What Millennials crave rn!

Niraj Sharma |
 03/13/15 |
3 min read

Millennials are your ears burning? Nearly every brand I’ve spoken to in the last year somehow wants a piece of you. A piece of your wallet anyway. And so figuring you guys out has become the mission of many – including NetBase.

We’ve been slicing and dicing conversation by demographic for three years now, ever since #sxsw2012.  Maybe you remember our What Women Want infographic. It went viral .

Since Millennials have become a key interest to marketers lately, I looked at a sample of 100K of them to examine what they want, crave, eat, need, love, hate, drink, watch, etc.  The dataset included all comments by these individuals between September 2014 and March 2015, approximately 6 months.

Now you’ll see some pretty pictures below, but don’t admire them just for their beauty, think about how you’d apply the data to make million dollar business decisions.

Let’s review the insights as if we were a quick-serve restaurant looking to gain Millennial share of wallet. You could look at Millennials through other vertical lenses, but let’s see how deep we can go just for fast food – and learn what Millennials crave rn:

Our first visualization summarizes at a glance the attitudes and behaviors of 100K Millennials.  It reveals what they love, what they think is great, what makes them happy, what they hate, use, watch…I could keep going, but what I think most businesses care about is this: What does the target market want.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 2.54.40 PM

 And here we zeroed in on what Millennials WANT. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 1.12.20 PM

Food was certainly top of mind, particularly pizza and sushi. And they don’t just want it, they crave it.  Is there any stronger form of desire than that for food?

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Some brands would use this information alone, thinking it was enough. But it’s not.

From there NetBase determined various marketing opportunities – based on information from Millennials themselves. 

And the language Millennials relate to (to help brands avoid coming across as “old” or trying too hard) and ways to leverage that language creatively: Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 1.17.12 PM

Turns out they want sushi – and they want it “rn” (right now) – no that’s not a registered nurse they’re trying to order Japanese food from.

Of course where you engage Millennials makes a difference as well. Social audiences may seem captive, but breaking through the noise is trickier than herding cats, and brands need to use every option available to them.

In NetBase’s data, Netflix stood out in the conversation about sushi:

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 1.19.14 PM


What does the tweet cluster above suggest as a strategy? Advertising, anyone? Unfortunately, there are no ads on Netflix. But wait – you’re a savvy modern-day marketing “growth hacker” with tricks up your sleeve (or I’m about to put a few there):

  • You could use Twitter Tailored Audiences to target @Netflix’s 1.24M followers.
  • Or you could target a tailored audience of Netflix promoters (see Social Testimonial Advertising).
  • And even though Netflix doesn’t run ads, Hulu does.

You probably already know that sifting through social posts for these kinds of complex insights would be impossibly time-consuming – not to mention you want them in real-time so you can act in real-time. This is exactly the kind of deep social intelligence mining you want informing your Millennials engagement.

And if you’ll be at SXSW, you’re in luck: There are a couple of Millennial-centric sessions offering informative insights about this super popular demographic. (And the second one is both a live event and virtual, so if you aren’t in Austin, no worries.):

If you somehow haven’t heard of Jason Dorsey, the “Gen Y Guy” and leading Millennial expert (and missed his appearances on The Today Show, 20/20 and others), you’re welcome for the intro and my strong encouragement to hightail it over to the interactive session he’s headlining on Monday, March 16 – Solving the Millennial Content Challenge. He and Joseph Gagnon, SVP and GM at Cloud Solutions will debunk Millennial myths and reveal “unexpected expectations” to enhance your ability to connect with the Millennial audience.

And on Tuesday, March 17, Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut) joins NetBase for a live event and lunch that will stream web-wide via Adweek. Wondering how they’ve worked NetBase insights to successfully expand brand reach and engage Millennials? You won’t want to miss this webinar. Register here.

The key to Millennial engagement is knowing what to do with those insights – and it’s what you need to sort out faster than your competitors. Reach out and let’s talk real-time insight – rn!

Be sure to follow NetBase on Twitter for live SXSW insight. 

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