Marketing management:what next for digital millennials


This assignment is in three parts and asks you to take a critical and balanced look at a topical marketing concept and explore what it may tell us about future opportunities to target new groups of digital consumers. You are being asked to compare media views with recognised academic sources to come up with your own evidenced perspective on the next generation of consumers.

The first part of the task asks you look at popular media and explore and map the sources they use, the evidence they offer and the validity of the argument that are used to describe digital “millennials”.  Use this to build a customer profile of who a next-generation Millennial is or will be – according to your media sources

The second task asks you to undertake research using peer group review journals to establish current academic thinking of this same new generation of consumers.  You should begin by looking at different definitions, the different study approaches and the different meanings attributed to millennials.

The third part is “Reflections and Areas for Further Research”. You are now asked to compare and contrast popular media with recognised sources. Use this final section to conclude where the weaknesses in the argument are and to draw out how you would go about developing a future marketing opportunity. A key element will be for you to reflect on what the research and reading mean for you.

As a starting point for task one, you may wish to look,for example, critically at the articles as media examples to address the first part of the question.


Pew Research (How millennial are you?)

Goldman Sachs (Coming of Age)

The MeMeMe generation (Time Magazine)

The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 available from

Pew Generational Research 2018

A New Generational Contract Resolution Foundation

The 10 best places to work for Millennials, Fortune June 2018

What do we know about the generation after millennials? | Jason Dorsey | TEDxHouston

How Generation Z Will Change The World According To   Experts (Time   Magazine

This is not a conclusive list but you will find trends   and you may also find common themes, some of which may be paradigms.

Your challenge is that these “established” sources may not relate to digital Millennials which might be deemed as a new and emerging field of study. 

It is almost certain that the existing literature (journal articles) have yet to catch up with the media. 

So who has the evidence; the practitioners or the academics?  This is what is known as a troublesome concept (Meyer 2005) 

For task two you may wish to expand upon the articles in the Reading list.  For example, in the Generation Z article in your pre-reading, the discussion reflected on how the “digital revolution” might have impacted on consumers and marketers. It implies that Generation Z are connected and social networks are part of everyday life for these multitaskers. The article infers that they want to engage in two-way brand relationships. In contrast, their parents Gen X, apparently, are wary regarding their children’s engagement with technology and are worried that children will lose their sense of creativity and playfulness. There are numerous marketing opportunities and threats discussed in the articles on Gen Y and Z ranging from product marketing opportunities to marketing communication challenges. (and I am sure you could identify others!).  

The challenge with the existing literature is to understand how reliable the studies are, whether arguements are empirically supported and whether they remain topical. For example, chronologically,  a 2014 article is equivalent to a iPhone 5 – 3 plus generations behind the soon to be released “affordable” iPhone 9. This tells you that you must be critical of all of your sources – do not look for something that supports your argument. Look for gaps in the existing knowledge. . . and where there is a gap there is (usually) and opportunity.


There is nothing   else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any   tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if   now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be   in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days.  Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Having compared and contrasted media and journal articles, your third task to explore “what next for digital Millennials”. You are asked to identify gaps in your reading and to outline new marketing opportunities that may arise with Generation Z. You are encouraged to take a critical perspective on what you have read but you need to present evidence that your new opportunities are suitable, feasible and acceptable to develop further. 

The key to answering the “what next” question is to reflect on what you learned from reading the media and journal articles. You should identify any gaps and you should, consider what it all means in terms of future (marketing) careers for someone like you!


A report of up to 2,000 words.  (70% of overall course mark) 

Word count excludes image, diagrams, tables and charts. Use these to make an interesting assignment – one that draws the reader in! PLEASE.  It includes in-text references and any footnotes. Harvard referencing style required.

Can be a report or essay format – your choice.  This essay aims to/purpose . . . 

Before the due date, Monday 11st January before 9.00 am, ensure you have submitted an electronic copy through Turnitin on MyAberdeen.  Late submissions accumulate a grade penalty point for every day late. The essay feedback forms are available on MyAberdeen; please see this for guidance on marking criteria.

What Makes a Good Assignment?

There is a  difference between an undergraduate and post-graduate submission. The most important thing to realise is that there is unlikely to be a single right answer to this question – it is a matter of interpretation. The following are guidelines:

Read as many sources as possible and choose your sources with care. Journal articles are likely to be more reliable than “grey material” from online sources. 

Use this assignment to learn how to use the University Library to do online searches. The more journal articles you have the better informed the argument.

Take a critical and balanced perspective of all your sources, including journal articles. You are looking for gaps – areas where the research is weak. 

Paradigms are potentially misleading and because young millennials is an emerging field of study, there will be gaps – this is what you are looking for with task three, what next for Millennials?

Marking criteria

Structure relates to Intro, scope, signposting, logical development of a concluding argument.

Knowledge is the uses of marketing theories, models and constructs, critical perspective into existing knowledge matching theory and practice.

Grounding relates to the evidence base, balance of theory and practice insights offered, referencing of sources

Future opportunities What next opportunities for meeting the needs of digital Millennials? Gaps in existing literature. Your most important section. Where is the opportunity? What do you recommend? 


Use the reading list on MyAberdeen – it should have more than enough for you to research your assignment. Naturally, you are encouraged to read even wider, bit remember the aim is to match the popular media with recognised source and reflect on what it means, 

Marcus Thompson January 2019

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