NEW YORK: With the desire to reach Millennial consumers reaching a fever pitch, those at the forefront of the issue – the young professionals themselves – spoke on a panel on Wednesday at Advertising Week.
Four Millennial marketing services employees – Lucy Santilli, Devin O’Loughlin, Toni Dawkins, and Lucas Brockner – addressed what it takes to be a Millennial staffer at an agency and the stigmas associated with it.
The members of the panel agreed that they are the designated voices of their generation within their respective agencies, and it is an "empowering position," according to Santilli, an account manager at Droga5. However, the broad nature of the Millennial generation makes it impossible to cover all the bases.
The group also spoke about initiatives large agencies should embrace to allow Millennials to contribute within their organizations, as well as other solutions to the "talent crunch" that is a result of disenchantment with agency hierarchy.
"If all the decisions are made from the top, nobody else has a voice," said Brockner, associate director of partnerships and business development at kbs+, advocating the importance of communication between young employees and the C-suite.
O’Loughlin, a corporate reputation manager at Rapp, summarized the sentiment of many Millennials, saying, "The need for transparency and an open forum, keeping young talent engaged and happy, all comes back to wanting to be heard."
The session concluded with a lighthearted recognition of Millennials’ flaws, according to members of Generation X.
"There’s a stereotype that we talk a lot but don't say much," joked O'Loughlin. "Sometimes I do know what I’m talking about."
"We’re still colleagues," added Brockner. "[There’s a] disconnect attitude that 'Oh they're Millennials, so they like it this way.’ We are all people."