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Insider Tips For Marketing To Millennials

One of the most interesting and sought after groups for marketing right now are millennials; those people who reached their young adult years around the year 2000. That means right now the older portion of that demographic are in their mid-thirties which is the age where major purchases are made which is exactly why you need to read our insider tips for marketing to millennials to learn how to hook these big fish before they swim downstream.

Why do you need tips? Aren’t millennials just like the generations before them? Unfortunately, no, they are most definitely not.

This particular generation, Gen-Y, have shown themselves to be rather different than Gen-X or the Baby Boomers that preceded them. They buy things, but they go about it differently which has made marketing to them a whole new animal.

Understanding the Millennial

So what makes the average millennial different compared to previous generations? Well, let’s first look at what we know. As a group, millennials are broadly defined as those currently between ages 20 and 35. It is estimated that they have a little over $1 trillion in annual buying power, which is a nice chunk of change.

From a demographic standpoint this group is about 40 percent non-white and at least 25 percent have English as a second language. There are approximately 75 million millennials in the U.S., making them the largest demographic, just overtaking the boomers this year.

What also makes them different is due to their short time paying attention to the world as it has gone through periods of economic crisis; they have never seen a period of sustained economic growth. Generally speaking this leads to concerns over things like job security and the future. A larger portion is very educated, but with that education comes a lot of student debt.

So, how do you best approach these elusive creatures?

Tips for marketing to Gen-Y

  • Target at a Mobile Level – First things first, 85 percent of millennials own smart phones. Most have probably been using them since phones first became smart. That means you need to not only be targeting them where they live, but also in unique and fun ways aside from just having mobile-optimized websites.
  • Aim for Relevant and Engaging – Millennials are interesting because a world without internet never existed for them. Some form of social media has probably been around for quite some time as well, even if it was MySpace or Friendster. Because of that they have seen it all and simply won’t be very likely to just accept any message you put in front of them. This is a media savvy group that does not want to be advertised too. So your content and message has to be relevant to them, such as solving a problem, and it has to be engaging. In a way, for Gen-Y you need to strip things down to simply solving a real problem for a particular group while being interesting. Help them!
  • Target Social Groups – Gen-Y is extremely non-traditional. So with that it seems that life stages that other generations followed do not hold sway. Family and community have different meanings. The idea of buying a house seems far-fetched. So rather than targeting what would be typical life stages, instead focus on smaller, social groups that millennials identify with. The Gen-Y crowd has developed attachments to small groups as an identity much more that prior generations. Also, because of this attraction to groups, millennials make great brand ambassadors because if they identify and believe in your brand or message they will spread the word, much like the GoPro community.
  • Focus on Their Values – Forget how you might think about things. Instead try and understand the values they have and what they place importance on such as being socially conscious or charitably giving. By attaching your brand to a cause or value they find important you will forge an emotional connection. Tom’s Shoes is the most obvious example of a social conscious company that has made it relatively big from humble beginnings largely because of the connection it formed with a huge group with shared values.
  • Use Authentic Content – Millennials spend about 25 hours a week online. That is a huge chunk of surf-time which means they are literally content-addicts. They love to find fresh, new, authentic content they can share, pin and promote to share with their online communities. But they only way they will do that is if they think the content is genuine. There is a ‘trust’ factor for this group where they go with trusted opinions to make informed choices; so speak their language and use authentic content to create that connection.

The Bottom Line

While Gen-Y is different, that doesn’t mean that marketing to them is hard; it is just different. Much like we preach that a business needs to understand their customer, as a marketer you just need to understand some of the ways this particular generation is different than its predecessors. Our insider tips for marketing to millennials is a great starting point to helping you see ways to tap into those 75 million consumers.

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