Millennial parents: Everything you need to know

Pew Research defines millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996. In 2022, that means that millennials span the ages of 26 to 41. While millennials trail previous generations at the same age across living in a family unit, marriage rates and birth rates, they are still joining their predecessors as parents, if not a little later.

Whether you are just starting a children’s activity business or looking for more tips and guidance on marketing to parents, the team at Sawyer has you covered. Our mission is to help educators spend more time doing what they love by providing support on administrative tasks, marketing, and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about millennial parents, which is the audience you should be targeting.

Percentage of millennials who are parents

In 2018, Pew Research reported that approximately 19 million millennials birthing people (55%) had given birth to a child. When looking at this data, it is important to remember that millennials are waiting longer to have children and the age range is quite large, which means there are still many years for the younger side of the generation to become parents.

Millennial parenting style

If you know about millennial parenting styles, then you will gain insight into how millennials interact with their children and what they value. This information is useful as you plan your curricula, write lesson plans, and create your marketing campaigns.

Millennial parents want their children to feel their feelings

Many millennials grew up with Baby Boomer parents who told them to “suck it up,” “stop crying,” and “rub some dirt in it.” This discouragement of expressing their feelings as children led many millennials to the opposite end of the spectrum when they had children, according to interviewed parents and pediatricians. Therefore, when you create and market your after school programming or camp activities, let millennial parents know that their children will have the opportunity to explore and talk through their big feelings.

Photo of millennial parents

Millennial parents focus on experiences rather than things

Parents from the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomer era were focused on material gifts for children. However, in the same article, millennial parents report being more interested in providing experiences rather than physical items. Of course, their child might need or want a bike or toy, but millennials are more likely to get those items second hand and then spend more money on a trip to the science museum. When planning and advertising your classes and camps be sure to highlight the benefits of experiential learning. 

Millennial parents want their children to have more fun

Remember helicopter parents? Many millennials felt that their childhoods were constantly monitored, severely overbooked, and intense. Now, as parents, they want their children to have more unstructured time so they can play, explore, and just be themselves. In a TIME article, they report that a survey done in 2013 found that 61% of millennial parents believe that “kids need more unstructured playtime.” Keep this in mind while promoting your activities to millennial parents. Make sure to communicate that their children will be able to be independent while remaining in a safe and structured environment. 

Marketing to millennial parents

Now that you have a little more knowledge about millennial parenting styles, you are ready to strategize and plan. Not only is that information helpful for speaking with parents, writing activity descriptions, and organizing your activities, but also it is great to insert into your marketing materials. Use these tips to create great marketing assets for millennial parents (plus, use our free Canva design templates to make your campaigns pop).

Highlight user-generated content

What is user-generated content (UGC)? User-generated content refers to any piece of content that is created by a consumer and not the brand itself. UGC can be written reviews and testimonials, photos, videos, affiliate marketing, or any other piece of material created by a consumer. 

Adweek found that 47% of millennials say that they trust UGC whereas 25% say they trust brand-created content. Therefore, when marketing to millennial parents, make use of testimonials, photos from families, and even social media takeovers. Check out our guide to learn how to ask customers for reviews so that you can increase your library of online reviews of your business.

Photo of marketing to millennial parents

Embrace social media

Millennial parents are digital natives. In 2015, Pew Research found that 74% of the 91% of parents who use social media are on Facebook, making it the most popular social media platform for parents. Plus, 79% of parents surveyed said that they get useful information from social media. If your business is not on Facebook or Instagram, it’s time to get on! Use our guide to learn Facebook marketing strategies, including how to set up a business account.

Beyond Facebook, Pew Research also found that 33% of parents under 40 are on Instagram. According to Techjury, 70% of Instagram users watch stories daily and 25% of Gen Z and Millennial Instagram users find products and services via Instagram Stories. Creating Stories can help increase your audience and grow your business. Use our guide with Instagram Story ideas to get started. For more social media tips for your business, check out our full article.

Always be available

Millennials are digital natives and they spend a lot of time on their devices. That’s why it is important to show that your activities can be booked online, 24/7, without the need to make a call or send an email. In our 2021 Children’s Activity Trend Report, we reviewed 5.1 million bookings and found that 43% of parents book outside of typical business hours (9am to 5pm). Plus, 60% booked on mobile! To capture this business, you need to be available and mobile optimized.

Show value

Millennial parents are being constantly barraged with information, advertisements, advice, and marketing materials. You need your business to stand out against the competition and the noise. When you are talking to parents about your programming, creating marketing materials, and writing class descriptions, make sure you take the time to tell them what their child will do, learn, and experience. In an effort to under-, rather than over-, schedule their children, millennial parents want to make sure the activities they choose will benefit their child in some way. Demonstrate your value and show these parents why they should choose your activities.

Photo of children's activities

We hope that this guide has provided you with useful information to help you reach millennial parents in your marketing and class descriptions. If you are looking for guidance on managing and running your children’s education and activity business, the team at Sawyer is here to help.

With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves business owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.

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