Last week in our Generational Marketing series, we talked about tailoring your marketing series to Generation X. So, following the natural sequence of order, we’ll be moving on to the next generation in this blog. Ladies and gents, welcome the…
Hey, Look at Me! Hello? Are You Watching?
The Peter Pans. The Look-at-Me’s. The Selfie Generation. The Millennials!
Millennials make up 25% of the U.S. population and have surpassed the Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. First coined by Neil Howe and William Strauss back in 1991 in their book Generations, the term ‘Millennials’ refers to people born between the late 1980s and 2000. The reasoning behind the name is simple: their research showed that the upcoming generation would be dramatically different from the ones before.
And they were right-frighteningly so, for many disgruntled folks of preceding generations. Lazy, self-entitled, and socially destructive are just a few adjectives they used to describe the millennials.
Once dubbed the “Kill-ennials”, they were blamed for ruining absolutely everything the world had to offer before their conception. The serenity of golf, today’s music industry, the movie business, Home Depot, McDonalds–the list goes on. Many feared there would be nothing left of our beloved society by the time they grew up.
But of course, if there’s one thing history has taught us, it’s that we wouldn’t want to determine a generation’s worth by negative connotations, and their associated stereotypes, would we? (Cough, Generation X, cough).
Uncovering the Millennials
The Tech Gurus
Growing up at the peak of the technology age, millennials truly are the most unique and exciting generation since the baby boomers brought about Social Revolution.
‘Tech-savvy’ doesn’t even begin to describe this generation. 56% of millennials report they’re one of the very first to try new technology, and 46% of millennials post original photos or videos online that they created on various social media platforms. Whether it’s Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, or Vine, they’re smitten to social connectivity and interaction.
Victims of Circumstance
Calling millennials lazy is a bit of a stretch; they just happened to be born in a very unfortunate economical circumstance. While many are dependent on their parents from the age of 18 to 29, that’s simply because they began entering the workforce as the economy crashed. With towering student debts and house costs, the gap of affordability has grown into a chasm since the age of the boomers.
However, despite the odds, they’re still very optimistic and softhearted, valuing social issues more than economics. According to a study done by Brookings Institute, 64% of millennials would rather make $40,000 at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring.
Splurging to the Next Level
But in terms of spending power, they’re a force to be reckoned with, demonstrated by their $200B in annual buying power!
The thing is, 42% of US millennials make an impulse purchase every 4 weeks, which is not too different from their predecessors. The difference, however, is that 46% of millennials aren’t afraid to spend even when their bank accounts hit wasteland.
In other words, they absolutely LOVE to splurge. And this is all thanks to the boom of Internet shopping, which offers convenience and ease-of-access you could never hope to experience in-store. The millennials’ urge to purchase items on impulse largely exceeds the other groups–especially when e-commerce gets involved!
Marketing to the Millennials
Knowing all this, it’s safe to say that Howe and Strauss were spot on with their prediction! Millennials lead a very distinct lifestyle and enjoy non-traditional methods of shopping.
So how do you market to these game-changers? Here are a few tips that could help you come up with appropriate marketing strategies for your business.
Innovate, Innovate, Innovate
Millennials love change. They crave avant-garde ideas that help them experience the world in a different way, and always try to discover the ‘new normal’.
It’s absolutely imperative for businesses to continuously innovate and evolve to meet these demands. Coca Cola, for one, had several approaches to innovation that aimed to re-imagine what it means to purchase or drink their products. For example, their “Share a Coke” campaign enabled consumers to send their friends a Coke with their first name printed on the logo. It’s been replicated in 30 additional countries since its initial launch in Australia!
And of course, who could forget Apple when discussing innovation? Apple has smitten the generation to eagerly anticipate the release of their new products after Steve Jobs radically changed the way the traditional computer looks and feels. From 2010 to 2014, their sales have gone up from $65 billion to $182 billion!
Chipotle, too, chooses to go down unpaved avenues when it comes to advertising. Instead of relying on TV, they create music videos, games, apps and even an original series on HULU to share their story of sustainable living.
Speaking of sustainable living, that segues perfectly into…
The Goodie Two-Shoes Approach
As we’ve mentioned previously, millennials appreciate social values, much more so than any other generation. They value brands that aim to make a social impact. From encouraging sustainability to helping out the less fortunate, brands have realized that capturing this generation’s attention is through their hearts.
Simply put, a purchase has to mean more than just a simple business transaction. After all, 70% of millennials will spend more on brands that support the causes that they’re invested in.
In response to this trend, many businesses are following suit in order to meet these expectations. Soapbox Soaps, for example, donates a bar of soap and clean water to those in need for every bottle of soap sold.
Larger companies are no exception either; Bombas donates a pair of socks to charity for each one sold, and they’ve given away around 922,200 pairs in total!
Millennials may be aloof to traditional marketing tactics, but they’re extremely responsive to recommendations from their fellow peers.
Most of their shopping decisions are made through evaluating UGC (user-generated content), choosing to rely on online reviews rather than flashy marketing ploys. In fact, 84% of Millennials say user-generated content influences their purchasing decisions.
Consider the following platforms when building your online community of content-creators:
More than half of Instagram’s 300 million user base are millennials looking to generate, share and engage with content.
This is a perfect platform to connect with your consumers on a personal level and come up with branded hashtags so they can show off your products! For example, Burberry created a very successful user-generated marketing campaign built around the hashtag, #ArtOfTheTrench. Thousands of users posted photos of themselves wearing Burberry coats to their Instagrams and re-invigorated the dying brand!
YouTube’s a powerful platform for UGC marketing. Millennials are now watching more content on YouTube and other streaming platforms than on TV, and UGC videos account for almost a third of Millennials’ media consumption. To top it off, a study from Google
They’re also more trusted and engaging than traditional branded content. According to another study, UGC videos are 50% more trusted and 35% more memorable than information from other sources.
Your users are always creating content; try to make use of that knowledge to portray your brand in a fun and interactive way!
Millennials. They’re Kind of A Big Deal.
Millennials aren’t as mysterious as you think, and they sort of do live up to all the attention they’re getting. They’re the largest demographic, and influence a sizable proportion of the world’s spending power–business owners are going to have to start thinking like millennials or get left behind!
But don’t worry -with our tips at the top of your mind, you’ll be able to start building marketing campaigns that’ll win their hearts (and their wallets)!
Stay new, be interactive, and get personal–or you can bet your marketing dollars they’re going to scuttle right back to binge-watching all six seasons of Game of Thrones for the umpteenth time.
Understanding the mindset, preferences, and buying influences of your target demographic can position you well for your next marketing campaign.
Lucky for you, we specialize in streamlining marketing strategies that capture a wide range of audiences. So if you’re looking to reach a broader audience or hone in on a specific demographic, Eden Advertising is your digital marketing partner with the expertise and track record to get the leads you need.
We hope you enjoyed the last installment of our Generational Marketing Series. For part one of our series, Marketing to Baby Boomers, you can check out the post here. Part two, Marketing to Generation X, can be found here.