The term Millennials is used extnsively by marketers, advertisers, journalists and government departments as a catch all term for people aged between 20 - 38. Marketing Metrix believe the picture painted by these groups is tarring all Millennials with the same brush.

So, who are these Millennial's?

Frustrated by the overuse of this term, Marketing Metrix decided to carry out some analysis specifically looking at Millennials living in London.

The Myth

Most advertisers and journalists would have you believe that London Millennials are a homogenous group defined typically as:

  • White middle class
  • Left wing and politically active
  • Work in the tech industry
  • Vegan or vegetarian
  • Privileged
  • Too woke for their own good
  • Opinionated

Indeed, this month’s GQ would have us believe Millennials are sophisticated art investors; never mind straddling student debt and difficulties getting on the housing market, Millennials are looking to invest in a Warhol.

The Truth

There are roughly 3.5 million people in London aged 20 – 38 and, if you hadn’t noticed, most of these do not fit into the millennial myth.

'Millennials and the city

Marketing Metrix conducted a large piece of research to look at who these London Millennials are and have come up with some interesting results.

Using machine learning algorithms, MM segmented Londoners aged 20 – 38 into eleven distinct groups and developed a segmentation tool called ‘Millennials and the City’.

Each segment has its own name which describes its makeup. The groups reflect the deep diversity within London and most segments are unrecognisable from the general perception of the typical Millennial.

The groups are as follows:

Of the eleven groups, Outside the Bubble make up 16% of Millennials in London. These are some of the least affluent Londoners and are a far cry from the archetypal Millennial. Many of these are working in the gig economy, making pizzas as opposed to making software.

Fractured Towers comprise 18% of London Millennials, mainly living in council blocks and many feel isolated not only from the millennial footprint but from London life.

So already, these two groups are a far cry from the guardian reading, latte sipping, woke, bearded millennial. Combined, these segments represent approximately 1.2 million young adults, the majority of which voted to leave.

Tech Warriors and Gym Junkies account for 14% of London Millennials and they are probably the closest fit to the Media’s portrayal of a Millennial. These two groups are Remainers (Remoaners), working in tech jobs in the city, or maybe employed in the arts impressing patrons with their classical education. Almost certainly, these are early adopters of new trends with many leading the charge for vegan burgers, some eating them in restaurants, others talking loudly about eating them in restaurants and others eagerly investing in them with the likes of Beyond Meat. These two groups are the Jeremy Corbyn obsessed Millennials that the Press focus on and advertisers talk to, all to the exclusion of most of the other groups and certainly the two disadvantaged groups mentioned earlier.

Probably the most extreme but miniscule group is the Nightsbridge Knights (sic). As the name might suggest, this tiny group of extremely wealthy individuals, many of whom are middle eastern or Russian and live and operate around Knightsbridge and drive their supercars around at night.  

Advertisers believe that Millennials don’t watch TV or read newspaper - wrong. Tech Warriors read the FT, especially if it’s to hand at their favourite Dalston coffee shops, and the Golf Awaits segment love TV.

So, the 3.5 million Millennials living in London are not, as some would suggest, a homogenous ‘community’ but are one of the most divergent groups not only in the UK but possibly the world.

Millennials and Advertising

Millennials are seen as a tricky generation to navigate and ultimately convert into customers. However, by adapting and evolving marketing strategies to more appropriately suit specific millennial groups, as opposed to talking to all Millennials in the same manner, the possibilities are endless.

Consider this, not only are they the largest living generation in London, but many are approaching a period of high-salaried jobs.  When both the numbers and the money are there the world is the advertiser’s oyster.

Final Thought

Marketing Metrix considers the term Millennials as misleading at best. Stereotyping an entire population based on a small group is reductionist. The advertising world is all about one to one communication and doing the maths you only need 8 different facts and 8 different outcomes, to produce 16.77 million combinations, or 16.77 million individuals.

So cut the easy route, loose the Millennial moniker and do some real targeting and journalism…………