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Marketing to parents: How millennials are changing the playing field

Every generation has its unique quirks. For example, boomers and Gen Xers may have embraced white-picket-fence life in their twenties, while millennials have been a bit slower to make the move to the suburbs.1 While boomers don't generally mind jumping on the phone with a customer service rep, millennials would rather text. (And let's not even get into their different opinions of voicemail.)

These generations are also different when it comes to how they parent. In the post-pandemic era, millennials—the newest generation of parents—are dealing with distinct challenges like adjusting to remote work, reducing screen time, and navigating countless digital distractions. Because of these unique circumstances, marketing to parents in this generation can be challenging.

What sets millennial parents apart? And what should brands know about their mindsets, preferences, and behavior? Read on to hear our audience targeting strategies for marketing to families, and tips for how to sell products to parents via digital audio campaigns.


Millennials, marriage, and media habits

When it comes to building a family, millennials tend to opt for a late start. Pew Research Center reports that in 2019, the median age for a first marriage among people between the ages of 23 and 38 was 30 for men and 28 for women. The report shows nearly 45% of millennials in this age range are married—but that number jumps to 53% for Gen X and 61% for boomers.2

Deloitte's Digital Media Trends Report shows that millennials' media consumption habits differ, too. According to the report, listening to music and watching TV shows or movies are the most popular digital media activities for millennials, whereas Gen X prefers consuming news.3

According to Spotify's 2021 Culture Next Global Trends Report, audio is now a go-to source for millennials for things like connecting to family, staying informed, and indulging in "me time."4


Digital audio rules the roost

Why is audio so attractive to this new generation of parents? For one thing, it helps busy millennials relax. Spotify research shows that 83% of millennials in the U.S. rely on audio to reduce stress.5 Both millennials and Gen Zs say it helps them "tune into themselves, to each other, and to the outside world."

The devices they use to play audio have shifted, too. Our Culture Next Global Trends Report shows that millennial parents are using smart speakers and other smart devices to entertain their families.5

One possible reason for this trend is that the pandemic caused millennial parents to spend many more hours at home, leading them to spend more time using home-based devices to play digital audio. Time spent listening to Spotify audio through smart speakers increased by 30% for millennials and Gen Zs in the U.S., and streaming audio through the TV was up a whopping 82% in Q1 of 2021 versus the same time frame in 2020.6

Keep all this in mind when you're asking yourself how to market to moms and dads.


Millennial moms and dads are listening

All this makes digital audio a highly investible media format to reach busy millennial parents. Millennials' professional lives were reshuffled during the pandemic, and their media habits evolved as a result. But that doesn't mean brands can't connect with this key audience. In fact, it's a critical connection—as a generation, millennials now represent a staggering $9.38 trillion in spending power, according to a recent report.7

So, what's the best way to engage with millennial parents?

  • Tap into nostalgia. Millennials are drawn to audio that comforts them, so incorporating music from the '90s that might remind them of pivotal personal moments can build affinity with your brand. With kids of their own listening, too, this strategy might even spark a bonding moment.

  • Promote via podcast. Parenting and family-focused podcasts are another excellent way to connect with the family target market. Marketing to new moms and dads is about reaching them through relevant content and aligning your brand with messaging that matters—and Spotify can provide access to countless parenting podcasts. Millennials tend to feel a strong emotional connection to podcast hosts, and they're more likely than even Gen Z to think of podcast hosts as friends.8

  • Do away with distractions. "Because of social media and all... we are really desensitized," one millennial told Spotify. "But audio has that unique ability to literally get inside you."9 Effectively marketing to millennial parents means cutting through the noise to capture their attention, and a digital audio campaign can mirror the content they're already engaging with—provided you make an effort to match the listener's mood.10

When deciding how to market to parents, start with Spotify Ad Studio. You can build audio-based campaigns in minutes, reach listeners engaging with both playlists and podcasts, and create a campaign that really hits home.


  1. "5 major differences between the lives of millennials and baby boomers," Business Insider. April 2019.
  2. "As Millennials Near 40, They're Approaching Family Life Differently Than Previous Generations," Pew Research Center. May 2020.
  3. "2022 Digital media trends, 16th edition: Toward the metaverse," Deloitte. March 2022.
  4. "Spotify Advertising Culture Next Global Trends Report," September 2021.
  5. "Spotify Culture Next survey, U.S. among 507 respondents 15-40," April 2021.
  6. "Spotify First Party Data," Q1 2021 vs. Q1 2020.
  7. "Millennials' Net Worth Has Doubled Since Start of Pandemic," MagnifyMyMoney. July 2022.
  8. "Spotify Culture Next survey, U.S. among 507 respondents 15-40," April 2021.
  9. "Spotify Culture Next survey, U.S. among 507 respondents 15-40," April 2021.
  10. "Context, context, context," Spotify.

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