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Reaching the Millennial Man

Millennial men (or those of Gen Y) aren’t the typical ‘manly’ men you might have expected to encounter if you had anything to do with a male aged between 18 and 34 in the last few decades.

Things are changing and fast. But we know that. What’s interesting is the way they’re shopping and finding products, and how they are using their mobile devices to do it.

According to an April 2013 survey by JWT, gender roles are blurring, and you might expect a man to be highly involved in chores around the home, doing the household shopping, or looking after the kids. He might cook dinner more often than not, browse the shops, keep on top of the latest fashions, know which stores have sales coming up, or review restaurants.

But you can bet a millennial man won’t be giving his feedback to the maître-de on the way out. After he found the place on an app on his phone, and tried it based on others’ reviews, he’ll return to the site where he read about it and add his two cents.

And the thought of the millennial man trundling around the supermarket with the kids in tow, crossing items off the shopping list as he carefully scours the shelves won’t go far either. Sure, the millennial man might do the shopping, but he’ll probably be sitting on the couch filling an online shopping cart, while keeping up to date with the latest on Twitter.

As for keeping up with latest in fashion, the millennial man is image-conscious and knows what’s in style. According to the JWT study, the growth in sales of men’s apparel has consistently outpaced women’s over the last two years.

So what does this mean for your digital strategy? Well, here are a few things to think about:

-           Millennial men like to shop. But most prefer to shop online than in-store, and appreciate curated or personalized options that keep browsing at a minimum. Frank and Oak ask shoppers a few questions and then provide a tailored online shop for each visitor.  According to another US study done in January 2013, 40 per cent of male respondents said ideally they would buy everything online.

-           Research. Men are more likely than women to research products before purchasing them, and they’re enlisting their mobile devices to help them do this more and more. According to a WSL study, 68 per cent of millennial men say they feel they are better informed after reading online product reviews, and 58 per cent say they are ready to make a purchase after reading reviews.

-           Rewarding loyalty. The WSL study found 79 per cent of millennial men belonged to a frequent shopper programme, and 73 per cent said they received email alerts for shopping.

-           Mobile ads. Research carried out by Insight Express last year found millennial men were much more likely than women to remember seeing an ad on their mobile device, 69 per cent compared to 49 per cent of women. And 40 per cent of men reported they actively enjoyed mobile advertising.

How does your digital strategy target millennial men? Do you do anything special to target or engage with this cohort? We’re interested to hear your thoughts.