Marketing to Millennials


In marketing, you need to instantly attract and engage the attention of your target audience. You have to truly understand them — how they think, react, act, and what drives them to influence or buy a particular product or service. Generation Y, otherwise known as ‘the selfie generation’ or millennials, are major targets in advertising and marketing efforts because they will be tomorrow’s future, representing over 50% of the country’s workforce by 2020.  However, businesses have to be careful how to advertise to millennials — since this generation is very different from any other in the past. Traditional marketing tactics might have them yawning, because let’s face it they’re doing 10 things at once.

There are 74 million so called millennials living in America today, and it’s projected that they will spend over $200 billion annually after 2017. They’re the only generation that has grown up in the media age and hasn’t had to adjust to groundbreaking technology.  They’ve learned to quickly process and adapt to new media advancements, particularly social media and apps.

So, how should companies approach marketing to millennials? How do you engage them to care about your brand?

Businesses should carefully listen to the conversations millennials are having. Social media has made it easy for millennials to document what they do, where they go, what they like and dislike.  Businesses should take note of other companies that are doing it ‘right’ with millenials and pick out aspects to mimic.

Mimicking can be tricky though, since millennials want the real deal and they can scope out a phony a mile away. They are in an everlasting search of authenticity. They want to connect with the brands they relate to on a personal level. At the same time, they are also attracted to brands whose images don’t ‘try too hard’. They prefer unscripted, integrated digital and social media campaigns which make them feel involved and allow them to connect with a feeling.

If you’ve got a good cause, you’ve got an in. Sometimes called the ‘optimistic generation’ — millennials are all about a conscience. Whether it is saving the planet, social rights, or animal rights, they’ve got an opinion and they identify with companies that share their viewpoint.  They’ll invest time and money in a company who shares like-minded values and who are committed to making a difference. Millennials are so concerned with being involved with issues they support, they will want to participate.

Millennials are often more responsive to businesses and brands that include them on a platform. They want to be heard, not talked down to. They are all about connecting and feeling like they are part of the process. They are passionate about companies that share their missions, and who ask for honest feedback. They are geared to want and try contests, take polls and be recognized on social media.

Your marketing should be creative, authentic, evoke a feeling in them; and then they want you to leave them alone.  Businesses should be able to capture the attention and interest of millennials in a snap, but not overdo it. They don’t want to be hounded with repeated ads either—they want to be impacted from the get-go.

Millennials accept difference and diversity. They want to hear people’s stories.  They want to connect with them and the more diverse they are, the better. Personal confidence and acceptance is extremely important to the millennial generation.

Millennials are an extremely important segment of the U.S. economy to engage and understand, as many of them will enter their peak earning years flush with disposable income.

How will you market to millenials?  Feel free to comment!


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