I’ve been meaning to write my thoughts on this for a while, but Warren Shoulberg of Home & Textiles Today beat me to it, on January 30th, 2017..

Warren’s blog was titled “Perennial Millennials” and can be read HERE. His blog is focused more on those Millennials that are living at home and are essentially NOT targets of the home furnishing’s industry. It’s a great read.

Daily I get some sort of propaganda Info-Graphic, How To, and more about how and why everyone should be marketing to Millennials, and I bet you do too.

When I get this sales and marketing propaganda, I have to wonder if anyone has ever done his or her homework on the 77 Million strong demographics.

My answer is a resounding NO and it’s time marketers adjusted their thinking to a reality-based strategy versus the fictional stuff everyone wants you to think and believe. The old adage – “Strength in Numbers” does not apply to this generation …. yet. The reason you get bombarded with Millennial Misinformation is simple. Someone wants to sell you something; a product and most likely a service.

Whenever I get these emails, mostly from marketers, I immediately go to this place: “How did they become marketers when they don’t even know what they are talking about”?


Thus, the Arrogance of Ignorance… again. I’m titling this as Part 3 in my series on this subject.

Before I get into the FACTS, I understand people have a job to do and as a marketer, your job is to inspire, motivate, and engage your audience to “buy something”.
I know, because it’s my job and I’ve been doing it for over 30+ years … so I get it, and I’ve done it, and I still do it. The difference is, I always talk about and present the downside of marketing to Millennials, and I don’t pull punches with either good and bad!


The millennials look promising as a demographic to target, correct. 77,000,000 potential consumers, that may buy your product and services, right?
MOSTLY WRONG, here’s why.

Everyone writes that this generation is the key “HOPE” for retail. Here are some interesting facts to get your head straight on this subject.
Have you heard?

Millennials have the worst credit scores of any generation. The data point plays well with one of Americans’ favorite pastimes: discussing the dismal state of the nation’s youngest consumers.

The average 19- to 34-year-old Millennial has a credit score of 625, 

but it’s 650 for Gen X (35-49), 709 for baby boomers and the Greatest Generation (together, those generations include everyone older than 50). The national average is 667. The data comes from credit bureau Experian and uses the VantageScore 3.0 credit score range, which goes from 300 to 850.

What that means is that everything is more expensive for Millennials. Financing anything, as well as insurance rates, are tied to credit scores–everything, which makes it more difficult to buy anything.

#1 – The current savings rate for Millennials is negative 2 percent.  Yes, you read that correctly. Not only aren’t Millennials saving any money, they are actually spending a good bit more than they are earning every month.

#2  – A survey conducted earlier last year found that 47 percent of all Millennials are using at least half of their paychecks to pay off debt.

#3 – For U.S. households that are headed up by someone under the age of 40, average wealth is still about 30 percent below where it was back in 2007.

#4 – In 2005, the homeownership rate for U.S. households headed up by someone under the age of 35 was approximately 43 percent. Today, it is sitting at about 36 percent.

#5 – One recent survey discovered that an astounding 31.1 percent of all U.S. adults in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket are currently living with their parents.

 Millennials Living at home

#6 –  At this point, the top 0.1 percent of all Americans have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of all Americans combined. Needless to say, there aren’t very many Millennials in that top 0.1 percent.

#7 – Since 2008, close to 40 percent of all 27-year-olds have spent at least some time unemployed.

#8 – Only about one out of every five 27-year-olds owns a home at this point, and an astounding 80 percent of all 27-year-olds are paying off debt.

#9 – In 2013, the ratio of what men in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket were earning compared to what the general population was earning reached an all-time low.

#10 – Back in the year 2000, 80 percent of all men in their late twenties had a full-time job. Today, only 65 percent do.

#11 – In 2012, one study found that U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#12 – Another study released back in 2011 discovered that U.S. households led by someone 65 years of age or older are 47 times wealthier than U.S. households led by someone 35 years of age or younger.

#13 – Half of all college graduates in America are still financially dependent on their parents when they are two years out of college.

#14 – In 1994, less than half of all college graduates left school with student loan debt. Today, it is over 70 percent.

#15 –  At this point, student loan debt has hit a grand total of 1.2 trillion dollars in the United States. That number has grown by about 84 percent just since 2008. It is now at $1.4 Trillion dollars as of Q4 2016.

That equates to 44,000,000 people that owe an average of $36,172.00, According to the WSJ – More Than 40 percent of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Payments

  • $1.28 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt
  • 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt
  • Student loan delinquency rate of 11.0 percent
  • Average monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $351
  • Median monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $203

debt chart

#16 – According to the Pew Research Centernearly four out of every ten U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 40 are currently paying off student loan debt.

#17 – In 2008, approximately 29 million Americans were paying off student loan debt. Today, that number has ballooned to 40 million.

#18 – Since 2005, student loan debt burdens have absolutely exploded while salaries for young college graduates have actually declined

I’m not bashing Millennials here. I believe many of the problems they are facing are based off false promises made to them from their parents, schools, government and more. Perception propaganda is what I call it.

There is so much hype about getting a college education to succeed in today’s workplace, but why is that? If everyone had a college degree, what would a college degree be worth? The same holds true on the subject of pay. If everyone was paid $1MM, what would a loaf of bread cost?

I’m so very proud of my three Millennial children, and all their friends that I’ve met get equal respect for their attitudes and accomplishments. They are hardworking, ethical, passionate and many are great parents, like my daughter!
THIS ISN’T A BLOG ABOUT PEOPLE, IT’S A BLOG ABOUT SUBSTANCE. So, when you’re agency marketing person or whoever tells you that you must divert your marketing funds to this generation as a whole, take a step back and look at these facts and maybe you can educate all concerned.

few work from facts anymore, many work off of perception and emotion when making decisions and to me, that’s very sad and it defines: The Arrogance of Ignorance ….TO BE CONTINUED …

You can read Part 1 & Part 2 of the ARROGANCE blog here.

Watch this video for the best explanation…ever…of the Millennial Culture.

And check out this video link for more information: A Millennial Dissects What’s Wrong with Millennials

This article was first published on Social4Retail.com and Integrated Marketing Association.