6 Ideas for Marketing to Millennial Parents

Posted on by Lianna Willoughby

Eighty-two percent of babies born in 2016 are the children of millennial parents. For marketers, this means if they’re talking to parents, they’re talking to millennials.

It is important to consider that these moms and dads look—and behave—differently than parents of previous generations. They are marrying later, more ethnically diverse, more likely to be LGBTQ, more educated and dads are more involved.

Whether considering what they look like demographically, how they differ in their parenting approach, their relationship with content or their unique needs and expectations for the products they consume, millennial parents are a dynamic audience to understand and connect with.

Understanding what drives millennial parents can help marketers reach them more effectively. Consider these factors:

Millennial parents are passion-led. Millennial moms and dads continue to pursue their passion because they do not distinguish between “me time” and “we time” in the same way as previous generations. They prefer to engage in activities with their kids that aren’t necessarily kid-focused, so they too can pursue new interests. When deciding on things to do with their kids, three in five millennial parents agree “I don’t only think about kid specific activities.”


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TV is the “good screen.” Open Mind Strategy research shows that 62 percent of millennial parents say they’re very worried about the time their child will spend on their own devices, whereas 63 percent say they’d rather their kid watch TV than be online. But while they are pro-TV, they feel there is a lack of good TV content for families to enjoy together. Three in four millennial parents say when they’re watching TV with their kids, they usually end up watching kid shows they don’t really enjoy.

They trust their peers. Millennial parents are expert crowdsourcers who crave content and parenting answers tailored precisely to their personal situations. When they have a question, it’s not so much about turning to mom and dad or the neighbor anymore, because mom and dad’s perspective on childhood doesn’t look like the one they’re living with their kids. When it comes to sourcing answers online, they most appreciate advice from likeminded peers: 43 percent of of millennial parents regularly seek parenting advice via social networks.

Millennial parents still love Facebook. Although young generations are shifting from Facebook to Instagram to Snap Chat, with millennial parents there is still significant Facebook love, as it is one of the few social networks that brings the generations together. They can show-off to and connect with their own parents, their grandparents and their kids’ friends’ parents.

Their life is designed to display. Social networks in their original incarnation did reflect life experiences to some degree, but now there are whole rites of passage created by a social network world. The downside of so many displays of perfect parenting is that these perspectives can make them question your own. Millennial parents and can be very competitive, exhibiting unhealthy personal expectations. They obsess over minor details of daily life and 44 percent are overwhelmed with the amount of parenting information out there.

Being “on” all the time leads to stress. With the expectations of living a life perfect enough to display, it’s not surprising that this generation of parents is at the center of the anxiety economy. Fifty-two percent of millennial parents have recently bought something to contribute to their own self-care. Open Mind’s research found that more than 80 percent were hoping for a wellness or self-care-related gift over the holidays. Whether it’s meditation apps, aromatherapy products or CBD oils, millennial parents are constantly seeking products and experiences that offer “escape.”

Lianna Willoughby is managing director of Open Mind Strategy, LLC.

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