Millennials are young adults born anywhere from 1977 to 2000. This key demographic makes up about 25 percent of the population in the United States and makes 21 percent of all discretionary purchases. They are currently the largest population of the U.S. workforce, quickly taking over the steadily retiring baby boomers. Like all preceding generations, millennials are unique. This quirky group presents their own special characteristics and no smart business will ignore the massive amount of purchase power millennials offer.
Here are some important points to keep in mind when marketing to millennials:
Millennials are Different Than Past Generations
This is a key feature about this unique generation. They are unlike any that came before them, they are simply a demographic comprised of many facets. You must really dig your heels in deep to come up with the best marketing strategy for you. Young adults in 2017 are the most diverse group of individuals that have ever existed. With this generation, you will find anyone from single mothers to high-end professionals, and everyone in-between. Millennials are in every social class and business industry, from apps to marketing and fashion trends. Marketers need to start thinking in terms of each segment, instead of traditional demographics.
The Current Generation is Always Connected
Never forget that millennials grew up basking in technology. They knew nothing but how to be connected to each other and the rest of the world 24/7. In fact, most millennials are working their magic on multiple devices simultaneously. If they are ever in a position where they can’t get online access for any stretch of time, they may go mad.
For this reason, the most successful brands engage with millennials through constant online communication. They provide ample support, at any time of day because we no longer interact from 9-5, that lifestyle is now archaic.
Mobile Marketing Rules
Mobile marketing is a big deal across the board, but since 85 percent of U.S. millennials are glued to their smartphones, it is without a doubt essential to target this area hard in your campaign. To become a master at mobile marketing, start with the basics. All landing pages must be mobile optimized without heavy use of graphics that will bog down loading times. Your call to action should be clearly stated, easy to find on a small screen.
Once the essentials are covered, then you can be creative and craft stylized ways to integrate your brand’s advertising natively into widely used mobile apps and programs. This is a great way to reach this coveted crew and keep millennials engaged.
Millennials Like to Share
Even the least savvy marketer can clearly see that millennials spend more of their waking hours on social media than at any other time in their young lives. To access this target audience, your brand also needs to be active on social media. Our social culture has evolved around this generation. It a sense, millennials and social media have grown up together. Cutting edge businesses that are serious about their marketing practices are constantly sharing and always hunting for new ways to engage on social platforms.
However, keep in mind that not all forms of social media are right for you. Individual platforms serve different purposes and attract varying audiences. Remember to stay focused on the segment varieties and think about who is engaging on which social media sites.
Dismiss the Hard Sell
Don’t bother trying to push anything on millennials, they will laugh at your efforts. This group won’t respond to a pushy sales pitch or being hounded by someone screaming about their amazing products.
The days of the hard sell are long gone and you must allow millennials to make final buying decisions on their own. For instance, it is now very common for clothing stores to hire fashion influencers to help promote their products. Millennials respond better to seeing a fashionista wearing designer garb than they do to a hard sell. This is a much more powerful approach. Why?
Millennials value and respect authenticity. They prefer to hear the testimony of a customer who has preceded them, rather than read promotional copy.
Millennials are Always in Motion
They are not only in perpetual motion, they are moving fast. This is at least partly due to the mobile revolution, which has allowed millennials to stay connected no matter what they are doing, and regardless of where they may be. This eliminates the assumption that marketers may have had in the past, that millennials are accessing sites from home.
What this all means for marketers is that marketing is now an issue of that involves many channels. The retail world has had to adapt to this change. There no separation between mobile, online or offline marketing strategies. Now, they are all one.
It is Hard to Earn Loyalty
Unlike the baby boomers who preceded them, millennials won’t instinctively gravitate toward top brands. Other generations did this because it was more comforting to stay loyal to a brand they knew. It made them feel secure and they never had to take a leap of faith. The rise of this new band of free thinkers has taught established brands loyalty is not something to be expected from customers. Marketers must earn customer loyalty and figure out how to nurture it and keep it.
This concept fuels the well-known stereotype that millennials are flaky, disloyal and not capable of following through with anything for any significant length of time. But, all generations are misjudged and misunderstood on some level. Millennials are known for being hard to convince, but when you do manage to sway them, they are steadfast in their loyalty, the ideal customer. Gaining and retaining this customer loyalty will a constant, ongoing process.
Millennials are here and they are taking over. They are fixated on finding the answers to life’s major problems and generational issues, largely through online searches and social media research. Innovative brands that manage to bring forth relevant solutions to these real-world problems in their content will succeed at winning the attention of the millennials.