Fletch Sneak Peek: Marketing to Millennials

Is it us or does everyone seem to be talking about Millennials today? From an open letter to “college crybabies” from a CEO to an overall fascination with this generation, everyone who is anyone is trying to figure out how to build a strategy for effectively marketing to millennials.

marketing to millennials: college crybabies

(Graphic by the NewBostonPost; image via Adobe Stock)

Why are we so fascinated with marketing to Millennials?  It’s a lot of things from:

  • A unique sense of self
  • Optimistic outlook on life
  • New approach to life stages

But the reality is this.  There are 80 million Millennials in the U.S. and they make up approximately $200 billion in buying power.  They are quite simply the most lucrative market and every marketer wants a piece of Millennial pie.  And unlike other marketing techniques or strategies, tailoring a marketing strategy to Millennials is not a fad.  It’s like “mommy marketing” — it’s not only smart but essential to your business.

Authentic Content = Empowerment

Millennials are driven by content.  They spend on average 25 hours per week online looking at websites, social media and even blogs.  If they like what they find – if it feels authentic – Millennials will share, like, tweet, snap, forward, pin that content to their online communities.

We live in a user-centric environment and that is what engages Millennials.  They are influenced by friends, brand ambassadors and even celebrities; however that influence must be authentic.  84 percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy, and 73 percent read opinions before purchasing.

If you are able to reach Millennials you must also speak their language, as that instills another level of trust.  In essence you are building a true brand-consumer relationship.

A company that has done this successfully is Taco Bell with their “Millennial Word of the Week.”  By using their employees, the company is incorporating the lingo of its consumers into its messaging.

Taco Bell studies millennials slang

(Image: AP)

Bye-Bye Outbound Marketing

In the same vein of being empowered, Millennials need to feel connected and empowered to their purchases.  Gone are the days of old techniques.  Magazine ads and even radio spots seem impersonal.  Millennials are demanding personalized, customer-driven marketing. Not only that – this generation is digitally savvy.  They know how to find what they want.  They do research through blogs, forums and more.

84 percent of Millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.

Are You Improving Lives?

Millennials support business that are not only providing informative content, but are improving lives through that content.  Hello inbound marketing!

Millennials crave experts and thought leaders.  So kill two birds with one stone.  Create killer content that will help your SEO and Google ranking and show Millennials that you’re an expert.  They are 44% more likely to trust experts and 247% more likely to be influenced by a blog or social network.

Not convinced?  Look at Mac Cosmetics.  Instead of print ads, the company game up with a YouTube channel full of “how-to “ videos by experts.  Now you know to create a smoky and a Millennial is more likely to tell her friends about Mac from their videos.

Mac how-to videos aimed at marketing to millennials

(Images Courtesy: YouTube)

Collaboration is Key

42 percent of Millennials want to help companies develop products and services.  As a company you have to completely rethink your business model.  You can’t just create a product anymore and hope that it will be purchased.  Millennials want to be involved with the creation.  To be successful marketers need to build relations with consumers and allow them to fuel their self-expression.  Think of it like you’re letting them create their own personal brand.

Coca-Cola recently did this with their new brand promise of Energizing Refreshment.  Consumers were asked to interpret Coca-Cola in whatever format they wanted to.  The company gathered all the submissions and used them in global marketing campaigns.

Energizing Refreshment targeting millennials

(Image: en.eyeka.com)

Use?  Own?

Millennials would rather rent, share, barter, use an item, instead of buying it.  Mobile services and apps like Spotify, Airbnb, Rent the Runway and even Relapse Clothing have exploded on the scene.  Even when it comes to cars, Millennials would rather lease luxurious cars and not buy them.  This “sharing economy” is a real smart way for modern businesses to capture a Millennial consumer base.

Rent The Runway targeting millennials

(Image: renttherunway.com)

Millennials are craving honest, content-driven experiences that are tailored to them.  If you can empower them with your marketing messages, then you’ve won the battle.

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