Nowadays, more and more businesses have to adapt and learn how to target millennials. They are the new generation and effectively marketing to them will ensure the survival and prosperity of your business in the near future. Just to clarify, millennials are young adults aged 18 to 34. What you probably didn’t know is that they wield around $1,3 trillion in annual purchasing power.
Quite a lot of companies have a difficult time finding the proper ways of marketing to this generation given that it’s the most highly educated and racially diverse segment in our history. And since the buying power of this customer segment increases with each day, it becomes more and more attractive to entrepreneurs. Thus, understanding how they think and the aspects on which their buying decisions are based on, are some of the things that are mandatory for marketers and entrepreneurs alike. Also, remember that millennials want to be treated as individuals and not as bulk.
Two of the main characteristics that define millennials are as follows: they are tech-savvy, and they are permanently connected to the media world. Their behavior is also something entrepreneurs and business owners should take into account. Millennials, in comparison with other generations, are in favor of postponing marriage and quite a lot of them go on the record and state that they do not have a religious affiliation. Although they are not really a trusting group, millennials are quite optimistic when it comes to the future. Also, approximately 43 percent of millennials are non-white and around 25 percent are speakers of another language other than English at home.
Given the diversity of this group, their different personalities and interests, marketers can have a tough time identifying the best ways to successfully approach this generation.
So how should marketers and entrepreneurs market to millennials so that they will attract as many of them as possible? Here are a few useful tips that could help you in this respect:
Millennials appreciate it when a company is paying attention to their exact needs. Creating a solid social media presence on many platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and even smartphone apps, is the best way to ensure you reach millennials. And although companies usually manage to keep their attention for a while, millennials will soon lose interest if the communication process is not a two-way street.
Replying to tweets, liking their Facebook comments are great and all, but engaging with millennials is so much more than that. Companies need to add value to their users experience through brand loyalty programs, promotional events or special discounts. Moreover, this offers millennials the impression that each and every of them is special in the eyes of the company.
Rely heavily on mobile marketing. Marketing your enterprise by means of mobile devices is extremely important in general, but if you consider that roughly 85% of millennials in the U.S. are proud owners of smartphones, it’s pretty safe to say that this is the best way to target them. When you’re starting to implement mobile marketing, first you need to take a look the basics. See if your landing pages are optimized for mobile devices, or determine whether you use landing pages that are way too graphics-intensive, thus making it longer for them to load or assess whether your call to action is clear enough even for devices with a smaller screen.
After covering all the basics, it’s time you put your creativity wheels in motion. As Brian Wong, a millennial himself, figured out, a great way of integrating advertising natively into mobile games can be done by allowing enterprises to offer rewards following in-game accomplishments. Nowadays, other companies such as Gatorade offer rewards to users after fitness accomplishments for example. This is done with the help of companies such as Kiip, who integrate advertising with different types of mobile applications.
Determining ways in which you are able to integrate your advertising natively in a popular mobile app and program is a great way of marketing to millennials.
Avoid targeting life stages. Rather, go ahead and target social groups. If there’s one thing to say about millennials is that they are non-traditional to say the least. They don’t see and perceive advertising as previous generations did. Actually, their view on life is completely different. Some concepts and words have either diluted over time or have totally different meanings. When a millennial talks about “family” that person may be referring to several different things that may have nothing to do with marriage. The same can be said about other words such as “neighborhood” or “community”.
Given the current economic conditions millennials face, goals such as purchasing a house or a flat are not that attainable for most of them. Also, bear in mind that a large percent of them don’t even want this. Some prefer adopting a traveling lifestyle, where the location they work is independent. Another thing marketers and advertisers should bear in mind is that the adult lives of millennials aren’t linear. Thus, marketers will have to adjust so as to meet the needs of this group.
Marketers should avoid altogether focusing on life stages and instead focus on millennials that are part of social groups. What does this mean? Simply put, advertisers should shift their attention to the segments that are involved in social causes or those who are living alternative lifestyles. While it may surprise most, millennials are far more attached to the aforementioned social identities than they are to a specific life stage.
Last but not least, remember to be engaging and remain relevant in their eyes. Yes, while this last tip should and can be applied to all generations, it’s a must for millennials. The vast majority of millennials have never lived in a world without social media and the Internet. This makes them far less likely to just accept the message your company sends and take the action you request.
Millennials are far more interested in solving problems they may encounter by doing a thorough research online. The great news is that enterprises that are able to provide simple and relevant solutions to current problems are the ones that will gain this generation’s attention.
Also, remember to be as engaging as possible given the fact that approximately 95% of millennials have stated that friends are the most credible source of product information. So if you are able to engage a customer base within this generation and create foot soldiers that have nothing but great things to say about your brand, the chances your company registers improved results increase significantly. If you are not able to deliver great products and services while trying to remain relevant, engaging and constantly trying to create a great community, millennials will start to ignore you.
Although a lot of advertisers and marketers are not all that familiar with millennials, marketing to them shouldn’t be this hard. By heavily relying on mobile marketing, targeting social groups, paying special attention to them and by being relevant and engaging, every company should be able to successfully market to millennials.