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MBPT Spotlight: Ellen DeGeneres Top Role Model for Millennial Women in Meredith Study

Marketers wanting to reach out to millennial women in their upcoming campaigns need to think about tie-ins with Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift and Beyonce, along with Ellen DeGeneres and Angelina Jolie, according to a new study by Meredith Corp.

Those women headed the list of celebrities who either best represent the values of millennial females or who are thought of as role models.

It seems like 26-year-old Taylor Swift's battles with Spotify and Apple over streaming royalties has won her lots of support among millennial women with 31% of those in the Meredith survey praising her for her values.

That was second to outspoken 24-year-old actress Jennifer Lawrence who was named by 33%. In third was singer Beyonce, who's 34, with 20%. Also making the list were Kim Kardashian, 34, and Lena Dunham, 29, both with 8%.

As for role models, they were a bit older in age. Topping that list was 57-year-old DeGeneres with 16%, Jolie, 40, had 13% and author J.K. Rowling, 50, received 10%. Also on the list were 51-year-old First Lady Michelle Obama and 67-year-old Hillary Clinton. The ages are interesting because it shows that when it comes to role models, millennial women are looking outside their own age group.

Meredith commissioned Insights in Marketing to administer the only survey which included 2,629 millennial women nationally. It also polled GenX and Boomer women, but their results were not included in this initial wave of data.

The media company that targets women in categories like beauty, food and home, says by 2020 according to U.S. Census projections, millennial women will number 80.4 million, and according to New Strategic Press, will have a spending power of $2.5 trillion annually. They also cite a figure that predicts millennial woman by that year will account for two-thirds of all first-time homebuyers.

The survey offers up various data in the areas of beauty, food and home, and also presents some insights into the thought process of millennial women.

For example, 27% think weight acceptance is the most pressing issue facing women today; 25% believe it’s wage equality; 19% believe it’s domestic violence; and 10% believe it’s quality healthcare. And 83% of millennial women say they are ready for a female president, which bodes well for Clinton, should she get the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

When it comes to media, the survey says millennial women turn to different media for different reasons. They say print provides “tech disconnect” and “me time,” while digital satisfies their need for information and TV offers entertainment and escape.

Most millennial women rely on laptops (81%) and their smartphones (80%) for Internet access, more than any other generation, and are much less likely to use tablets or desktops. And social media is a mainstay in their lives. Some 90% access Facebook at least once a week, 77% access YouTube, 57% access Instagram, 56% use Pinterest, 47% use Twitter and 28% use Snapchat.

In the area of beauty, 73% of millennial women say looking “beautiful/sexy” is important to them. That compares to 57% of Boomer women who say that.

Millennial women are more likely to buy beauty products based on price. Some 60% say they buy based on price, compared to 38% of Boomer women. And 75% of millennials try products based on recommendations of their friends and relatives, with 55% also recommending products to their friends.

As for women’s fashion magazines, they are cited for giving millennial women ideas about changing beauty products seasonally and influencing them to spend more on beauty products. Digital sites help them do research during the beauty product purchase process.

A majority of millennial women (62%) consider themselves “foodies” and 79% like to experiment when cooking. While 70% say they will stick to food brands they trust, 78% will try new products if recommended by friends. Big purchase motivators also include coupons (64%) and price (63%). Millennials also turn to digital to get information on different foods.

One piece of data seems contradictory. Boomer women are more concerned with eating healthy (76% vs. 63% of millennial women), yet millennial women are more likely to look for natural/organic ingredients.

In the area of home, 75% of millennial women like to decorate and do home improvement projects; 69% like to experiment to change the look of their home; and 52% change their home décor seasonally.

Pinterest was listed as millennial women’s most influential source of impacting a home product purchase, followed by recommendations from friends and family.

The millennial data report is the first of Meredith’s Women 2020 series. This fall another report will be issued focusing on Hispanic women.