Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Timothy M. Malone


Consumers of the Generation Y cohort, also referred to as Millennials, include approximately 75 million Americans who have significant purchasing power. These consumers access social media on a daily basis, but they often ignore advertisements that are targeted to them. Previous studies on social media marketing to Generation Y consumers have focused on consumer input but lacked data from marketing professionals. The purpose of this phenomenological study of social media marketers in the United States was to determine successful strategies to engage Generation Y on social media. The study's conceptual framework was attitude toward the ad. The data were gathered through semistructured telephone interviews conducted with 20 social media marketing professionals who were recruited through email and social media. The data were coded using inductive codes of reoccurring themes. Social media marketers were found to be most successful when remaining honest and transparent, and when personalizing their communications to their target audiences. Marketers reading this study can gain insight into the social media behavior of Generation Y consumers and can apply the strategies presented in this study in their social media campaigns. This study may promote social change by improving the relationship between social media marketers and Generation Y consumers, allowing Generation Y consumers to gain a stronger voice in marketing, and by highlighting the need for marketers to communicate and advertise more honestly with their consumers.