Millennials, those commonly born between 1980-2000, are the generation that has grown up with the digital transformation. It’s believed they always have their heads in their smartphones or their laptops and are so dependent on digital technology, it was felt that they no longer needed printers or the ability to print anything.
By 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, so understanding their needs and the way they work is paramount in understanding trends.
The common myth that they adore technology is simply not true. It is true that they want a 24/7 service, when they want it, how they want it. However, through research in recent years, what has become apparent is their adoration for printing. This is not just a retro, nostalgic fashion, Millennials believe that the printed word is easier to absorb. They want technology to work with printing to deliver that immediate demand of information they crave.
An article called Millennials, an emerging consumer powerhouse, in 2016, identified that Millennials ignored digital advertising and paid greater attention to print advertising and direct mail. TRU-a division of TNS research of Global green/sustainability in 2011, explored this in research with millennials and it identified that 88% of those questioned, perceived printed documents as more official, whilst 82% trusted the printed word far more than receiving it on screen.
When Quocirca conducted some research on the same subject, it discovered that millennials valued traditional print and heavily relied on photocopiers and printers. It appears printed documents evoke an emotional response too where 87% of those questioned in the TRU report said they would prefer a birthday card than an email. Plus, it could be suggested that the physicality of the printed word offers them an escape from laptop, computer and smartphones.
Millennials feel printed documents are more trusted than digital sources, however, that’s not to say that they are not demanding in what they expect from printers. They want their print fleet to be strategic and offer solutions beyond just a printer encapsulating Managed IT Services, cloud and network security, web to print, printing on demand.
55% expected an increase in mobile printing.
69% said important documents should be printed.
63% believed printed documents were more durable than digital methods.
Whilst many believed that printed documents would become a thing of the past, it appears this is not the case for our Millennials. When Print Media Centr analysed this, speaking with 200 IT decision making millennials aged between 18-35, 77% said print would still be important in 2025.
Therefore, managed print solutions, which offers more integrated capabilities will have to evolve and fill the gap between IT and office printers. Print has such a strong presence in this future generation. As they search to maximise efficiency and productivity, so will managed print need to facilitate that need.