Decoding Y: Millennials Revealed – A Case for Total Millennial Strategy

Univision logo 2012

By Roberto Ruiz (Univision Communications)

Recently, Kathy Sheehan of GfK Consumer Trends and I presented highlights from our Decoding Y: Millennials Revealed research partnership in a live webinar.  As I continue on our roadshow with this exciting research, I find myself comparing and contrasting Hispanic and non-Hispanic generation-mates and identifying where Hispanics are leading total market trends.

Our research clearly makes the case for a total market strategy — or better said – a total millennial strategy:  For any marketer looking to reach Millennials, Hispanics must be integral to your plans, from the outset of research and planning, and throughout the entire marketing funnel.  You can’t expect to apply a one-size-fits-all strategy and effectively reach Hispanics.  Instead, our research indicates there is room for core cultural values, such as traditions, which can be leveraged in synergy with the common values derived from being part of the same generation.

Here are a few key highlights:


We looked closely at GfK Roper’s value segmentations, called Value Scans, which help us understand what truly makes a segment tick.  These segmentations reveal that at 21% of Millennials, Hispanics mirror their peers in many top values.  However we found traditional values like respecting ancestors, cultural purity, and faith to be more important to Hispanics than their general market peers. Marketers can be more effective in designing communication programs targeting Millennials, when they factor in these nuances.


The power of culture, tradition and family really shined when we asked a pie in the sky question of Millennials: What would you do if you won the lottery?

Particularly for Hispanic Millennials, winning the lottery isn’t all about flash, glamour and bling, it’s about planning for the future and repaying those who have come before us.  Hispanic millennials were substantially more likely to say they’d use the money to buy a house for their parents, or save for their children’s education, and non-Hispanic millennials were more interested in traveling the world with their friends. This isn’t surprising for me, having been in the business of studying Hispanics for a long time; Hispanics’ decisions often take into account emotion, familial respect and pragmatism.


There is more of a focus on shared household responsibilities, too. Hispanic Millennials are at the tip of the spear in a shift to a more collaborative approach at home, where many domestic activities like child care, grocery shopping and household cleaning are viewed as shared responsibilities, probably because they count as social and family time.

We also find that the consumer mindset towards gay and lesbian marriages and families is changing very rapidly, and Hispanics, though from a more traditional background, are on par with their total market peers in being more open-minded.  We saw this confirmed in a recent telenovela, a historically traditional genre, when Univision aired its first-ever gay wedding on Amores Verdaderos. The the episode was the second-highest-rated in the entire show run among 18-34 year olds, just behind the record finale.


Lastly, our research has taught us that influence is NOT a zero sum game.  Of course, social media, mobile showrooming, and digital content consumption are influential to young consumers in this day and age.  But for all millennials, the #1 source of influence in seeking opinions before buying a product is  ”asking family or friends” (82%).  This analog, interpersonal influence trumps online reviews (76%) and mobile showrooming (64%).  Once again, Hispanic millennials are at the core of this, given their proven cultural tendency to shop socially with family and friends.


Categories: NGL News

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