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Perspective Paper - The Fallacy of Marketing to Millennials: Why Sri Lankan Marketers Should Discard Generational Labels

Authors:

S. M. M. Ikram ,

Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, LK
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Murtaza A. Tajbhoy,

Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, LK
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Sarah Hassanally,

Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, LK
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Surani Perera

Leo Burnett Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

This article is a critique of the application of generational labels in marketing, beginning with a review of the concept of cohorts and generations from sociology, followed by an appraisal of contemporary scholarship and thought leadership critical of generational obsession. Using this as the foundation, the validity of applying generational labels, particularly the label of millennials, within the Sri Lankan context is questioned by illustrating how the reference points and shared experiences that define the social generations in the United States (US) are not relevant to the same birth cohorts in Sri Lanka. We recommend discarding these generational labels and propose two alternative ways forward. The marketing fraternity could initiate a broader conversation involving the academics in social sciences in defining social generations for Sri Lanka or move beyond vague terminology such as millennials and engage in robust segmentation and targeting.

How to Cite: Ikram, S.M.M., Tajbhoy, M.A., Hassanally, S. and Perera, S., 2019. Perspective Paper - The Fallacy of Marketing to Millennials: Why Sri Lankan Marketers Should Discard Generational Labels. Colombo Business Journal, 10(2), pp.134–148. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cbj.v10i2.53
Published on 31 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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