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According to Pew Research Center, the Millennial generation is defined as people born between 1981 and 1997. We've got Gen X as our older siblings and the good ol' Baby Boomers for parents. Yet, Millennials now make up most of the workforce. Chances are, you're reaching out and signing deals with a room full of millennials and maybe they're even holding the pen. Here are 3 things you need to know about marketing to millennials.
(Full disclosure: written by a 26-year-old millennial and it is generally frowned upon to generalize a group of people based on their age, etc.)
1. BUY IT NEVER
Remember the days of infomercials with "BUY IT NOW" flashing across the screen? That is so Gen-X and we millennials are not buying it, literally. These overt marketing tactics are no longer effective because millennials value legitimacy. They find that legitimacy in their peers and influencers around them. 1% of millennials said that a traditional advertisement would make them trust a brand more when surveyed by Forbes. Only 1%. They look to friends for referrals and first-hand experience rather than the traditional sale.
Even if we aren't ready to buy right this second, we're constantly researching and looking for information. It's important for businesses to establish themselves as a trusted source for information and news in their industry. It may seem counterproductive to some old-fashioned marketers, but it's critical to publish content that doesn't include a "buy it now" call to action. Blog posts on related topics in your marketplace are a great start.
2. We have feelings too
A lot of them actually; we're emotional and marketers need to consider that. Millennials have strong feelings about causes/politics/movements. We make decisions based on those feelings. 75% of this group feels that making a profit is less important than the fact that the business gives back to society according to Forbes. Think TOMS and Warby Parker. The buy one, give one model is a great example of how millennials put their purchase power where their cause is. This is just the beginning of the socially conscious business. Whether it's the appeal of organic and fair-trade ingredients or knowing the organization they sign a deal with gives back to the community, this influences millennial's decision making and can't be ignored.
3. We ❤️ our devices
Have you ever left your phone at home and panicked like it was actually your newborn child? Me too, because I'm a millennial and I'm constantly connected to what's happening. If you want to get through to the millennial audience, you need to be reaching out and available anytime day or night. We share and we overshare. We tell the world what we are eating, drinking, and doing in real time from the palm of our hand or even from our watch. Four out of five millennials sleep with their phone right next to them according to Pew Social Trends.
Fear of missing out is real and we're not taking any chances. This is actually great for marketers. Because we overshare, social platforms learn about us and what we like and what's happening in our lives. That allows you as a marketer to target your exact audience that is ready to buy in a way you were never able to before. It's not the "spray and pray" method of the past, this is intentional and specific targeted marketing to millennials.
We hear it all the time: "Our customers are getting younger, and we need help marketing to them." Forbes magazine says Millennials will spend $10 trillion dollars over their lifetime as consumers. Sounds like a great target market to me. Keep in mind the three points above and get to know your audience!