5 Great Tips to Ace Marketing to Millennials

What do the Spice Girls, The Titanic (film), E.T., Pokémon, Windows, and David Beckham all have in common? In one word the answer is – Millennials.  Born between 1977 and 2000, the Millennial generation primarily occupies space in higher education institutions and/or workforce.  According to Forbes, their earning potential and tremendous purchasing power have made their dollars heavily sought by marketers.

For instance, take a look at some key data provided by Millennial Marketing:

  • Millennials comprise 25% of the U.S. population.
  • Up to 50% are interested in making a purchase if that product or service supports a cause.
  • Millennials are more likely support brands that go beyond their bottom line.
  • About 37% are ready-to-pay while shopping, and are willing to pay extra for a quality product.
  • An estimated 40% seek opportunities to co-create products with brands.
  • Up to 70% of millennial customers share feedback with brands.
Millennial Qualifiers

Reviewing these figures, it’s clear that luring Millennials into the sales funnel requires an extraordinary effort from marketers. Here are a few tips to help you become more effective in targeting Millennials.

5 Tips to Ace Marketing to Millennials

1. Give Them Something New

Millennials love innovation and are up for trying anything — so long as it gives them a kick!  While they may not be the original hipsters, they love to consume trending news, events, and pop culture via social media.  Technology is ingrained within millennials from Facebook to iPhones, and they have regularly been the earliest adopters of new technologies.

A great example is Snapchat’s $130 ‘Spectacles’, a fresher take on Google’s ‘Glass’ attempt at wearable, technology.  Snapchat’s lenses “are designed to make it easy to record what you’re actually seeing, in the moment, without having to awkwardly fish your giant smartphone out of your pocket and hold it in front of your face.” – Dan Frommer, ReCode  From what we know about millennials, the app company’s first hardware offering is sure to get a lot of attention.

The gist: Give them a new wine OR an old wine in a new bottle — millennials will love it all the same!  Remember the recent Pokémon GO craze?  The ‘pocket monsters’ were immensely popular card game among millennials during their adolescence, therefore, it already had a proven fan base.

The development of the Pokémon GO app utilized nostalgia and new technology to create a newer, yet familiar experience for fans of the game.  It’s no wonder marketers made a beeline to ‘Catch ‘em all’ with smart location-based marketing approaches!

2. Break The Rules

Millennials aren’t ones to stick to conventional rules.  For this reason, traditional advertising methods aren’t as effective with millennials as it was for preceding generations.  Don’t be afraid to break the mold and defy convention.

Guerrilla marketing  ditches traditional marketing methods, meeting consumers on the ground level of areas they gather to interact — in-store pop-ups, content-sharing communities/forums, etc.  Here are a few examples of guerrilla marketing tactics used by big brands:

Millennials Taking Selfie
  • Coca-Cola replaced its brand name with customer names by creating personalized coke cans sold in South African stores. Choosing the 600 most common regional names, Coke placed them on cans and bottles, and distributed them in ‘Share a Coke’ vending machines. Customers were then able to purchase personalized cans OR personalize Coke products via Facebook and share them with others.
  • German online recruitment company, Jobsintown.de, ran an interesting campaign a decade ago called, Life’s Too Short for the Wrong Job.  The concept of the campaign showed the everyday people who toil away behind-the-scenes, in cramped spaces.  The result was simply awe-inspiring.
  • Japanese real estate firm, Suumo created an amazingly unique campaign called, Shell we move? In an act of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), Suumo took notice of conditions of the hermit crab ecosystem. Due to landscape degradation reduced the natural seashells for the hermit crabs, so Suumo created environmentally-friendly homes for the crabs. Although challenging, the campaign was a huge success and not only solved the housing crisis for hermit crabs, but also generated great brand visibility.

The gist: Break the rules — Paint the sky red and there’s a good chance you’ll get millennials attention!

3. Up Your Mobile Marketing Game

Mobile marketing is an indispensable part of targeting a millennial audience.  Due to such large numbers of millennials owning smartphones in the U.S.,  it’s imperative you develop brand visibility online and optimize your accessibility via mobile devices.  Because the mobile screens are smaller in size and social platforms enforce character limits, you should say more in fewer words to make an immediate impact.

Taking a  a cue from Quaker Oats Oatober campaign,  the brand putout 31 recipes for muffins,  cookies and oatmeal.

Millennial Dinner Party

“Oatober is a digitally-focused campaign because the digital and social space is where people connect with food and share their experiences.  Food trends online have inspired some of our marketing campaigns, such as overnight oats. You can also find many oat-based recipes on Quakeroats.com.” – Becky Frankiewicz, SVP andGM of Quaker Foods North America.

The gist: Mobile marketing opens the door to capturing the attention of millennials.  Put your best foot forward, think outside the box, and up your mobile marketing game.

4. Ask for Feedback

Even though millennials love exploring new things, they prefer to make an informed decision when doing so. Organizational transparency and access to information make it so younger generations no longer take things at face value — millennials thrive on reviews. And leaving a review is no burdensome task, as consumers nowadays can readily post their customer experiences on social media apps and websites like Yelp.

The gist: Encourage customer reviews, learn from feedback, and assess your brand equity — If you want a good review, you’re going to have to earn it.

5. Offer Promotional Discounts
Woman using smartphone on bench

While freebies are enticing to every generation, millennials are more likely to make a purchase decision when offered a discount.  Hosting giveaways provide the incentive for customers to visit your channels.  This ultimately increases traffic at retail locations, online and social media to help drive the goal of sales.

Millennials affinity for networking provides the added benefit of  large scale social proof via word-of-mouth.  The same holds true for rewards and loyalty programs.

The gist: Offer freebies and discounts in a fun and engaging way to grab millennial attention.  Consider it a solid for the potential business you stand to gain by developing a loyal customer base.

Each generation has their own quirks and eccentricities,  millennials being no exception.  And it is high time you start tailoring your marketing for them in order to build a long-standing relationship.  Get them on board with your brand by getting on board with what is important to them.