Marketing For Millennials

The digital age is here and nothing will ever be the same again, including how business reaches its market. So pack away the cassettes and LPs, leave the CRT-style TV at the curb and take the typewriter to the antique store – everything has changed. Not only is how the message produced and delivered irreversibly altered, the people to be reached by the message have also changed through a sort of digital transformation. Information gurus maintain that one of the most important groups to target in today’s marketing efforts are the “Millennials” – people who are between the ages of 18 and 36 (anyone under 40).

One of the most important groups to target in today’s marketing efforts

This generation is the one born with a mouse in one hand and a smartphone in the other. They are tech savvy, have short attention spans and can verify if a claim is hype or BS with a few keystrokes. But they are also the ones who will be running society in a decade or so, making the job of attracting them to your product or business crucial for your future success.

One distinction that sets the Millennials apart from all other demographics is the group’s preference for personal content discovery. Consumers of this generation are far more likely to find the things they want through social network interaction than via email marketing or other traditional search engine efforts. Social-Media-LogosThe group is also much more self-focused, expecting information and content to be tailored to their needs and personality, rather than having to adapt to someone else’s. The successful marketing campaign will be the one that provides customized service to specific individuals or groups of individuals. The “one size fits all” approach to marketing has to be stacked at the curb with your big box TV.

The old real estate maxim was “Location, Location, Location” – to target the millennial generation the maxim has to be “Social Media, Social Media, Social Media”. Developing a social media presence across all available channels (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.) is a central element of marketing to this new age. But rather than being a passive recipient of information, Millennials want, no demand, the ability to interact. Being able to “Like” something online, being able to share an idea or an experience is one of the strengths of the social medial lifestyle. Any firm will fail to keep the attention of this vast audience if the communication is one-way.

Staring into their digital crystal balls, marketing experts say there are a few efforts that have to be made to attract and keep this hugely lucrative and important audience. One of the most effective marketing tools is the development of original video content. YouTube has changed how the world is entertained, educated and informed. Failure to capitalize on the power of this resource will reduce the impact of any marketing campaign.

YouTube has changed how the world is entertained, educated and informed

Another commonly used marketing phrase is Hyper-Personalization – developing a message aimed squarely at an individual or select group of individuals. The key element of effective modern marketing is recognizing the audience, researching the group’s interests and habits, then crafting a message to pique their curiosity. It is a task much easier to write out than to actually deploy. Before beginning a marketing campaign do what you can to fix in your mind who you want to reach, and then use whatever resources are at your disposal to learn about their habits, vision and interests. A great recipe can only happen after a lot of prep work is completed.

Create and institute marketing efforts that embrace mobile devices. Websites must be responsive to all digital devices, videos should be short, information rich and attractive, text-based marketing has to be personalized and interactive. Marketers today have to think of the 3” screen, not the 26” TV of ages past, as the canvas to paint their masterpiece. Today’s marketing also has to be timely and current. To the “Selfie Generation” if it’s not available now, it might as well not exist. Ellen DeGeneres essentially “broke” Twitter when she posted her star-studded photo of celebrities during the 2014 Oscars. Creating the potential for real time marketing, via podcasts or other online options, is a central tenant of digital marketing success.

Marketers today have to think of the 3” screen, not the 26” TV of ages past, as the canvas to paint their masterpiece

Finally, there is enough gloom, doom and problems – in the real world and especially in the online world. Stating positive and upbeat messages is another key aspect of Millennial Marketing. Researchers have shown that positive emotional content fuels action and that positive status updates are “contagious.” The established success of upbeat videos, particularly those that allow brands to demonstrate customer appreciation, will spawn more of the same, resulting in your message being viewed, understood and appreciated – which is the whole purpose behind your marketing efforts in the first place.