Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

August signals the end of summer and school is back in session.  While you may have been out of the classroom for a while, that doesn’t mean there is more information you can digest to help grow your business.  At 898 Marketing, we get emails and messages through social media from companies asking our opinions and for our assistance about a topic we all should be doing our homework on: marketing to Millennials.  Not only do Millennials make up the largest demographic of individuals doing business and research online, but they have more spending power than any other age group in the United States, according to a 2017 article published by Forbest Magazine.  By the end of 2019, Millennials will out number Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the United States, according to Pew Research. These “kids” are not going anywhere and, as a Millennial myself, we are only going to keep growing in the impact we have on businesses.  If you haven’t started marketing to this demographic because you, “don’t get it,” here are three tips to help you get to the front of the class and grow your business by marketing to Millennials.

Authenticity is Key

If you want to appeal to Millennials, you have to be authentic with your marketing message and story. Look, we have grown up with social media so it is no surprise this channel heavily influences our buying decisions.  Millennials are most loyal to brands who provide a way to improve the lives of their customers with informative content.  Be a thought leader who we can rely on for anything when it comes to your business or industry and get work on including us in that process by becoming your brand ambassador.  For us, we actually trust content more from our friends or family above all other forms of brand messaging you might put out in the market place. Not convinced?  Take a look at some of these findings from a recent study done by Jupiter Research on the influence social media has on Millennials’ purchasing decisions:

  • 81% are influenced by posts from friends/followers
  • 78% of Millennials used a company based on their posts
  • 74% of Millennials researched a company on social media prior to their decision
  • More than half of the decision making process is done by a Millennial before actually buying the product

Content produced by other consumers of your products or services is far more interesting and relevant than content produced by your company.

Mobile First

If you want to reach millennials, you better be mobile friendly.  Mobile is the primary form of interaction for our generation online and through social channels, surpassing a computer, with more than 90% of us owning at least one mobile device.  If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you don’t matter to us.  But more than that, make sure you are engaging with us on mobile friendly social channels such as Instagram and Snapchat.  Finally, emotion is key to appealing to our generation. In a mobile environment, there is not better way to capture emotion than through the use of emojis.  And while many believe emojis are a sign of our devolution of society, resorting back to times of hieroglyphics to communicate, emojis are more effective in communicating with Millennials over text by factor of 2:1.  Develop custom emoji keyboard or embrace emojis in your content that can be easily communicated and shared in a mobile environment.

Experiences Matter

Experiences matter more to Millennials than tangible items. While discounts and free things are nice to have, for us, being a part of a unique experience or event is what Millennials value most. Each day, Millennials are bombarded with over 2000 outbound marketing messages from TV, radio, billboard and other traditional and digital marketing channels.  We are looking for something different. For example, 72 percent of Millennials would rather spend their discretionary income on travel, music events and unique, one-of-a-kind events than buying a tangible time like a house or a car, research from The Harris Group.

Taking it a step further, posting about those cool experiences are often perceived as being more valuable than the experience itself.   Millennials will use social media to boast about attending an event or experience that others miss out on, especially through the use of video.  Video is the most authentic way to document experiences, so be sure to use video to engage and share information.  Videos are shared 12x more than posts with pictures, links or text.

While many businesses look at Millennials as the class clowns, we are quickly becoming the most popular kids in business. While the most important customer is the one you have, the next generation of customers for your business is going to take a different approach to how they want to hear, engage and experience your business’s offerings.  Following these tips will ensure you pass the test in marketing to Millennials and become their new favorite trend.

About the Author

Jeff-Ryznar-898MarketingJeff Ryznar is a marketing professional with over 15 years of strategic marketing experience and planning for some of the largest brands including Ford Motor Company, General Motors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He is currently the owner of 898 Marketing, specializing in custom marketing strategies and business solutions for small and medium sized business in the Midwest.