The millennial generation is defined as those born in the 1980s through to the mid-late 1990s and is considered by many marketers to be one the largest consumer bases globally, and growing swiftly. Yet, to market to millennials, you’re going to have deploy many different tactics. First of which is understanding. As a generation they are different from their predecessors in many different ways, having grown up in the booming evolution of technology, completely changing and directing their experience. This means they react differently to various marketing strategies and triggers, and their response can be wildly unexpected and unpredictable.
Below are some key elements to remember when you’re creating and developing a marketing campaign or strategy with a millennial audience at its heart.
Back when marketing was brand new and all shiny the world was a completely different place. It’s important to remember when developing any campaign targeted at millennials that the environment that helped develop marketing strategies and norms does not really exist anymore. So much has changed in just the last decade with marketing and advertising filtering into various new industries, and the adaptation required to survive in this ever-changing world is to recognise: nothing is the same, but especially the millennial market.
As stated, the most remarkable difference between millennials and every single generation that has come before them is the technology. Millennials have grown up in a world that is slowly but surely morphing into a digital space. The most obvious example of this is social media and the sharing culture that has sprung up around it. When developing campaigns, including a social media element to how you deliver your message is crucial to the success and reach of your efforts, particularly if aimed at garnering the interest and buying-power of millennials.
With the advent of social media, and the access afforded by the internet at large, millennials have become a generation with diverse interests. Everyone is able to have a finger in every pie, able to sustain a wide range of hobbies, communities, and “faves”. When it comes to identifying your target demographic among millennials it is no longer viable to identify a wide and very general range of key demographics. The sheer vastness of the online space means you need to be specific and targeted about who your audience is and who you’re aiming to get your message to. Before the web niche markets were difficult to reach: small, and isolated. That is no longer that case and targeting specific audiences no longer threatens the scope and success of your campaign.
This cannot be stressed enough as a good route to go when you’re making decisions about the content, tone, and style of your campaigns. It is important for campaigns to be relevant and relatable, and the easiest way to achieve that is to ask. Further to that, the trend among millennials and being consulted about the marketing that is sent to them is one that is gaining weight. Not to mention, they’re keeping up with the rapid development of technology and the general public opinion, sometimes more so than marketers can, and having their input can sometimes be the thing that avoids awful faux pas.
Most importantly, millennials value authentic content and transparent business practices. Let them in behind the scenes, show them the process, and invite them to provide input and feedback as your campaigns evolve. Being relatable is key, which is why the latest marketing strategies — partnering with influencers, who are online personalities with large followings — are targeted at bringing the audience closer to a brand, and closing the gap between buyer and product.