As millennials start to shift into the center of the U.S economy, marketers need to understand as much as they can about them in order to assess opportunities and risks while creating strategies to reach this audience. Emerging trends provides this context.

Agencies and brands are wisely on the lookout for ways to uncover how millennials think and feel, where their interests lie, and how they’re changing global consumption trends. And with so much content out there to help you gauge this data, how do they separate actionable insight from noise and determine what is the best content to get you to where you need to be?

Quid delivers trend market research that informs leading brands’ marketing strategy. Using it, brands and agencies are able to identify topics and themes through qualitative data visualization. And these topics not only inspire content, they help identify key opinion leaders (KOLs) to target, who can also help you reach your goals.


Let’s explore how the market research looks around millennials, specifically, to give you a sense of how the emerging trends and how qualitative data visualization offers brands a game changing leg up on the competition.

Trend market research shows millennials are focused on their lifestyles, finances and families

Similar to what we saw last year, credit card debt was one of the largest trends when it comes to millennials. Not only are they carrying and piling on to their debt which causes them financial burden and stress, but it appears to be trickling into other areas of their lives as well. They’re delaying starting families and buying homes.

In fact, credit card and student loan debt are two of the biggest factors that millennials have taken into consideration when it comes to getting married. Many are choosing to hold off until this debit is paid down. And while many would love to purchase a home, they aren’t doing too much about it for fear of being saddled with even more debt.


Interestingly enough, one emerging trend we see is that although millennials are worried about student loan debt and mortgages, they don’t seem to be afraid of going into debt for travel and experiences. One article within this cluster is a study done by Vrbo, where it was revealed that 37% of millennials are willing, and likely to, go into debt for travel compared to 27% of Gen Xers and 15% of Baby Boomers.

However, while millennials are indeed in a mountain of debt, they are very aware of credit standings, so much so their credit scores are surprisingly outpacing other generations. In fact, 59% of millennials that participated in a study stated that their credit score is important for them to improve, with more than half saying they are taking steps to improve their credit.

Traction scatterplot of the themes around millennial trends from the past year, colored by sentiment (green = positive, to red = negative).

What are the emerging trends when it comes to millennials?

The top left quadrant on the above scatterplot shows which trends might be coming next – articles with high engagement online, but low visibility in the media. One of the largest themes, or clusters here, is “Millennials Value Meaningful Work.” Through scanning the articles, we learn that Millennials prioritized work-life balance during their job search, while many prioritize job happiness over salary.

And tying back to millennials seemingly having no issue going into debt for travel, 63% of them even work most for travel money. No surprise there!

And looking at the quadrant to the top right, the media appears to love talking about the negative connotations that come with millennials – with debt being the hottest topic.

Qualitative data visualization shows these trends skew positive

No matter what is being discussed, the sentiment was largely neutral to positive, with negative clusters throughout. These clusters are easily ignored, which is dangerous, as that rosy overview can be deceiving.

Millennials are digital and in real life (IRL) nomads, able to get up and go to follow their hearts/the job market, and this is viewed positively, but it’s a stressful, challenging month-to-month existence for many. Minimalist, living la vida YOLO, and making do? Yes, this is true. But it’s not the full story.


The pieces that skew negative are important as well. We see millennials as acquiring spiraling debt due to “contactless purchases” via sites like Amazon Prime. And LGBTQ millennials are struggling the most financially. Millennials are concerned about world war and the climate – and those concerns must be taken into account when considering outreach strategies. And both their mental and physical health is concerning.

How does the media spin these concerns? They do a decent job of capturing them, actually, but hyper-focus on the trend du jour, showing why it’s important for brands and agencies to perform their own analyses and closely monitor emerging trends. And without qualitative data visualization, this is nearly impossible to do.

Steady media coverage surrounds credit card debt and finances


In the last year, media outlets reported most consistently on millennials and debt which is indicated above in red. From whether or not millennials are paying attention to their credit scores to the types of debt millennials are seemingly okay with, the media had it covered, much more so than other topics.


Another rising trend in the last year was a focus on millennial lifestyles, where they are choosing to live, which is seen above in yellow. The media has been covering the best-paying cities for millennials, the most affordable cities for millennials, and where they are moving, or not. These posts pander to the nomadic millennials, but aren’t really about them – not about what lies beneath the surface. We’ve got you covered with trend market research on that front.

Content strategy analysis helps you understand the wide variety of coverage around any topic. It’s never as simple as it appears on the surface. This insight, in turn, helps you better understand your targeted audience and create meaningful content that resonates.

If you want to learn more about how Quid Apps can help you uncover smarter, actionable insight, reach out to to get started today. Or contact us for a demo for a personalized example of a qualitative data visualization in action.

Premier social media analytics platform

Expand your social platform with LexisNexis news media

Power of social analytics for your entire team

Media analytics and market intelligence platform

Enrich your media analytics with social data

Media coverage for historical & real-time monitoring

Actionable data to drive your business decisions

AI, Image Analytics, Reporting Tools & more

Out-of-the-box integration with other data sources