Millennials ‘more likely to advertise on traditional mediums than older generations’

Mar 4, 2019 | Online advertising

Millennial-owned businesses are more likely advertise on both traditional and digital mediums, but the majority of small businesses value advertising, a new survey finds.

The survey, from The Manifest, a business news and how-to website indicated that about 95% of millennial entrepreneurs advertise for their business, compared to 92% of Generation X and 70% of baby boomer business owners.

The firm surveyed 529 small businesses from across the U.S. about how they advertise and found that:

  • Millennial-owned or -managed small businesses (95%) are more likely to advertise than those owned or managed by Generation Xers (92%) or baby boomers (70%).
  • Millennials are more likely to advertise on multiple mediums in addition to TV: social media, online, and radio, among others.
  • Overall, 87% of small businesses advertise, regardless of generation.
  • Small businesses are more likely to advertise on digital mediums such as social media (64%) and online (49%) than traditional mediums such as print (36%), TV (22%), and radio (22%).
  • Two-thirds (67%) of small businesses will begin using at least one new advertising medium in 2019.

“Millennials are used to instant gratification, and advertising helps satisfy that need,” said Les Kollegian, CEO of Jacob Tyler, a brand experience agency in California. “We live in a world with constant engagement, and millennials are the forefront of that expectation. Advertising helps people find a product they’re looking for quickly.”

The survey found that millennials also advertise on more types of mediums – including traditional.

For example, 41% of millennials advertise on TV, compared to 17% of Generation Xers and 10% of baby boomers.

“Older generations have tried traditional mediums and either had great returns and stuck with them or didn’t and abandoned them,” said Josh Ryther, senior partner at Deksia, a marketing strategy and brand development agency in Michigan. “Maybe the younger generation is still testing out these more traditional mediums and hasn’t experienced as much negative return, so they’re more willing to take more of a risk.”

Nearly All Small Businesses Advertise, Regardless of Owner’s Generation

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of small businesses overall advertise, which suggests that advertising helps businesses across generations succeed.

“It’s essential for small businesses to advertise in order to not only maintain the level of business they have today but to grow,” said Harry Chapin, CEO and founder of Forge Worldwide, a brand-building company in Boston. “Very few businesses have the ability to attract new customers and grow revenues without using advertising.”

Businesses Prefer Digital Advertising but Still Value Traditional Mediums

Online and social media advertising are the most popular among small businesses.

About 65% of small businesses advertise on social media, and 49% advertise on other digital platforms, such as Google. This exceeds the number of small businesses that advertise on traditional mediums such as print (36%), TV (22%), and radio (22%).

Although digital advertising is preferred, advertising on a variety of mediums is still important for businesses that want to reach consumers throughout their day – not just when they’re online.

“None of us really live in just one channel all the time,” Chapin said. “Consumers today toggle between their phone, computer, radio, podcasts, and TV – and they do it all on their schedule. We live in an omni-channel world.”

Overall, the survey shows that advertising is important to small businesses in helping them reach and appeal to as many customers as possible.

The Manifest’s 2019 Small Business Advertising Survey included 529 small business owners and managers across the U.S.

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