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Gutknecht: As a millennial, I don’t get millennials

This Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend events focused on growing retail in our area. Apparently, retail data is pointing its big, fat finger at me as a member of its key target market. 

These two sessions – the Main Street-sponsored CovClass: Marketing Towards Millennials and the Economic Development-sponsored Retail Summit – provided data-driven analytics that millennials are changing the game when it comes to how we do business. 

Let me break down some of my major takeaways from these sessions that, as a millennial, I don’t quite understand. 

  1. Millennials don’t like to carry money. Granted, I hardly ever have cash on me. That being said, I have never installed ApplePay on my iPhone and I still have a checkbook. According to the research provided this week, I’m not your standard millennial when it comes to these alternative payment methods. Apparently, a millennial would not want to pull out their wallet to make a payment, which is just bonkers to me.
    I’ll still carry a debit card and I remember learning how to write a check in my fourth-grade class. These are some things I don’t see changing in the near future for me.
  2. Millennials want everything at their fingertips. As we’ve discussed, I’m not your normal millennial. If I haven’t made that obvious enough yet, please let the fact that I am the editor and publisher of a community newspaper be the cherry on top of the proverbial non-millennial cake.
    I am a lover of all things social media and fully embrace the online media days. That being said, you will find me Sunday morning with my print newspapers sprawled out and apparently that is not normal for my generation.
    Hey millennials, we have incorporated a new e-edition of our newspaper at It is now available at your fingertips, just like you like. 
  3. Millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Well, working for a newspaper should be another obvious sign that I do not agree with this research point. Just like I like to sprawl out with my newspaper, I also like to flip through the coupons and inserts provided with the print edition. I also love a good Super Bowl commercial and find myself less likely to click on a link provided by a blogger or Facebook ad. 

Well, now that it has been determined that I am not your average millennial, I think one thing we can all agree with is all millennials are a unique generation. As the largest generation currently living, it is the responsibility of business owners to do what they can to cater to this diverse generation. 

Thank you to the Main Street and ED offices for putting on these informational programs. While our business community is thriving in Newton County, it is important to always continue to provide opportunities for continued education and growth. 

Jackie Gutknecht is the editor and publisher of The Covington News. She can be reached at or 770-728-1409. Twitter: @jackieg1991