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The millennials are a trillion-dollar market that most brands are trying to attract. However, marketing to millennials is very tricky and hard and something that every marketer is struggling with. They are known to be budget conscious, underemployed and skeptical consumers or otherwise characteristics that make them difficult to target. However, the trend has been changing since the start of 2017 where Millennials have been predicted to become real consumers.

To connect with Millennial audience; i.e. consumers between the age groups of 18 – 34 years, an advertiser needs to learn to communicate with them in their language. This is particularly true for social platforms where Facebook & Instagram are primarily used for advertising. Even within the Millennials age range, it is important to identify sub-groups and what speaks to each of them.

Millennials have grown up as digital natives as against the older generation who view social media as a platform for gathering information. Millennials use social media as an opportunity to experience what others have to offer and to create experiences themselves. This is especially true because they resist the one-size-fits-all world.

Facebook is more popular among non-Millennials and few sources even claim that Millennials have abandoned Facebook for smaller, less constricting platforms like Snapchat. A huge increase in the uptake of Instagram and Snapchat has been observed in UAE, which is well ahead of the global average. Instagram and Snapchat have soared in terms of popularity worldwide in the last 2 years as people are seeking for real, personal and ‘in-the-moment’ content. When compared to global markets, UAE & KSA are more open to online advertising and online behavior tracking. In both KSA & UAE, the usership has tripled, with Saudi Arabia increasing from 24% in 2014 to 74% in 2016, while UAE grew from 15% in 2014 to 53% in 2016.

The liberal attitude towards digital platforms in the GCC results in companies having a major opportunity in taking advantage of the soaring upwards trend of Instagram and Snapchat in the region. The newer features introduced in the digital space can then be leveraged by an advertiser to maximize their marketing efforts towards the Millennial audience.

The surge in usage of newer social media platforms marks a significant turning point in the evolution of digital in GCC.

Marketing to Millennials in 2017 isn’t drastically different from that of 2015 / 2016. However, advertisers are required to adapt to a more creative, customized approach and communication and better control of social media.




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