Over the past few years Millennials have gotten a bad rap when it comes to making their way into the workplace. They’re “entitled”, corrupted by helicopter parenting and “sidetracked” by technology. Yet one of advertisers and marketers biggest “to-do” is channeling their efforts and how to market to Millennials specifically.
With about 80 million Millennials in the United States (that’s about one fourth of the population) that hold an annual buying power of $200 billion, it’s no question that this is an incredibly lucrative market to be targeting. And with their infamous reputation in society, it’s clear that marketing to millennials cannot be your average campaign or messaging strategy.
Lets take a few of the most recognized stereotypes of Millennials and turn them into how we can effectively reach this large population.
Stereotype #1: Millennials Trust No-One
If they don’t trust you, make them believe what you’re showing them is truthful. Millennials crave organic and authentic content and content that they can learn from. So drop the phony billboard campaign and give them useful content they will view as genuine information coming from the brand. Inbound marketing is on the up and up so rather than providing them with products and services, shift your focus and give them e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, videos and other how-to information.
Stereotype #2: Millennials are Entitled
Entitled? Try empowered. Millennials have grown up with technology and social media and are using it constantly. They are always trolling the Internet for content, information, the newest “thing” and are empowered by all the content that is available to them. They gravitate toward businesses that are dedicated to improving their customers’ lives and feel empowered when they are able to share the businesses’ authentic content over social media and engage with the content.
Stereotype #3: Millennials Are Sidetracked by Technology
Do you blame them? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Netflix (to name a few) fuel Millennials with content. Instead of engaging with Millennials through a 30-second commercial on a television they are not watching, connect with them through social media during one of the 25 hours per week they spend online.
Stereotype #4: Millennials Need Everything Handed to Them
If this is really the case, hand it to them. Tailor your messages to their interests as opposed to trying to take their money. Remember when we talked about trust? This is one way you will gain it. Make your campaign or message transparent and honest and they will be more enticed to experience your brand.
Stereotype #5: Millennials Are Materialistic
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Millennials would rather have an experience than own a material good. Social media platforms like Pinterest allow brands to give this experience to their users. If we compiled each member of 834’s Pinterest accounts, there would be thousands and thousands of pins including clothing, products and recipes. However, we don’t own each of those outfits (we wish we did), or product and probably haven’t made each of those saved recipes. These brands on Pinterest have created an experience making it fun and enjoyable to engage with their brands by “pinning” and saving their products.
In an audience that is fueled by content and authenticity, it is critical that marketers are stepping outside the traditional tactical approaches and are building relationships with consumers that are shaping their purchasing habits for generations to come.
If you’d like more insight about how your brand can market to millennials or any audience for that matter, let us know. We’d love to chat.