Millennials - the so-called digital natives - are born and bred in a world where information is easily accessible. They grew up with technology at their fingertips, so part of their identity revolves around the digital world. They also represent an increasingly lucrative market - not only do they account for almost one-fourth of the U.S. population, but they have an annual buying power of more than $200 billion. It's expected that this year, their collective spending will outnumber that of all other demographics.
Of course, there has to be a catch here somewhere, right? The thing is, Millennials, according to marketers, are also the most challenging group to connect with.
But if you want to continue to advance your brand outreach, you have to craft marketing strategies that resonate with this unique generation of consumers.
Here are some key tips and considerations to keep in mind.
1. The Most Diverse Generation
Like every other demographic group, Millennials have their own distinct qualities, but if you think you can generalize this group, you're gravely mistaken.
Millennials are the paradox of consumers - the most unified yet divided of generations.
You'll find this group in prestigious universities, urban workplaces, and rural homes as working students, middle-class employees, and single parents. You'll find them in every social class, country, and culture. Because they're widely segmented, you need to refine your marketing campaign to accommodate them.
And it doesn't end there - Millennials are also non-traditional, they view life differently, so they have different purchasing habits. Just as Baby Boomers are sensitive to cost and social appearance, Millennials tend to prioritize social identity and experience.
2. Connecting Through Various Touchpoints
Millennials are often connected to multiple devices all at once. They're everywhere on the web, scouring the internet for empowering content. They share their finds with theit online communities to perpetuate the cycle of enlightenment.
Online exploration is becoming not just a means, but an end in itself, and it's all thanks to these digital natives.
The good news is, keeping up with consumers is easier than ever through the various data tracking methods. Through the development of omnichannel marketing, the fine line between online, offline, and mobile is gradually being blurred out. All of these platforms are merging into one, giving you increased capacity to reach Millennials anytime, anywhere.
3. Where the Real Challenge Lies
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is assuming that their job ends when they get millennials' attention. The truth is, customer onboarding is just the beginning.
If you take too much time and spend too much money trying to figure out how to connect with your target demographic, you'll lose - you need to lay out a workable plan to keep them for good once you've caught them.
To transform casual passers-by to loyal customers, produce relevant and authentic content that resonates with your consumer base. Start a real conversation with them, and provide simple solutions that will take their worries away.
Ultimately, marketing is about earning your customers' trust, not just attracting their attention.
4. Kissing Tradition Goodbye
Millennials are many things, but passive is not one of them.
Traditional marketing is not as effective with this bunch because they grew up amidst a dynamic online dialogue that puts them in a social circle where they can interact with brands and fellow consumers. Although they're impressionable to a certain extent, Millennials are hard to sway. To get into their heads, you need to target their peers.
You can do this through influencer marketing. Millennials are individualistic beings who relish being part of a community, they allow themselves to be influenced by people they know, either in person or online. They're also willing to listen to strangers, so long as they have something relevant and personal to say.
5. Authenticity as a Marketing Tool
Brands are facing a new challenge - to win the game of business, you need a personality that will give your brand a human face.
Authenticity is now the key to Millennials' hearts, if you can speak their language and appeal to their values, you're one step closer to making a genuine connection with them. Put Millennials at the center of your campaign, and make them feel like you've created your content specifically with their interest in mind. If you strive to make their shopping experience as personalized as possible, you'll reap the benefits of a healthy and flourishing customer relationship.
6. Creating Brand Evangelists
Millennials usually browse the web with a goal in mind - you can distract them with ads, but ultimately, they'll trace their steps back to their original destination.
If you want to hook these elusive consumers, you need to be ready to engage them in a dialogue - but this virtual conversation doesn't necessarily have to be between you and them, since it's more important for Millennials to interact with their fellow consumers.
The greatest asset you can have is a strong user-built reputation, so your next move should be to invest in user-generated content. Millennials who adore your product are your best marketing tools, if only because they proclaim to the world their experiences with brands. They're your brand evangelists who can help convert their fellow Millennials into your loyal followers - and they'll often do all of this without asking for anything in return.
7. An Important Reminder
All this information may overwhelm you, especially if you're marketing to Millennials for the first time. But worry not. Just remember one important fact: Millennials are people, too.
They may have their own peculiarities, but ultimately, they're just like any other consumer in the block. As long as your brand stands for something relevant, Millennials will appreciate you.
A successful Millennial marketing campaign can open new opportunities for your business. Understanding this group of consumers will aid you in understanding other demographics.
As they say, the rising tide lifts all boats.