Millennials are one of the most talked about generations in the marketing industry, but are they really that different?
Let’s take a step back for a moment and reference our wise friend, Socrates.
In 400 BC, he described young people and young adults as the following:
“They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs.”
In truth, not much has changed. However, millennials are different because they have grown up in a world where technology is the crux of their everyday lives. Think of it this way, if you were to take a millennial and pitch them against someone from Generation Y (1985-1995) you’d see two similar people acting in very different ways – with the main difference being the lack of technology with Generation Y. Considering the small age difference (10 years) it’s remarkable to see how different one and other are.
What separates millennials to previous generations is their online engagement. While some traits are very similar among certain age groups, millennials act very differently to trigger points online. So, when adults complain about why young people are constantly on their phones, it’s not technically their fault – millennials have grown-up with this advanced technology, something that never existed 10-15 years ago.
Below, I talk about the 6 reasons why marketing for millennials is different to marketing for the everyman. Hopefully the 6 tips will shed light on what not to do to attract the millennials!
1. Millennials are confident the information on mobile and desktop are the same.
As many are aware, millennials are tied to their phones, almost literally. Therefore, mobiles are the clear favourites for targeting.
This is not to say that the older generation do not have mobiles, instead, its the fact that younger pfeople are more likely to be on their phones longer because of all the apps at their disposal – they also have far more time to mess around on their phones. According to a recent Google stat, 66% of millennials are confident that the information they find on mobile devices (such as flight details, hotel information, etc) is the same on a desktop.
Whereas a mere 43% of travelers over 35 feel the same way.
2. Collaborate with Millennials
Millennials do not respond well to hard selling.
Why? Because they grew-up in a society of sharing, and attempting to buy their love – so to speak – isn’t going to do you any favours. Getting them to share your product/service whatever it may be, is the best way to engage with them.
They won’t just share it for no reason, however. They want to trust whatever they’re sharing, they want to relate to it in some way; be it humorous, enlightening, or in any way beneficial to their lives. Better yet, if your company can outreach to popular millennial bloggers (or a relevant target millennials admire) you’ve made a big step. L’Oreal, Prada and Chanel have already done this by collaborating with several bloggers to reach the millennial audience.
3. Make Use of Mobile!
We cannot stress this enough.
Like previously stated, millennials are tied to their phones and according to Facebook, 55% of millennials use their mobiles to update, post and share their own profiles. This makes social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every marketers new playground for promoting their services.
This is the main reason why you’re seeing adverts spammed across your social media accounts. It’s sad, it’s sometimes ugly but it works.
Don’t get me wrong, not all adverts will work. They have to be engaging, authentic, offer rewards – but most importantly, they have to look like the opposite of an advert. Think that pop-ups with big flashing lights, capital letters and big money signs is going to capture the imagination of a millennial? No, it isn’t. It might have worked in the late 90s and early 2000s when computers were fairly new but now, they’re wise to it.
Come across as moral, come across as a company or service that has the millennial’s best interests at heart. They appreciate earnestness and empathy, so use this to your advantage!
4. Temp them with Discounts
Yes, this is the oldest trick in the book but it’s still one of the most effective.
I’m still getting Pizza Express vouchers thrown at my every week and even though I don’t go that often, I occasionally click on the link just out of curiosity.
Many companies offer a sort of ‘share this to be in with a chance of winning a free meal at (restaurant)’, or ‘tag your friend so that you both may be in for winning a weekend away in (exotic destination).’ While many people refrain from succumbing to such an easy marketing ploy, what’s the harm in sharing it or tagging a friend? It gives you a chance to win something and the company gets a larger reach.
It’s a simple win-win for both consumer and distributor.
5. Legitimate Content Empowers Them
According to AdAge, millennials spend roughly 25 hours per week online – that’s more than a day scrolling through Facebook, buying products off Amazon and/or watch YouTube videos non-stop.
Millennials are craving content-driven media. Why? Because they’re constantly seeking empathy, empowerment and knowledge. Community is also an incredibly important factor for millennials – commenting, sharing, liking, tagging, all of this brings friends and strangers together and this creates dialogue and sometimes even viral content.
So, what does this all boil down to? Simple – millennials are looking for authentic content.
Today, young shoppers are inspired by both celebrities, people they know in person and even strangers online that share the same interests. Millennials treat these people as advisers, they carry them everywhere they go and turn to them for guidance and to an extent, adulation. This means they’re looking to trust up-to-date, relevant and authentic content.
Bazaarvoice.com also polled that 84% of millennials stated that user-generated content has an influence on what they buy. A further 73% claimed that they read other people’s opinions before making a purchase or commitment to a cause.
6. Loyalty, Loyalty, LOYALTY!
Millennials – whether you like it or not, are your best friends in business. They promote your services and products for free if they wholeheartedly trust and believe in what you’re offering. In fact, they’re so loyal that they now wield about £1 trillion in annual buying power.
So, be loyal! Don’t force them into an advert where they can’t find the escape button, forceful marketing is dead.
These 6 tips will hopefully point you in the right direction when marketing to the millennial crowd. These tips should remain true for a number of years, millennials will be around for a while, so technically, these tips should stick with them! For more information on our marketing strategies and what we’re doing differently, have a look at our blog!