Posted by Kristine Jacobson

Marketing to Millennials

We’ve been working on a four-part series about target markets recently. Knowing how your consumer thinks, feels, and behaves is crucial when you are developing a marketing strategy. You can’t just assume that everyone will want to purchase your product or service. The more you can tailor your message, in this case marketing to millennials, the better those precious marketing dollars will be spent.

In our first post, we went over everything you need to know about the value-conscious Baby Boomers. In our last post, we discussed the extremely powerful Gen Xers - who are wary of advertising but also extremely brand loyal. When marketing to Millennials, the more detailed and focused you get, the more compelling and persuasive your communication will be.

All About Millennials

The first rule in establishing your target market is not to make any assumptions about them. Make sure every characteristic is based on facts. If your target market includes the Millennial generation, this guideline is especially true. You may be surprised by what facts support – and go against – your preconceived notions about this generation and its buying power.
Millennials were born between 1980 and 1995, give or take a few years. They grew up immersed in television, the Internet, and social media. If you think that you know them, think again.

The Facts: Millennials

  • Carry hefty credit card and other debt. The average student has $12,700 in debt. This doesn’t dilute their buying strength – which is approximately $200 billion per year.
  • Are often unemployed or underemployed. Only six out of 10 have jobs, and half of those are part-time. Even with these statistics, Millennials may be the most educated generation in US history.
  • Have put off marriage or children. During the recession, nearly one-third of Millennials decided to delay major life events – 44 percent believe that marriage is becoming obsolete.
  • Are tech savvy. More than 65 percent of the generation says that losing their phone or computer would have more of a negative impact on their day than losing their car. They use social media more than television, prefer email marketing to advertising, and respond well to online shopping deals.
  • Are brand-loyal. Over 43 percent like more than 20 brands on Facebook and 77 percent participate in loyalty reward programs. Also, nearly 45 percent will promote something on social media in exchange for a reward.
  • Will talk about you. They are a generation that reads reviews and leaves them, whether they are good or bad.
  • Have big hearts. They reward companies that practice social awareness and energy efficiency.

The Approach: Millennials

Millennials want to be your friends. They want to be spoken to in a conversational tone, but not one that belittles their educational level. They enjoy witty humor, and they don’t want to be preached to or ordered to do something. When creating your messaging, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t underestimate them! Millennials like to be engaged, and loyalty can be earned through brand interaction. Give them incentives for responding, sharing, or taking action. Remember to use things like loyalty points or rewards to make them feel appreciated.
  • Take time to understand their lifestyle. Many are just now having children – or have decided not to have them altogether. And if they have a significant other, don’t assume that they are married.
  • Meet them online. Choose email marketing, social media ads, and other online advertising avenues as opposed to more traditional channels. They basically live online; you just have to meet them there.
  • See what works. Use hashtags to keep track of social media content and drive conversations. Be very interactive on your social media channels, but also see if your audience prefers Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat – and then budget accordingly.
  • Monitor online reviews and handle negative feedback professionally. There’s nothing worse than a company blaming a bad review on the customer. Make sure that your online reputation stays positive, and ask current customers for reviews regularly.
  • Find a cause. Support a non-profit annually or make note of eco-friendly materials or sourcing methods whenever possible. Millennials will appreciate your conservation and philanthropic endeavors.

Who’s Your Target Market?

In the fourth and final part of our series, we will discuss Generation Z. These customers represent the future of your business, so make sure that you get to know them now!

As always, if you need some help narrowing down your own customer base, give Conveyance a call. We’d love to help you set up a laser-focused marketing strategy for communicating to your target audience. With the right game plan, your company can find success.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a team of bright, innovative and talented veteran marketers dedicated to big ideas, fresh insights and measurable results. We pride ourselves on taking challenging marketing issues and turning them into opportunities for our clients, on pointing brands in the right direction, and on getting our customers noticed both online and off. From branding to websites to digital marketing, and public relations, we handle all your marketing communication needs! Web Design and Development | Brand Strategy | Inbound Marketing | Social Media | SEO | PR

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Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience with notable corporate leaders as well as emerging market contenders. She offers expert marketing strategy with a touch of creative flair. Her extensive knowledge of strategic marketing, marketing plan execution, and branding illuminate the big picture without losing sight of the details.