Millennials are the generation born between 1977 and 1995. Gen X is the generation born between 1965 and 1976; and Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Millennials are a larger group than Boomers. Soon, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. In five years, they will account for one third of all retail spending. As the buying power of Millennials increases, companies seeking their business must understand them.
The Millennial generation is not only the largest population, but also the most racially diverse and highly educated generation in American history. They are a tech-savvy, media-connected generation that has a difficult time bulding trust, especially with a brand or product; however they are optimistic about the future.As with each new generation, the Millennials come with their own set of specialized abilities and expectations. Here are five ways to market to this group more effectively.
1. Create accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media. Consider the places Millennials go for information and the way they behave. Millennials are logging into their Facebook and Twitter accounts several times per day, posting photos to their Instagram and Snapchat profiles, sending instant messages to friends, and uploading their videos to YouTube. So, put your name out there and be part of conversation; establishing a social media presence across a variety of channels is the most effective way to reach Millennials. Remember, your social media profiles are an extension of your business. They are an easy way to share information and updates with the people who matter most to your business.
2. Listen to the conversation. Half of a conversation is listening. Many businesses fail to listen to the conversations that Millennials are having about their products, or their company. Social listening helps brands see what people are blogging about, what topics are trending, and how the audience feels about specific keyterms. The goal of social listening is to listen to discussions and respond. When an audience feels as though their opinion is being listened to, and addressed, a company is able to build stronger brand loyalty with that audience.
3. Communicate on a personal level. When marketing to Millennials, personalization is key. With past generations, generic messages were sent out to the masses. This type of content was generally successful with the Baby Boomer and Gen X audience. This changed when Millennials entered the scene. This generation, which made “selfie” a household word, has a whole different expectation of companies and the media. Information must be personal and relatable to the person’s interests and pain points. And brands should serve up the information and stories that will resonate with their customers on a personal level.
4. Use consistent messaging. Regardless of which media type you use, keep your messaging consistent. If you say one thing and do another, or change your messaging frequently, you will be confusing to your audience. Being consistent in your messaging and communicating frequently will help you to build the trust necessary to ensure lifetime customer value.
5. Be creative. The more creative your content, the more likely you are to be “liked” and “shared.” Before you know it, Millennials will be sharing and distributing information about your brand. Being creative is king! Millennials live in a highly cluttered media environment and tune out the mundane, so your message will be overlooked if it’s similar to messages they’ve already heard. And, Millennials like design as look-and-feel are important to them. So create something meaningful, fun, and worth sharing.
Overall, marketing to Millennials needs to be strategic. Companies will have to move away from just sending out generic, mass media messages and ads if they wish to engage this group. Social media and advertising will have to become more targeted, responsive and personal.
So engage, listen well, and respond. Provide value. Seek interaction, not reaction. Market with your Millennials.