It’s not surprising that millennials (currently, 18 to 35 years old) are the biggest spenders in the country. They love experiences, traveling, and anything that will make them feel good about their lives. According to the Census Bureau as of June 2015, they outnumber the baby boomers with a total population of 83.1 million compared to 75.4 million boomers. It’s hard for companies to ignore this generation, but some may have a hard time marketing to millennials because they are the most diverse. Their access to companies across the globe far outreach previous generations. If a company is not making an effort to reach them, then they’re missing out on millions of potential profits. With $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, millennials’ resistance to traditional marketing may deter a company’s marketing efforts.
So, what can a company do to grab the attention of this generation? How can you start effectively marketing to millennials?
Here are 4 tips I’ve learned along the way to improve marketing to millennials.
It’s hard to ignore the various types of social media platforms available today. Of course, there’s Facebook, Twiitter, Pinterest, but platforms such as Instagram, Periscope, and Tumblr are coming on full force and millennials are hopping onboard like crazy and are sharing almost every aspect of their lives. They expect the same thing from the brands they love. They want companies to be social and to find out what’s happening right now and in a hurry. That’s where a strong social media marketing plan comes into play. Companies can share their latest products, behind the scenes with employees, or even show support for other organizations or local events. Millennials want to feel that social connection and you have to give it to them.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Millennials are the most fickle when it comes to brand loyalty. If there’s something newer, better, or more affordable, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are willing to give it a go over the brands they’ve been using for a couple of years or that their parents chose for them growing up. They’re also very opinionated and outspoken. So, if you’re engaged by a millennial, whether on social media, in forums, or through your customer service form, you better engage back. Millennials will let others know if they love or hate a product, so if you receive feedback (positive or negative) it would be in your best interest to acknowledge and respond. You’d rather get a review that says great product and great company/customer service or sucky product, but great customer service over sucky product, sucky company/customer service any day.
The traditional idea of selling is out of the window when it comes to millennials. Millennials don’t want to be told what to do or how to do. They don’t want to be inundated with ads all day. They definitely don’t want to be told how to spend their money. Everything is done on their own terms. The best way to reach this generation is through organic marketing or inbound marketing. You’ll bring the customer to you through blog posts, seo, social media, landing pages, etc. You’re not directly selling to them, but you’re giving them the information they need about your company and products so they can make an informed decision before making a purchase.
Understand the Diversity
Millennials grew up in difficult financial times, so where and how they spend their money is important to them. Keeping that in mind, a company shouldn’t have a blanketed marketing plan for this diverse generation. Companies must understand that they cannot market a product to an 18 year old millennial the same way they do to a 35 year old millennial. The message will get lost on one or both of them. The burden of debt may be different for 18-24 year olds who only have a car and rent to pay (unless they’re being fully supported by their parents) compared to 25-35 year olds who have mortgages, insurances, and families. Of course, there is some overlap with the ages, but some have higher incomes/discretionary income, therefore they have higher spending power for bigger purchases.