3 Key Differences Between Marketing to Millennials and Zoomers
While there are many similarities between both groups, marketers need to understand how — and why — they differ
Millennials and Generation Z, or Zoomers, are often conflated as a youth-oriented hivemind when it comes to marketing. However, with the oldest millennials nearing 40, there are clearly some critical differences between these demographics.
In this article, we’ll explain what those differences are.
Millennials vs Zoomers
As with all generational groups, who counts as a millennial or a zoomer is defined by when they were born. The exact boundaries vary depending on the information source used, but generally speaking, the millennial era runs from 1980 to 1995, while Generation Z begins in 1996 and stretches into the mid-2000s. Knowing the specific beginning and endpoints is less important than understanding the relative age of members of both groups and the kinds of economic and societal pressures unique to their life experience.
Both generations grew up with the internet, but it was new to the Millennials, who embraced it with abandon. A millennial is rarely far from a digital device of some kind and tends to be more transparent online than a Zoomer. Marketers will likely have an easier time collecting personal data from them, especially given their penchant for online shopping.
Zoomers, meanwhile, came of age as smartphones became more sophisticated, and connect with the world primarily through that device. They’re more private with their online postings, but also more willing to engage with non-traditional ways of gathering information, such as YouTube videos. Any campaign targeted towards Gen Z needs to be mobile friendly, or it may as well not exist.
Both groups are social media savvy, but gravitate towards different services. While Instagram is a hit for either generation, Millennials still use Facebook and Zoomers live on TikTok.
Money and Life Goals
Neither generation is particularly interested in hitting the established life milestones of marriage, home ownership, or parenthood, instead preferring to define success and happiness for themselves.
Both generations crave financial security, though Millennials want to find a job that will let them grow and advance, while Zoomers are more entrepreneurial in their approach to careers. Marketers need to understand that Millennials tend to be more idealistic and value teamwork over individuality; messages of pulling together for a greater purpose are likely to resonate with them.
Zoomers are also drawn to making a difference in the world but are more competitive and less likely to give up financial security to achieve a feeling of purpose at work. They also see financial independence as a sign of adulthood — a key motivation marketers can use in messaging.
Millennials vs Zoomers, the Return
The most important thing for marketers to keep in mind when dealing with these two generations is that suggesting they’re anything alike will probably lead to disaster. Zoomers think Millennials are childish and cling too strongly to the brands they loved as children.
Millennials, meanwhile, often see Zoomers as brats who don’t have any idea what the real world is like. They absolutely have a lot in common: Both are tech and internet savvy, worried about their financial futures, and want to make the world a better place. Just don’t tell them that.