Any business that wants to remain relevant over the next few years will need to understand how to market to Millennials. As this generation comes into its own with substantial buying power, some marketers seem utterly mystified at how to connect with this group. After all, they defy many of the traditional rules of advertising and scoff at many typical attempts at marketing.
So is all lost? Not even close. Millennials can absolutely be marketed to, if a business is willing to approach things in a new and more engaging way. These are the top 5 things you need to know about marketing to Millennials.
Millennials are savvy
Millennials aren’t interested in advertisements that pretend they’re something else. They are suspicious of paid blogs and detest invasive banner ads and pop-ups. They spend a great deal of time on their mobile devices, which are awkward for reading long, involved articles; they will happily watch a twenty-minute video, however, and share it with their friends.
Millennials want you to be upfront about what you’re selling. They want to know why they should care about your product, right away, so that they know whether or not you deserve their attention.
Millennials have literally grown up in a world that is in danger. From war to poverty to global instability and climate change, these kids and young adults are more aware than any previous generation about the impact they’re having on the world and society. If you want to gain the attention of a Millennial audience, talk to them about that impact, and explain what you as a business are doing to make the world a better place. Explain how your product is changing the world for the better, and how Millennials can be a part of that journey.
Do not lie about this. If your product isn’t actually made in a particular way by a particular group of people, do not say that it is. In the age of the Internet, someone will look into it, and your lie will be found out, and all credibility you ever had will be lost.
Millennials are doing things differently than their parents…
But that doesn’t mean they’re not doing them. Numerous studies have shown that Millennials are moving out of urban centers for better employment opportunities, buying cars later, having kids later, but they’re still doing all of these things. In many ways, the economic instability of the Great Recession has affected Millennials most deeply. They came out of college with substantial debt to a job market that was largely uninterested in hiring them. There is a huge surge in entrepreneurship in Millennials in part because there aren’t a lot of choices for some of the.
So don’t market your product as the key to a successful perpetual adolescence. Millennials aren’t Peter Pan, eager to stay forever young and never grow up. They’re simply doing the best they can with the reality in front of them.
Millennials will pay top dollar if you can convince them it matters
Millennials are sometimes stereotyped as too frugal to spend money on big purchases, but in fact, Millennials are perfectly willing to make big ticket purchases; you just have to convince them it matters. Unlike some of their elders, they’re less likely to make a big purchase just because of an item’s brand.
Especially with the availability of the Internet, Millennials are quick to look for reviews, find the best deal, and make a choice that suits both their budget and their priorities.
So no, Millennials might not pay top dollar just because your ad says that your brand is the best. In fact, you should avoid boring content that is likely to mislead them.
If all their friends agree that your brand is the best, however, you have a better chance. Which brings us to the last, and most important point…
Millennials are social
Despite endless articles arguing that we’re all becoming more and more disconnected from each other as a society, Millennials are using social media to engage their peers in wider and broader conversations than their elders ever did. Meeting a wide variety of different individuals, challenging their viewpoints, and learning about the world from a broad variety of sources, Millennials have the potential to be incredibly well informed about the world around them.
Genuine recommendations from friends and people that they trust mean a great deal to Millennials. Similarly, if someone in their sphere of influence had a negative experience with your product, they may be more likely to keep their distance. That’s not particularly new; what is new is the size of their sphere.
When marketing to Millennials, the most successful companies are using story based approaches that explain the pros and cons of their products in clear, concise, honest language. Successful marketers aren’t afraid of saying “This product isn’t for everyone,” because they can then carefully lay out exactly who their product is for, confident that they will find their audience.
What has your company discovered about marketing to Millennials?