I have been to the Millennial mountaintop, and the message is “market to me!”
“But how?” you cry out. “Who are Millennials?! What are they looking for? How can we market to them for better engagement, higher profits, and more awareness for our brand?
Follow me, and I will take you to the promised land.
“Millennials,” as defined by Future Cast, are generally anyone born somewhere between bellbottoms (1977) and Von Dutch Hats (2000), though the exact dates are up for debate.
However you define their age bracket, there are approximately 80 million Millennials kicking around the globe, and they make approximately 21% of discretionary purchases. That translates to 25% of the U.S. population and more than $1 trillion in sales.
Millennials also have huge influence over purchasing trends of other generations.
To resonate with them, you must put your faith in following new trends, and commit these 9 Commandments of Millennial Marketing to memory to reach the milk and honey:
Thou shalt speak to personal identity and key values
Unlike the men and women of the past who believed justice, integrity, family, practicality, and duty were the key values of their time, Millennials want marketing that speaks to the key values that drive them – happiness, passion, diversity, sharing, and discovery.
Thou shalt provide immediate digital content that is unique, engaging, and brief
Good Lord, be brief! Provide Millennials with content that speaks to their experiences and their reality in today’s world (pop culture, video, pictures, etc.). Make it modern, informative (not just persuasive) marketing that can be accessed on their mobile devices wherever they are – and fast! Modern attention spans require quick content.
Thou shalt prove your worth through user reviews and recommendations
Millennials know that there is no substitute for experience, and have learned to trust those who have taken a leap of faith (and lived to tell about it). If those pioneers provide the seal of approval for your product or service on review sites, it builds vital trust and compels others to follow.
Thou shalt provide a sense of social responsibility and benefit
Use your power for good. Singer and producer Pharrell Williams has a clothing line partially sourced from plastic trash taken from the ocean. The Marriott London upcycles their old bed linens into shoe or clothing bags that are used by guests. Products and ideas that are socially or environmentally conscious can be solid gold for marketers.
Thou shalt make use of social networks
Utilizing key social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) puts your message in front of the people who are using them constantly. Millennials use social media to create peer connections (sharing) and find recommendations. Their reward? Adoption and brand attachment. Your reward? Loyal brand following and engaged consumers.
Thou shalt speak through video both in store and online
Use video in your stores (think large interior video wall) and in your online advertising to showcase what you do best. Guide Millennials through your process. Show the history of your brand, how you are unique, and how you created your message with them in mind. Video is an engaging and dynamic way to tell your story.
Thou shalt facilitate personalization
Millennials want something that is local, artisanal, and organic. It allows for a unique, personalized experience or possession they can show off to their friends. Finding a way to make your products and services tailored to the individual makes consumers feel valued – and more likely to snap a selfie to share with their friends!
Thou shalt take Millennials by surprise
Pop up in unexpected places. Ideas like Enterprise rental stations in the suburbs, a Bud Light city in Wherever, USA, or an innovative e-commerce app that rewards your top shoppers can create an irresistible attraction for Millennials. It provides an exclusivity not everyone has, and makes your customers feel like they’re a part of something special with you.
Thou shalt be real
Don’t try and claim to be what you are not. If you tell Millennials you have “the world’s greatest” anything – from clothing to power tools, to cups of coffee – and you do not, it will create irreparable distrust. Do what you say you are going to do and be who you say you are. Millennials love a business with personality, so let yours shine through and be true to your brand.