The $650 Billion Dollar Audience Everyone Is Ignoring


In 2019 an opportunity has risen to capture the Millennial audience in a new way, catering to the new Millennial family. Millennials in the United States control $1.3 trillion dollars in annual buying power and over 53% of Millennials are currently parents. With over half a billion dollars on the table an audience of this size should not be ignored, yet in the world of event and experiential marketing, almost no one is paying attention.

Looking for proof? A Google search for “marketing to millennials” generates over 65 million results. By comparison, a search for “marketing to millennial parents” only returns 3.9 million results with the top link from 2017. This imbalance, combined with the potential buying power of the audience, should scream “opportunity” for your brand.

The window for reaching the millennial parent has just opened and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. According to the Pew Research Center, over 1 million children are born to millennials each year. This growth will continue for the next 17 years as the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 76.2 million.

The window for reaching the millennial parent has just opened and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. According to the Pew Research Center, over 1 million children are born to millennials each year. This growth will continue for the next 17 years as the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 76.2 million.

At the core of this opportunity, brands should keep in mind that the millennial parent is still a millennial at heart. Millennials crave experiences and 9 out of 10 have attended an event within the last 12 months according to Eventbrite. Businesses that understand that fact, and have created experiences catered to the Millennial family, have enjoyed record growth. These are not “stay at home” parents, looking for a “stay at home” experience.

The recent success of the theme park industry is a perfect example of this trend. A recent article by Forbes states, “Worldwide spending on theme parks surged by 5% to a record $44.8 billion last year.” Much of this growth was driven by millennials and millennial parents worldwide.

Traditionally younger events have also retained the Millennial audience as they’ve matured by integrating family friendly offerings.

The music festival Lollapalooza was one of the first to adapt and created the “Kidapalooza” stage. Parents and children could enjoy family-friendly music together without feeling like they have to give up the more adult aspects of the festival. Children’s safety was also addressed by adding “Tag-a-kid”. This service allows parents to register their children with a wristband in case they are separated during the event.

Overseas, Berlin based Wunderhaus has had success by creating an experience that appeals to the professional parent as well as their children all under one roof. Wunderhaus describes their business as, “a haven for modern parents, a stylish oasis for the whole family, that is both peaceful and visually inspiring”. Children are cared for while parents relax in the café, enjoy a spa treatment or participate in a workshop.

If your brand wishes to capture the attention of this audience, experiential, event-based marketing must be part of your strategy. Millennials have done an excellent job in ignoring most forms of traditional marketing. Television and radio were largely abandoned for streaming services. Print advertising declined when it couldn’t keep up with the always on platforms of social media. Even digital advertising has had their struggles as people strive for online anonymity, a trend which is expected to continue in the wake of privacy concerns. A 2014 survey from the McCarthy group may have said it best, 84% of Millennials do not trust traditional advertising.

Clearly the demand for family inclusive activities in the experiential world exists. Adopting family friendly strategies for your brand events will result in a found audience and found money for your brand in 2019.