Millennials today would rather focus on community involvement than politics, according to a study performed in 2013 and repeated in 2016.
After the presidential election in 2016, a study found that 67 percent of millennial voters regularly volunteer for community organizations. While 79 percent of these volunteers said they have donated money to causes, only 25 percent donated money to a political campaign and only 17 percent volunteered for a political campaign.
You might think the millennial generation doesn’t care about the state of the world and public affairs, but this may not be the case. A lack of interest in politics could be due to uncertainty about whether they can make a difference given the corruption being uncovered at an alarming rate. Perhaps this generation is seeing the opportunity to make an impact right in their backyard; they’d rather start where they know their actions will make a difference.
Millennials are driven by causes
Millennials want to give back to their communities and support local businesses, even if it means spending a bit more of their paycheck to do it. That’s because they’re cause-driven, not money-driven.
A study by FedEx shows that 40 percent of millennials prefer buying local, even if what they’re buying is more expensive.
Changing the world from the inside out
When you consider that the consumer market needs to meet the demands of the people in order to survive and thrive, it makes sense that if the consumer mindset changes first, businesses will have to follow suit.
The millennial generation embodies a massive shift in mindset leaning toward social responsibility, and we’re starting to see businesses change their ways to match. In 2013, Microsoft, Disney, Google, and BMW all tied for the number one spot on the Reputation Institute’s list of corporations with the best social responsibility reputations. If social responsibility didn’t make much difference in profits, these giant corporations wouldn’t be wasting their time and money building those reputations.
These large corporations didn’t start out with social responsibility in mind, they adapted to meet the expectations of their consumers so they could continue to thrive.
Even if some businesses are changing their practices only to prevent losing customers, the end result is the same and this type of action will become more widespread.
We’re witnessing a shift in marketing
There is great potential for the millennial generation to change the way the world works, not overnight, but through incremental changes. While former generations were easily swayed by marketing strategies that offered more for less, the millennial generation, as well as the emerging generation Y, is not so keen on that ideal. Their goal is not to consume at any cost, but rather to consume as long as the business they’re supporting is being socially responsible.
In the ’80s and ’90s, it was easy to get people to order something by doubling or tripling the perceived value, providing multiple quantities of an item for what seemed like a reasonable price. Today, marketers can no longer pitch hype-filled late-night infomercials, expecting young adults to bite.
Businesses know that millennials will switch to their competitors, or simply go without, if they have a poor reputation for social responsibility.
In the coming years, we may see an even bigger shift in marketing tactics. We might see businesses investing time and money to create advertisements strictly for the causes they support. This would be in contrast to creating an advertisement that promotes a product with a side note that says, “by the way, we support saving the forest,” or something similar.
While it’s not clear exactly where the future of marketing is headed, we know that companies are gradually changing their methods to reach millennials, and through this change, we’re going to see more corporations adopt social responsibility policies that will slowly, but surely, change the world.