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Any company still doing business as usual has a “Marketing to Millennials” problem. They’re young, they’re upwardly mobile, they think differently from previous generations, and they already dominate the workforce. Antiquated marketing methods aren’t going to work. It’s time for a new approach.
While sex, the American Dream (home, marriage, children), and being one of the cool kids influenced buying habits in the past, 75.7 million Millennials in the 19-36 age range are motivated by entirely new ideas. [Tweet “Millennials are a new generation with new values, and they aren’t ready to settle down.”][feature_box style=”2″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”]
A little more about millennials
This generation has spent their lives crowdsourcing decisions what to wear, where to go, who to date. It’s only natural that they would seek validation before making purchases. To reach them, you’re going to need a new plan. Here are 10 new ideas you probably haven’t considered.
- Focus on company culture. If treating employees well doesn’t sound like marketing, you haven’t been paying attention. Millennials want to buy from companies who value their employees. Develop corporate policies with employee interests in mind, and you’ll develop a positive brand image. As a bonus, you’ll attract better talent, even if you can’t afford to beat your competition on salary. Millennials want better work/life balance.[pullquote align=”normal”]Develop corporate policies with employee interests in mind, and you’ll develop a positive brand image. [/pullquote]
- Ask for opinions. Unlike past generations, Millennials trust the opinions of regular people over expert testimony. They want to hear from other users…and from celebrities. Seek referrals, reviews, and build relationships with influencers on the top social channels your customer base call home.
- Do good. Millennials want to do business with companies aligned with their values. They are acutely conscious of global issues, and concerned about environmental and human conditions. Getting involved with social causes on the local or global scale will help you build your credibility.
- Position yourself as part of the Millennial lifestyle. In some of the oddest thought-process pairings ever, brands from Michelob to Old Spice have hijacked Millennials love for adventure and the outdoors. Somehow, we are expected to believe that when your superfun group of attractive people hikes to the summit of a mountain, a giant tub of cold beer on ice will be waiting.
The Old Spice commercial is a little more spot on…because it mocks such transparent marketing efforts.
- Make changes based on feedback. Like every generation, Millennials want to be heard. More than any customer base that preceded them, they expect response to their issues and concerns. Companies that respond to customer feedback build a strong reputation for customer service, which works for every generation.
- Concentrate on mobile. More than 85% of Millennials own smartphones, and digital shopping is on the rise. Grab your mobile market share and
- Surprise them. Unexpected mystery boxes like Birchbox for beauty products, Barkbox for pet products, and Book Riot to surprise and delight readers have grown exponentially over the last year or two. Today’s young people love a good adventure, even if it’s opening a box full of surprises for their pets.
- Sponsor an event. Redbull connects with its audience up close and personal with events designed to speak directly to its core audience. Since their unique selling proposition is energy, getting involved with events like surfing and snowboarding competitions, concerts, and races is the ideal way to reinforce the brand.
- Send the right message. Content is the cornerstone of your marketing campaign. When marketing to Millennials, make your content engaging, informative, and chatty. You’re looking to join in, not interrupt. Deliver content in various ways, via social media, visual medium, and video.
- Encourage UGC. Millennials love to participate. Give them opportunities to engage and have fun with your brand by asking for submissions.
Brands successfully engaging to millennials are authentic, fun, and social. Communicate with them on their own turf and build your company on values they relate to. Forget conventional methods and embrace the free-spirited enthusiasm of a new generation of consumers.