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Don’t Judge a Demographic by its Cover

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The other day my daughter was stubbornly committed to using her persuasion skills to convince me to allow her to spend $25 of her allowance on a new Monster High doll. I thought for a moment and then replied, “Honey, do you really want to spend $25 of your hard-earned dollars on another doll?” She looked at me for a moment and then said something I was not prepared to hear. “Mom, she said. I am going to go home and get on the computer and print a coupon or maybe I can find a good used one on E-Bay.” At that moment I was both proud and dumbfounded.

I myself have aspirations of becoming a coupon queen. You know the kind of couponer you see on reality television that can purchase $1200 worth of stuff for $25, so I was happy my money-saving philosophy had rubbed off, but I was temporarily at a loss for words. After what seemed like five minutes I said, ” o.k. give it a shot!” Although I was happy she knew the value of using a coupon, I had to wonder if she would end up being the last of the technology savvy generations (Z or Millennial generation) standing in a retail line with a paper coupon. After all I thought, my sister-in-law who is just barely thirty gets embarrassed just thinking about using a coupon. A little secondary research set the record straight.

Millennials were the subject of recent Forbes Blog Why Integrated Marketing Communications is More Important Than Ever. This blog cited surveys from Marketingcharts.com, which found that 81 percent of Millennials spend their retail dollars in brick-and-mortar stores and for fifty-one percent the newspaper was their top source for coupons and deals. I had made the mistake no marketer should make. I had assumed that because technology use was so prominent in this younger demographic that they would loose interest in traditional marketing methods and channels. As it turns out, Millennials look for savings in the same places the rest of us do and this is a great reminder of why integration is so vital in marketing communications. And I admit, I should not have been so fast to judge this demographic by its cover.

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