According to the Pew Research Center, there are approximately 80 million Millennials in the United States today – this surpasses Generation X by nearly 20% and has already overcome the Baby Boomer generation. With these staggering numbers, it’s no curiosity as to why our culture is changing. That’s not the case for many companies and that’s why their marketing strategy has gone stale. Most Millennials are just beginning to enter the workplace and are entirely active consumers. However, the older generations are still using traditional methods to market to them.
I am a Millennial.
As Millennials, we like to think of ourselves as forces to be reckoned with and have an abundance of pride in our character. Understanding is the key. We have a conscientious mentality – always keeping up with what’s new, taking eco-friendly initiatives, thriving on entertainment, etc. With this in mind, here are a few tips to spice up your marketing mix for Millennials:
A millennial can easily separate the puffery from the truth and, on top of that, they are keen researchers on a brand they interact with. They’ve grown up in an era where the truth is rare and the information is plenty. They are conscientious and align their purchases with a sense of right or wrong because they act when emotionally engaged.
Millennials go for the products that will help them become more than their actual selves. They want something that can help their pride and do something to contribute to an inspiration. If you can promote a product that’s trendy, healthy, and high-quality, they will only praise your brand. Help them out and they will help you.
Always ask yourself: “Would I buy this?” and “What else is this helping?” This is a great way to start thinking about how to position your brand and develop your product. Analyze your processes and believe in your brand. Provide a sense of social obligation and justice with it – Millennials all want a brand attached with a benefit beyond utility. Own it – don’t just participate.
Practice Word of Mouth
Traditional advertising has little effect, if any. A typical Millennial doesn’t pay attention to a billboard, changes the radio station when an advertisement comes on, or changes the channel when a commercial is on (or just watches Netflix). As a matter of fact, research from Clickz Marketing News and Expert Advice shows that 84% of Millennials do not trust traditional forms of advertising.
One of the most important brand characteristics for them, however, is word-of-mouth. The recommendations from their friends and family have the biggest impact on Millennials. According to Moosylvania.com, approximately 61% of Millennials agree that that one of the most important characteristics of a product is whether or not it’s a recommendable product. Millennials won’t answer your call to action, but they will answer a call from their friend.
How can this be effective? Well, always engage with your customers and become part of the conversation. Give them reasons to talk about you with great products and services, deals, or customer service. Finally, let them know that they are important. Nothing makes a Millennial feel better than ensuring their voice is heard.
Strong Social Media Presence and Real-Time Marketing is Key
Millennials are the most tech-savvy of any generation and are the most active on any social media. Companies have noticed this trend and are following along, but there’s a difference between good social media marketing and bad social media marketing.
There is no single way to utilize social media perfectly, but the best way to reach your audience is to analyze what posts get the best engagement, know when to post, and develop entertaining content that tailors to what gets the best engagement for you. The majority of Millennials spend their time being entertained or informed – they tune out advertisements that they can’t engage with.
According to Evergage, 88% of digital marketers find real-time marketing to be one of the most important aspects of their strategy. If you know the trends, then you’ll know your audience. Rapid, real-time content on social media makes you more competitive and seen – otherwise your content is lost in the feed. However, Facebook runs differently. Engagement on Facebook is earned through payment, not organically. For many major brands, organic engagement on Facebook is about 2%!
Be Their Friend
Would you ask a favor from a stranger? Not everyone has the charisma to just go up and ask someone a favor out of random. Even if you did, not many people would perform that favor for you. Now, what if you asked a favor from a friend? That’s different, right? You know a friend would support you. Knowing this why wouldn’t you want you want your brand to make friends?
Millennials are a greatly interconnected generation, but appreciate a close friendship more so than most. This can go along with all generations, but Millennials can be impacted the most. If your brand can create those close relationships, you’ll have the utmost loyalty out of any Millennial. The best way to do this is to ensure you are engaging them with an empathetic approach, letting them know they are contributing to your cause and beyond, and make them feel valued. A great practice to build friendship beyond that is to have Millennial brand ambassadors. It’s much less intimidating when your brand has a face – a face they can relate to nonetheless. Once you build those friendships, you’ll have loyal Millennials that will defend your brand and praise your brand.