Marketing Metrix study reveals myths about London’s Millennials

Mark Johnson's picture

There is far more variety to London’s 3.5 million Millennials than cliched socio-economic labels would have you believe, a study by Marketing Metrix has found.

The data scientists conducted extensive research into the lifestyles, careers and home ownerships of the capital’s 20- to 40-year-olds - also known as Generation Y - in a bid to explode some of the myths that surround them. 

These common misconceptions often paint Millennials as liberal, middle-class Remainers who generally read The Guardian and work in the technology sector.

But there are in fact 11 distinct groups that make up the Millennial generation in London.

Millennial maelstrom: Which type to market to?

Of the 11 groups, Outside the Bubble - making up 16% of Millennials in London - is one of the largest. 

They are some of the least affluent Londoners and are a far cry from the archetypal Millennial. 

Many of them are working in the gig economy, making pizzas as opposed to making software. 

Fractured Towers comprises 18% of London Millennials. They mainly live in tower blocks and, understandably, many feel isolated not only from the Millennial footprint but from London life as a whole. 

“These two groups represent approximately 1.2 million young adults, the majority of whom voted Leave in the EU Referendum of 2016”, Bill Portlock, managing director of Marketing Metrix, said. 

“They could not deviate further from the standard definition of the liberal, latte-sipping, woke, bearded Millennial.”

Techies and gym junkies

Tech Warriors and Gym Junkies account for 14% of London Millennials and they are probably the closest fit to the common portrayal. 

These two groups are Remainers, working in tech jobs in the city or the arts.

Almost certainly, these are early adopters with many leading the charge for vegan burgers, some proudly eating them in restaurants, others investing in them with the likes of Beyond Meat. 

These two groups prefer Jeremy Corbyn to BoJo and best represent the Millennials that brands and the media focus on to the exclusion of most of the other segments.

Probably the most extreme but minuscule group is the Nightsbridge Knights (sic). As the name suggests, this tiny group of extremely wealthy individuals, many of whom are of Middle Eastern or Russian descent, live and operate around Knightsbridge - and drive supercars at night.  

“The 3.5 million Millennials living in London are not, as some would suggest, a homogenous “community” but are one of the most diverse groups not only in the UK, but possibly the world”, Portlock added.

Marketing to Millennials

Marketing Metrix considers the term Millennial misleading at best. Stereotyping an entire population based on a small group is reductionist, the company said.

Millennials are seen as a tricky generation to navigate and ultimately convert into customers.

However, by adapting and evolving marketing strategies to more appropriately suit specific Millennial segments outlined in this report, as opposed to talking to all people in this group in the same manner, the possibilities are almost endless, said Metrix.

Portlock said: “Consider this, too: not only are they the largest generation in London, but many are approaching a life stage where they will command high-salaried jobs. 

“When both the numbers and the money are there the world can be the advertiser’s oyster.

“So stop taking the easy route, lose the Millennial moniker and reap the rewards of micro-targeting.”

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