Time Inc. UK has created a youth-focused research panel in response to new insight that challenges widely-accepted views about millennials.
The New Mainstream research found that three in four 18-34 year-olds do not identify with the millennial label, and suggests that the group should be broken down into six more specific market segments.
Time Inc. UK said its new youth panel, named The Stream, would be an ongoing initiative "to further industry understanding of the diverse personas within the millennial audience and discover key influences, so that marketers and advertisers can better engage and unlock their commercial power".
Commercial partners will be offered the opportunity to uncover real-time insight and improve the accuracy of targeting as the audience – and the segments – continue to evolve.
Romano Sidoli, Managing Director of Time Inc. UK’s Innovation Group, said: “The danger of advertisers not thinking about this audience in the right way is that they are at risk of their campaigns only reaching the very edges of the group, or missing them completely.
"Millennials are often perceived as one audience instead of the six, individual groups we are seeing and we want to spell the end of that broad brush approach."
The New Mainstream research uncovered six diverse audience segments and personas, and is based on quantitative research with a nationally representative pool of 2,000 18-34 year- olds carried out by d.fferento/ogy.
• Responsible Rebels (10%) – mainly aged 25-34 [56%] with almost half being parents [43%], this group is career-focussed, earn the highest income of the segments and are high spenders. They have a broad range of interests and they follow experts, media brands and friends on social media.
• Urban Optimists (18%) – mainly aged 25 – 34 (61%) similar to the Responsible Rebels, Urban Optimists have a high income and high spend compared to other millennials. This group like their discovery to be curated by trusted sources (43%) and while they are keen to discover new brands, trust those they are already purchasing from. The content that engages them tends to be inspiring and personal.
• Troubled Traditionalists (23%) – mainly female [67%], have medium income, enjoy eating out and invest in experiences. Troubled Traditionalists are less likely to follow brands on social media, prefer to do their own research or recommendations from family or friends. They want honest, knowledgeable and entertaining content.
• Sofa Surfers (22%) – mainly aged 25-34 [71%] with a lower income and many being unemployed [12%]. They are low spenders with few interests. This group is the least likely to interact with brands – it tends to be friends they engage with on social media – or seek out new consumer brands.
• Hashtag Heroes (11%) – the youngest of the personas, those aged 18-21 (44%) are most likely to be a Hashtag Hero than any other group and 60% are female. Typically students or at the start of their career, they are most interested in music, tech and eating out, spending their money mainly on socialising. Entertaining content is what draws them in and they tend to follow brands and experts on social media.
• Crowdsourcing Consumers (16%) – this audience tends to be male (54%), have a medium income but are quite big spenders. Direct and authoritative content will engage them, with playful tone also piquing their interest.