Millennials. We are the most studied, analyzed and sought after generation of all time.
We are larger than any other demographic in the US and account for more than one trillion dollars in consumer spending. We are early adopters of technology, but we also crave genuine relationships. We care about creating memories more than high rates of pay or costly items, but are willing to pay more if a product or service supports a cause we believe in.
We have been called the “enigma generation,” and companies all over the world are spending millions trying to figure us out. We are millennials, and trying to get our attention with your marketing efforts can feel impossible.
The biggest mistake companies make with millennials is overgeneralization. The time period in which millennials were born, generally between 1980 and 2000, spans 20 years through rapid advancements in technology and extreme lifestyle changes. While 53% of millennial households already have children, many do not. Because the millennial generation encompasses such a wide range of people, marketing to a “millennial” could mean catering a message to a 20-year-old boy living in a dorm while pursuing a degree in engineering, or to a 31-year-old mother of two who has already married and bought a home.
While the millennial group is incredibly diverse, we do share some qualities. Here are four suggestions for marketing to millennials based on the traits that make our generation unique.
1. Be mobile.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up completely online, making us tech-savvy gadget lovers. According to AdWeek magazine, we check our smartphones an average of 43 times a day. This means that smartphones are a sure fire way for your company to get in touch with us – whether it be through social networking apps, text/push notifications or digital ads. With 85% of millennials having their own smartphone, it’s also crucial that your business website is optimized for mobile so that we can easily and clearly access the information you’re offering online.
2. Be on multiple media platforms.
Millennials grew up doing homework while listening to Walkmans, and now we watch TV while we’re on our laptops. Cross-media marketing is crucial with millennials because we switch between platforms so frequently. A broad media mix also exposes us to your brand multiple times, which is increasingly important at a time in which the sheer quantity of advertisements we see on a daily basis dilutes the messages that we’re hearing. With cross-media strategies, companies increase their chances of impressing on millennials; just make sure that message stays consistent across platforms.
3. Be quick (but also genuine).
The instant gratification that has come as a result of the Internet age has made millennials slightly impatient. We’re used to being able to Google anything and get immediate answers. We can buy items online with one click, and have that item delivered the next day (or even the same day in some cases). As a result, we want messages that are short and sweet. 42% of us say we won’t read something that’s too long, but we’ll also lose interest if the content is too “sales-y”. The bottom line: to achieve conversions, brands need to build relationships with millennials, but do it using messages that are easily digestible and to-the-point.
4. Be prepared to offer choices.
Millennials grew up in an era where the world was filled with increasing options. This has given us the impression that we have the freedom to make our lives into whatever we want them to be. We can visualize the potential of different choices and envision the multiple paths that our lives could take. Companies trying to understand our generation can be successful by providing millennials a variety of options when it comes to the products or services they offer. We’re grateful for brands that recognize that we’re individuals, and that allow us to choose an option that best suits us.
Millennials know what they want, and they want it right away. Marketers need to cater to this new world where instant gratification is the driving force behind everything we do. Hopefully, these tips will help you better understand our enigma generation and allow your company to capitalize on the traits that define us.
millennialmarketing.com, nytimes.com, forbes.com, businessknowhow.com, entrepreneur.com, mediapost.com, brookings.edu