence.
To the last pronouncement, I ask, “Really?” My classroom provides a front-row seat to just what many college students know about marketing’s basic principles, strategies and methods. Their naiveté regarding retailers’ role, the true target for many brands, the rules on pricing and how product placement comes about might surprise you.
Here are my top 10 observations about what college students don’t know about marketing and the implications for marketers.
She goes on to outline what millennials believe about 10 marketing facts and the implications for marketers — all making for useful insights.
Some of these points translate into B2B products targeting young entrepreneurs. For instance, the author says that millennials don’t realize that most product placements are paid, yet they pay attention to them. On the other hand, they view their mobile phones as communication, not media, and don’t tolerate intrusive advertising on their phones without some free service in compensation.
If you translate this article to millennial entrepreneurs, there’s a lot to think about. For example, the article to me suggests that rather than spending money on advertising in places such as mobile phones that is likely to be viewed negatively, try product placements instead.
I’m just waiting for the TV shows to start about 20-something entrepreneurs working on their startups, filled with business product placements.
PS, note to any millennial marketers or business owners: I didn’t say you were naive. Those were the words of the author of the Advertising Age article.