Millennials (noun); a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Millennials or young adults currently aged between 18 to 34, have $1.3 trillion in annual buying power and are the largest generation by population size, making them one of the most important demographics for marketers.
Unfortunately however, millennials are also the hardest demographic to market to because their ideals are unlike any other generation before them.
Millennials have been nicknamed the “selfie” generation and are often labelled as being self-absorbed, snobby and entitled however, millennials are a diverse group of people and their interests and personalities vary heavily.
What is interesting about millennials is that in the past, marketers could easily tap into things like the desire to get married, buy a house and start a family, because these were all things that drove purchasing habits. Today however, these factors don’t have as much selling power as they used to.
Millennials seem to care less about traditions and are more alternative in their thoughts and beliefs. They also have a strong affinity for environmental, global and conscious causes.
It can be hard to determine how to approach marketing to this generation however, here are 3 expert tips:
1. Go Mobile
85 percent of millennials own a smartphone, so ensuring that your marketing is smartphone friendly is definitely going to be a key way to get their attention.
To excel in mobile marketing it really goes back to the basics- is your landing page optimised for a mobile screen? Are your call-to-actions easy to click using a touch screen? Are your graphics quick to load?
Most millennials are experts when it comes to navigating through a smartphone, so be creative when it comes to your marketing strategy. Think outside the box of in-app ads and PPC campaigns and try to find new ways to reach your audience.
Also, think about the language and voice you want your ads to have. Most millennials are “ad-blind” so you really need to come up with copy that is going to stand out from the crowd.
Hashtags and acronyms like YOLO and TBT are also common phrases that most millennials would know the meaning of. It doesn’t mean you have to use them in your copy, but understanding the meaning behind them definitely can help.
Apps like Uber are a great example of how millennials like to embrace new and interesting concepts that deliver immediate results. Instead of fussing around calling a taxi company, Uber allows users to simply click a button to hitch a ride.
This has instant appeal to millennials who are all about mobile friendly, innovative, fast and easy results.
2. Social Causes
Millennials don’t have the same values in life as previous generations. Different words also have different meanings to millennials, for example “family” can represent the people they live with, their friends and even pets.
Traditional milestones such as purchasing a house and getting married also have different meanings to millennials. Many cannot afford to even consider buying a house in this market and many are also choosing not to get married.
Because millennials don’t typically fall into a linear pattern, advertisers and marketers really need to adjust their strategy accordingly.
Instead of going after life stages, millennials should be targeted through the social groups they follow like social causes, popular personalities, and alternative lifestyles.
A good example of this would be brands that are now offering gluten free or more health conscious food choices- even companies like McDonalds are joining in.
Most millennials are savvy about what they eat and are more knowledgeable about nutrition and the environment than ever before.
3. Be Relevant
It seems obvious but it’s important to remember that most millennials don’t remember what life was even like without the internet and their mobile phone.
Because they are so used to these types of devices and content, many millennials are also “ad-blind” and are far more skeptical of certain marketing techniques.
In order to reach out to millennials, you need to show that your brand is staying up to date with recent trends, causes and pop culture and you also need to be heavily featured on social media.
95 percent of all millennials say that their friends are the most credible source of product information, which means that social media marketing is definitely a strong way to reach this audience.
It’s not just about being on Facebook, it is also about expanding out to platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, where most millennials spend their time.
Along with ensuring that your brand has social proof to back it up, millennials also want to know what you stand for and are more interested in supporting conscious companies.
High end, health conscious stores like Whole Foods in the US is constantly appealing to millennials by displaying their involvement in community projects and charities.
Millennials are quickly going to make up majority of the consumer industry so learning how to market to them is paramount for any brand.
Martha Stewart, the American Home-maker Queen is a good example of what not to do when marketing to millennials. Unfortunately, for Stewart, her brand dropped from $327.9 million back in 2007 to $141.9 million in 2014, as millennials have failed to find her relevant.
Microsoft’s decline due to the popularity of Apple is another example of how brands have failed to keep up with the trends governed by millennials.
Are you willing to let your company suffer the same fate?