At one time, marketers focused on targeting baby boomers. Today, marketers are turning their attention to millennials. Primarily the offspring of baby boomers or Gen Xers, millennials comprise a crucial segment of the buying public.
Time magazine reports that this generation is 80 million strong and is comprised of individuals born roughly between the years 1980 and 2000. More than a decade of sociological research has gone into studying the characteristics of this fascinating generation, 93 percent of whom are avid Internet users and most of whom are quite comfortable with using social media and new technology. Considering the fact that this group was the first generation to actually grow up with computers both in the classroom as well as at home, it is hardly surprising that millennials are so comfortable with digital media. In fact, most of the individuals termed as millennials do not remember a time without cellphones or the internet.
Given their strong bond with technology, millennials are a highly valued demographic. That alone might be enough to make them a strong element when planning your next marketing campaign, but there is also more to consider. The fact that this demographic has an annual purchasing power of $170 billion makes it an extremely powerful buying group. So much so that even big name companies are beginning to sit up and take notice. Wendy’s recently instituted a social media campaign specifically for the purpose of targeting and catering to millennials. If you are not doing the same, you could be missing a crucial segment of your target audience.
Once the baby boomers hit the scene in America, tremendous amounts of research went into studying this massive demographic. Today, the same amount of attention is being directed at millennials, and that research has paid off by providing in-depth insight into the characteristics that tend to define most individuals within this group. While everyone is unique and millennial characteristics certainly can vary from one region to another, there are a few elements that tend to remain the same. For instance, millennials are often far more familiar with and use media, communication, and digital technologies than their parents or grandparents.
These individuals grew up knowing that they could access television on demand, and helicopter parenting was the rule rather than the exception. Easy access to cellphones served to encourage continual communication. According to research conducted by Nielsen, 74 percent of individuals between the ages of 24 and 34 own smartphones, representing an increase of 59 percent from mid-2011.
A study conducted by YPulse found that 68 percent of the millennials surveyed stated that the majority of their news was received through information broadcast on Twitter. Of those surveyed, 62 percent said that they received their news from news websites. Clearly, social media is valued by millennials as a way of connecting with others.
What can you do to target this powerful demographic? It can be surprisingly easier than you might think, but in order to do so, it is important to embrace technology and use it to your advantage to reach this technology reliant group.
Begin by creating a multimedia campaign that includes social media outlets. There are plenty of options from which to choose, but in order to truly target millennials, you need to identify the social media communities that have the most appeal. Facebook remains popular, but there are also other outlets to consider, including Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Appealing to the interests of your target audience is certainly not a new tactic, but when it comes to targeting millennials, this strategy becomes even more important. In its latest campaign, Wendy’s recently released a video series on YouTube to reach younger millennial women. The company’s latest line of salads was introduced complete with a fashion show.
It is not a secret that in order to be effective, marketing must be timely. When it comes to marketing to millennials, you must also make sure that it is relevant. In order to do this, you need to spend time studying this group and understand what it is that makes it tick. Learn the challenges millennials face and the issues that concern them.
Targeting millennials need not be difficult, but it does require a well-developed strategy. Considering the fact that studies show that millennials will spend $10 trillion during their lifetimes, it is certainly worth it to put the necessary time into developing a social media marketing campaign to target this group.