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The High-Priced Millennials: Advertisers Spend 500% More Reaching Them Online

Advertisers are spending 500% more reaching millennials than all other groups, according to new research from Turn (turn.com), the digital advertising hub. The research takes a deep look at the most sought-after cohort of consumers and finds that in reality, they fall into four distinct groups as opposed to a monolithic market. Taken as a whole, marketers are spending vastly more on millennials across digital channels: 4 times as much on display, 4 times as much on social, 4.5 times as much on mobile and 6 times more on video than to reach any other group. The research is available at turn.com/r/millennials.

The millennial audience -- 75 million people aged 18-35 in the U.S. -- represents the greatest market opportunity the world has ever seen. This research is based on data on the Turn platform, which every day makes over 215 billion data-driven advertising decisions, analyzes over 2.5 billion anonymous customer attributes, and provides instant access to billions of digital ad impressions.

This in-depth analysis found that millennials break out into four groups with distinct characteristics, each attracting spending from a different array of advertiser categories -- and presenting undiscovered opportunities for marketers. These include:

Struggling Aspirationals (57% of millennials)

  • Have the lowest income of all millennials - more likely to earn under $50,000 annually. They are healthy, fit and go green; love good food and hunt for bargains.
  • Currently most targeted by food/CPG and auto marketers.
  • Marketer opportunities: Promotions, limited-time offers and memberships may appeal to this comparatively fiscally challenged group; although branding efforts centered around big-ticket items can pay off long-term.

Comfortable TV Watchers (8% of millennials)

  • Whether it's drama, sports or news, this group loves their TV; they are also are more likely to vote Republican than Democrat.
  • Currently most targeted by food/CPG, travel and auto marketers.
  • Marketer opportunities: Consider diving deeper into the data -- groups who display strong TV preferences may reveal interests marketers can cater to more specifically.  

Active Affluents (17% of millennials)

  • They are family focused and include many new parents. Active affluents are outdoorsy and fit foodies.
  • Currently most targeted by financial services and electronics marketers.
  • Marketer opportunities: Advertisers are under-spending on mobile to reach this on-the-go audience; savvy marketers can capture attention by dialing up their mobile campaigns.

Successful Homeowners (18% of millennials)

  • They have the highest income among millennials -- $100,000 or more annually -- and of course are most likely to be homeowners.
  • Currently most targeted by financial services and telecom marketers.
  • Marketer opportunities: Video advertising is under-utilized with them; marketers should align high-impact media with an audience that's ready to spend.

"This is the first time anyone in the ad tech space is giving marketers this level of insight to guide their strategies and media spend," said Max Knight, vp of marketing science services, Turn. "Beyond showing deep and actionable data about millennials, this type of analysis is incredibly valuable to brands and agencies who are looking to understand their own audiences. The tools and approach we've taken can be successfully applied to any marketing strategy and any group."

About Turn
Turn enables leading brands and agencies to adapt to the ever-changing motivations of their consumers. The Turn Digital Hub for Marketers offers end-to-end anonymous audience planning, cross-device advertising, and advanced analytics. Providing seamless point-and-click access to more than 150 integrated technology partners, Turn helps marketers embrace the chaos of digital advertising technology. Turn works with more than 5,000 worldwide advertisers, including Accuen, American Express, AMNET, Dentsu, DirecTV, eBay, Experian, HP, Kia, Kraft, L'Oreal USA, Progressive Insurance, Sky Italia, StubHub, Thomas Cook, and Zales. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Turn offers its products and services worldwide. For more information, visit turn.com or follow @turnplatform