What Marketers Now Realize about Millennials and Print

This is a great report from Jeff Shapiro, founder and CEO at Impact Mailers.

You know it’s a thing when the marketing sites are writing about it. That “thing” is the mounds of data being collected that show millennials show a strong preference for print media.

“Counterintuitive as it may sound, the more our lives are influenced by digital media, the more we are drawn to print as a retreat from the online space. This unexpected tendency is especially noticeable in a demographic you’d least expect to trend this way: millennials and their younger siblings (what’s being called Generation Z),” writes Nicholas Brown in MarketingProfs.

Brown is referencing data that drives home a couple of key points:

  • Statistically, Millennials view print as more trustworthy and authoritative than digital content; and
  • They report a stronger emotional connection to messages views in paper and ink.

“For marketers, all this means that a proper reallocation of resources might be necessary to acknowledge and respond to offline consumer preferences,” Brown notes.

Brown’s article goes on to cite several other studies and reports that back up what we’ve been finding about Millennials and print.

Why the appeal? Part of it is the tangible, touchy nature of print, which makes it so compelling to a generation raised on text messages and Farmville. Millennials are getting all touchy, and print fits that vibe perfectly.

Another Millennial trend? They’re book nerds. (Wear it with pride, guys and gals.) In fact, they are more likely to have read a book over the last year than older folks, notes Neil Howe in Forbes.

We are glad that the marketing pros are talking about this openly now. Millennials are a powerful and growing buying force, and brands have been trying valiantly to tap into them. But this consumer group is notoriously tough to target; they are savvy to digital ads, often ignoring them and laying waste to digital spend. Yes, they spend huge amounts of time engaging online, but they are tuning out interruptive digital ad practices and “fake news.”

If you’re looking to engage Millennials in a trustworthy, authoritative and compelling way, we know where they’re hiding.

Print – old school and new niche – is where this generation goes when it matters.