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What can Pharma learn from Millennials?

Mette Kudahl|4th September 2014

Like many others who work in London, I spend a significant amount of time reading articles online and staying up-to-date with the news during my commute to work; usual sources include: BBC World News, The Daily Beast, LinkedIn blog posts, and any other “suggested” content shoe-horned into my various timelines and feed-readers.

It was an article in my news feed that triggered the idea for this blog post. I've noticed over the past few months that a significant number of headlines have been focusing on the thoughts and opinions of the ‘millennial’.

According to various sources a millennial (also know as Generation Y) is:

a twenty-something detached from institutions and networked with friends, more positive about the future despite higher levels of loans and has (unrealistically) high expectations to what the workplace and society should offer them.

I am a twenty-something who fits right into the definition of a millennial; I grew up in the suburbs with helicopter parents always telling me that I could achieve whatever I wanted as long as I worked hard enough. If I had tattoos and piercings I am sure I would have scored 100/100 in Pew Research Center’s test “How millennial are you?

This made me think about what I already know and how I process information. Most of my opinions are shaped by experiences and existing knowledge, as well as daily information providing insights to any topic that grabs my attention. 

While a great part of knowledge and experience come with age, a distinct difference between millennials and other generations is the flow of daily information. In order to understand their opinions, we need to know what information millenials are exposed to on a daily basis. 

The non-decision-making power of agenda setting held by traditional newspapers is not as it used to be. The user has the ability to set his or her own agenda and filter content based on personal interest.

Millennials are native to setting their own news content using and filtering content based on their preferences. We were born at the start of the Information Age (aka the Digital Age), therefore adoption of technology is second nature, we’re used to no, we expect  the ability to filter content to our various devices. 

Why is this interesting?

Understanding how behaviour and opinions are shaped is key in marketing. If you don’t know this, then you have a long way to go in terms of reaching your customers with the value propositions of what you have to offer them as a company. The era of the information society has resulted in a need for customers and consumers to be able to filter information and not necessarily find information – loads of information is available, but information that is meaningful can be difficult to find. 

Customer-centric marketing requires insight about the media landscape of your customers, and an understanding of their preferences, if you want to target them.

Millennials are an example of why insights about your customers’ media landscape and their technological literacy is of high importance if you want to make sure they can hear you through all the noise.

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