Why are we so interested in Millenials? Because we don’t fully understand them. And they could care less.
This is thought I had coming off of the Millennial Impact Conference (or #MCON2012) put on by Achieve with support from The Case Foundation, AFP, NTEN, and The Chonicle of Philanthropy. I myself have been caught up in the discussion around Millennials and giving before and why you should care joining the many blogs, webinars, articles, etc. on this subject. It all made me wonder “Why do we care?”
And then I read this article, “Stalking the elusive millennial male” in the Globe and Mail and it all came together. This topic, Millennials, is interesting because we don’t understand it. Our past ways of communicating, marketing and fundraising don’t connect with this group and they/we/Millennials don’t care. And they/we/Millennials aren’t going to wait around until you figure them out. That’s why we have a “man crush” on Millenials (NOTE: I use “man crush” because of the Globe and Mail article as well as the fact that I saw David Beckham in person for the first time on Wednesday so it is very relevant).
Millennials are like John Travolta in Grease. The new guy that comes to town that is misunderstood but has potential you can see in him even if he can’t see it in himself so you want to bring it out of him and he pretends to not care about you like that but deep down he’s a nice guy who cares a great deal. It’s a perfect crush scenario.
If you don’t give us great digital content in the channels we like when we like it, forget you! You want to speak to me like you speak to my dad, forget you! You want to show me sad pictures to make me feel guilty, forget you! You want to spam me until I cave and give, forget you! We Millennials have had the world center around us since birth, get more opportunities in a week than our grandparents had in a lifetime and now marketers, like Kraft, and nonprofits, as indicated by #MCON2012, are bending to our wishes as well.
And why? Because whether you’re a company or a nonprofit so much of what you know and have had success doing in the past is irrelevant with us and doesn’t work. And it drives you nuts. And we love it.