July 14, 2016
Millennials are major players in today’s economy. These sought after consumers will make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce by 2020. That’s just four years from now. With the smell of increased purchasing power lingering in the air, brands are hungry for the chance to capture their share of the predicted spending downpour. But they first have to figure out how to market to millennials.
Of all the many things you should consider when approaching this group, we’ve pulled out three trouble spots businesses bump into. Then we found expert advice on how to get over the hurdles:
#1 Don’t succumb to the fear of missing out.
“Desperately chasing the youth zeitgeist has become the guiding policy of many a marketing force.” Joe Windels, VP Inbound Marketing, BrandWatch
Some marketers suggest that brands allow the fear of missing out (FOMO) to drive them down a path of emoji-filled marketing gimmicks designed to up their cool factor with Millennials. In the process, they disregard precise targeting.
As with any demographic – Baby Boomers, Gen Z, Millennials, etc. – nuances reside within each one that must be taken into account. Generalizing these demographics is shaky ground to build a marketing strategy on.
#2 Stop making assumptions based on traditional milestones.
“Millennials are misunderstood, in large part, because they aren’t approaching adulthood the same way that previous generations have.” Katie Elfering, CEB Iconoculture
What’s both refreshing and perplexing about Millennials is that they aren’t operating from the same playbook as generations past. They view life differently. They focus on intrinsic value like happiness and self-fulfillment. And they rank life experiences over things, flocking to social media to share with their networks.
Elfering recommends three strategies when attempting to market to Millennials. First, understand and speak to the values that drive them. Second, set aside your expectations and tap into theirs. Lastly, invite them to participate in a way that’s not condescending or juvenile.
#3 Drop the sales pitch and have a real conversation.
“Millennials trust what they feel is authentic.” Meaghan Moraes via HubSpot
Millennials are online a lot. They’re consuming content at an alarming rate, devouring social media posts, product reviews, and blogs. But not only are they reading it, but they’re also creating and engaging with it.
But brands that want to infiltrate those conversations successfully can’t come in with a hard sell right in the middle of a news feed. Do your homework and enter the conversation speaking millennials’ native language.
Ready to market to Millennials?
Just about the worst thing you can do is ignore Millennials. But what may be even worse is forgetting the basic rules of marketing that require research, targeting, and proper messaging. When you apply that to your Millennial focus, your marketing is more likely to pass their filters and land in their feeds.