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As a Millennial, I tend to be wary of posts that describe generational differences – we’ve all read articles that throw around negative words like “lazy” and “self-obsessed” to describe the Millennial generation. While I may not completely agree with those personality trait generalizations, we have found similarities in the way that each generation uses screens like laptops, smartphones, and tablets in their daily lives.

In Millward Brown Digital’s newest original research study, “Getting Audiences Right: Marketing to the Right Generation on the Right Screen,” we analyze how Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers use digital and mobile differently to consume content and shop for products online. This three-part blog series will recap some key takeaways for each generation, starting with Millennials.

It should come as no surprise that Millennials are the “mobile-first” generation, and are much more likely to choose smartphones as their preferred screen than older generations. More Millennials use a smartphone each day (77%) than a laptop or PC (58%). However, device preference and device usage are dependent on the task at hand. Even mobile-first Millennials prefer laptops or PCs to shop for items in more complicated areas such as financial services and consumer electronics.

And when it comes to consuming media, Millennials are drawn to newer entertainment formats like Netflix and Hulu, but still prefer to experience them on the bigger TV screen when given the choice. The exception is YouTube, which Millennials prefer to watch on either laptops or smartphones – most likely due to the shorter length and more immediate nature of YouTube videos.


This task distinction is an important one for marketers. While it seems obvious that to target Millennials you need to be on mobile, you still need to consider how your target consumers engage with your category specifically before putting all your eggs in the mobile basket.

Learn more about how to target the right generation on the right screen by downloading the full study here.