On June 27th, Ypulse is dedicating our annual Mashup* to reassessing Millennials. We have been studying the generation for years, and know that misconceptions about Millennials are common, and many don’t understand how the generation has evolved as they ‘age up.’ At the Mashup, we’ll be unveiling our first-ever psychographic segmentation of the generation, and digging deeper into their rapidly changing world with the help of key Millennial thought leaders.
Today, we’re asking one of those thought-leaders, Sandra Lopez, Intel Marketing Strategy Director for New Business, to share some of her thoughts on Millennials, what’s shaped them, and what needs to be reassessed about the generation.
*Register before June 1st to get the early-bird price!
Ypulse: What would you say is the biggest misconception when it comes to the Millennial generation?
Sandra Lopez: There is a perception that the Millennial generation does not have significant purchasing power given their unemployment rate is around 16%. Yet, they have $200B direct purchasing power and $500B in indirect purchasing power. They are influencing the generations before them and the generation that follows. We need to start to think about their influencing power as currency.
YP: This year at the Mashup we’re reassessing Millennials. What would you say is the thing about the generation that needs to be reassessed the most?
SL: The Millennial generation is disrupting industries, and there is an opportunity to re-assess the business impact that they are having. Many industries are starting to realize that their business model is being challenged by this generation. The automobile industry is a great example of how Millennials are affecting their bottom line with car sharing services as well as an attitude in which they do not view purchasing a vehicle as a rite of passage or a necessity.
YP: What, if anything, has been the biggest change in Millennials since the recession?
SL: I do not believe we can underestimate the scars that have been left behind with the economic disruption that has occurred. While the Millennial generation will spend money, they are focused on ensuring they get the maximum value out of every dollar they spend.
YP: What is the biggest difference between Gen X and Gen Y?
SL: One of the biggest distinctions is how Gen X values individuality while Gen Y values community. You see this across various facets of our lives. From an office setting, Gen Xers yearn for an office with a door that actually closes while Gen Y prefers an open communal setting. When supporting a cause they care about, a Gen Xer would donate funds while Gen Y would pull together a group to help create a better place.
YP: Which generation would you say Millennials have the most in common with and why?
SL: I firmly believe this generation is uniquely different. The underlying factor is technology. With technology, they are empowered; they are socially connected to the world; and they expect immediate gratification. I believe that technology has been extremely influential in shaping this particular generation. This generation is the first generation that shares similarities around the world and it is because of technology.
YP: Are Millennials right or wrong to be optimistic about their futures?
SL: Millennials are aware that they have had monumental impact in today’s society. They have massive opportunity ahead of them as Baby Boomers begin to retire. There will most likely not be enough Gen Xers to fill the job void providing them with an opportunity to fast track their careers. Thus, with more career opportunities and in positions of influence – I believe that we have only experienced a sliver of their impact and potential to society.
Sandra Lopez joined Intel Corporation in 2006 as B2B Integrated Marketing Manager. Leveraging her vast and proven marketing experience within the technology sector, she quickly began to transform how Intel marketed to the IT sector. Credited for her positive impact within the B2B sector, Sandra was chartered to drive Intel’s Consumer Marketing Strategy group in which she drove Intel’s focus on the Masterbrand with the global launch of Intel’s campaign platform “Sponsors of Tomorrow.” The campaign has been the recipient of several industry awards including: Clios, Effies, Adweek’s “Top Ten Popular Campaigns of 2009,” Best Integrated Search Campaign, Creativity Online’s “Top Five of the Week,” as well as Intel’s Achievement Award, which is Intel’s highest honor. She is recently responsible for establishing and driving Intel’s Marketing Strategy for New and Adjacent businesses, including Millennials. Given how Millennials interact with brands is fundamentally different from previous generations, Sandra is focused on transforming Intel’s marketing organization to establish a meaningful relationship with the Millennials.
Her tenacity to deliver impact extends beyond the walls of Intel. Sandra is a board member of the YMCA Mission in which she is focused on actively representing the needs of the Mission community.
Prior to Intel, Lopez worked at Macromedia as Sr. Director for Macromedia. She managed the global integrated marketing team across Business, Consumer and Developer audiences. Preceding Macromedia, Lopez served as Marketing Manager with Computer Associates. She brings over 17 years of experience in marketing within the technology and fashion sector.