Stereotyped as an internet-addicted, debt-ridden and high-maintenance generation by the media, millennials are no strangers to negative labels.
But when marketing to them, it’s easy to see that Generation Y are so much more than their entitled, job-hopping reputation. They comprise the most ethnically, racially and socially diverse generation ever, with a strong social conscience and zero patience for online advertising.
While they might not be the easiest nuts to crack, establishing an effective marketing strategy to target millennials has never been so important. This socially savvy and technologically connected generation is well worth the effort to win over. For brands, they represent purchasing power valued at over $2 trillion per year worldwide.
Here are six things you should be doing in order to draw in those fickle Gen Yers.
1. Go mobile or go home
Millennials are characterised by their attachment to their mobile devices. It’s a fact that 58% of them expect to be able to engage with a company whenever they want and via whichever channel they choose. Not marketing effectively on mobile is tantamount to not existing to millennials.
2. Be social
Tweets, selfies and ‘likes’ are set to be some of the hallmarks of Generation Y. Whether you like it or not, engaging consumers on social media is essential to growing a brand. Millennials take pictures of what they love and publish them across their range of social media channels, so you can benefit from free brand amplification if you put a concerted effort into engaging with customers on social platforms.
3. Experience is everything
Traditional and push marketing in the form of advertisements or promotional emails simply don’t cut the mustard for millennials. They expect content to be delivered directly to them across a range of channels on a range of devices. Shifting the focus from a campaign approach to one that revolves around customer experience is crucial in marketing to millennials.
4. Be relentlessly relevant
Breaking through the noise and standing out as a unique brand is a constant challenge. Relevance is your guiding marketing principle that ensures your efforts are worthwhile. In such a fast-paced and transient technological era, data on who is using your services or buying your products is readily available. Use this information to paint a picture of exactly who your target audience is, and adjust your marketing accordingly. Contextual clues are everywhere and can be used to your brand’s advantage.
5. Be transparent
In the same vein, being transparent about collecting personal information in order to ensure relevance is essential to creating and maintaining trust between a brand and a consumer. For millennials, loyalty to a brand no longer stems from the product or the service they offer, but is rewarded to companies that create the best customer experience. Being transparent is fundamental to ensuring loyalty to your brand.
6. Social over age
As the generation that is upending traditional expectations of marriage and mortgages, millennials hold a unique and generation-specific view on life, which needs to be tapped into in order to ensure effective marketing strategies. Focusing on social groups instead of age groups is important in demonstrating relevance and understanding of the audience. Targeting population segments that support a particular social cause, or have a strong attachment to a particular social identity, or who are living alternative lifestyles, is a much more in-tune method of marketing, instead of simply focusing on age or gender.
Being engaging, relevant, honest and community driven are essential to marketing to Generation Y. Failure to cater to such a diverse demographic cohort will see you ignored as just another part of the unavoidable noise of the online world.