Marketing to Millennials

There is no denying that the face of advertising has rapidly changed. People, in general, are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis – on mobile, laptops, desktop, etc.

The truth is, digitisation is rewriting the rules of competition and, with an ever-increasing competitive market, and businesses need to transform their strategic approach to stay relevant.  Staggering amounts of information are more accessible than ever before and analytical and data processing capabilities have scattered marketing intelligence across digital networks.

As these technologies gain momentum, they are profoundly changing the strategic context in which a company operates. It alters the structure of competition and the conduct of business and performance across industries. With millennials fast becoming the majority of the buying market, it is imperative that companies adapt their marketing strategy to appeal to this market.

Millennials make up the largest demographic to install ad-blocking technologies and are the ones who use the strictest rules to exclude as much advertising as possible. They are also the most likely to use ad-free video streaming services and PVR technology to skip ads.

For this demographic, the online environment is a community where real people interact and build meaningful connections. For this reason, merely offering a great product may not be enough to close a sale.

Millennials have it rough. Not only did they come of age in the worst economy since the Great Depression, but log onto any news site and you’re likely to find them assailed by older generations as selfie-taking, text-a-holic, unemployable idlers.

But perceptions of Millennials are beginning to shift. A slew of recent articles suggest Millennials aren’t worse than Boomers or Gen X; they’re just fundamentally different. These differences carry over to every aspect of Millennials’ lives – from work ethic and prioritization to spending habits and how they use technology.

As a demographic, they present obstacles for marketers.

How does a company master the art of marketing to a millennial?

Millennials are looking for genuine passion, community engagement, and meaningful interactions with brands that they choose to interact with and support. For a generation that perceive their online presence of connected brands and people, an ad on their screen would be considered an intrusion into their personal space, and would very likely give them a poorer perception of the brand. 

Below are some ways brands can positively engage and market to millennials:

1. Think Beyond Traditional Advertising

Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation that advertisers have ever targeted. You should assume that every claim you make, every banner headline you write, will be researched and checked against their social networks.

Don’t rely on your own website. You need a presence and a strategy for the social networks where millennials spend their time. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Go to them!!

2. Be Authentic

Remember, this group has mastered the art of marketing and will quickly pick up on any attempts made by a brand. It is, therefore, important to be transparent about your brand that portrays you as being real, authentic, and an open book.

Millennials also expect you to be passionate about what you do, and your marketing campaign needs to convey that passion across to them. A campaign should feel like friends discussing something, rather than a sales pitch.

Millennials don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a social media department; it’s important that your brand has a human face. This includes everything from writing content in a conversational voice to being honest and transparent about the products you’re selling. Millennials are more likely than any previous generation to pore through user-generated content and social sites before making a purchasing decision. A strong user-built reputation will be your brand’s greatest asset.

3. Video Is a Critical Medium

Millennials spend 48% more time watching online videos than the average internet user. While your video strategy should include interesting promotional content, you are missing an opportunity if you aren’t engaging these customers with quick informative videos and tutorials. While this stuff will likely never go viral, you have the ability to build loyal customers by providing helpful content, at a relatively low cost to your business.

4. Two-Way Communication

Platforms that send a one-way message to consumers simply do not work. Make sure that you are creating plenty of opportunities for two-way communication, and not just talking at an audience that cannot respond.

While this may sound beneficial and easy enough, companies now have to deal with complaints or interact with competitors – and they don’t always do it successfully. This, in turn, can create a negative impact on the consumer.

Appealing to Millennials is most successful when marketers understand the difference between this generation and other. Successful marketing strategies take into account the millennial generation’s behaviours. Values and perceptions that make them so unique. 

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