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Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center published findings on a survey they conducted on Millennials. Among the findings, the survey discovered that Millennials, now ranging in age from 18 to 33, are…

…relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.

For marketers, this research is valuable. There are over 70 million Millennials in the United States, according to the Census Bureau, so brands have a lot to gain by developing a successful strategy to win over this segment.

In a recent article in Branding Strategy Insider entitled, “Marketing’s New ROI Framework,” author Mark Di Somma highlighted these particular findings from the Pew Research survey…

  • They (Millennials) are low on social trust compared with Gen Xers and baby boomers.
  • They are highly brand aware, but cynical—and not brand loyal. Companies basically must compete for loyalty with each purchase.
  • They’re tech savvy and require more brand interaction opportunities than just advertising
  • They have a significant footprint in Facebook
  • They are very much a word of mouth generation – their research takes place on social media

As a result, Di Somma argues, for Millennials, “no one aspect (of marketing) clinches the deal. Instead, loyalty is earned on a decision by decision basis and it’s based on factors ranging from advertising through to social buzz and peer acceptance.” And he feels that all consumer segments are heading in this direction.

In order to be successful in addressing this new consumer mentality, Di Somma believes that executives need to break out of the mindset where they feel they are making one investment in marketing. Instead, he feels that a “portfolio” approach needs to be taken where each marketing activity has a specific objective, requires an investment and delivers a return. The challenge then becomes finding the the right mix of activities.

At Origami Logic, we like the new framework and we agree with Di Somma that getting it right won’t be easy. Beyond the mental shift that the new framework requires, accurate, timely understanding of performance, delivered through a commitment to marketing measurement, will become even more important. It’s the ability to understand marketing performance, at both the micro (i.e., for a specific activity) and macro (i.e., across activities for a particular objective) level that will enable a metric-driven portfolio approach. This is not easy, as it requires an organization to break down the data silos that are sprouting up all over marketing.

What do you think about Di Somma’s new ROI framework for marketing? Do you feel that your organization has the mentality and the measurement infrastructure to make it happen? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below.

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