How would you describe Millennials? Would you say they are rebels, job hoppers, entitled, lazy, or selfish? Millennials, also referred to as Generation Y, tend to have a bad reputation with some of these commonly used stereotypes. They are actually one of the most misunderstood generations because of their adaptive and innovative nature. If you are a Millennial, like myself, you want people to understand you as an individual to help avoid criticism and stereotypes in the future.
Millennials have been slowly dominating society over the last few decades and is said to make up almost 50% by 2020. The Millennial generation does not have set dates because it seems everyone has a different definition of when the generation begins and ends. Pew Research Center categorizes Millennials target age group between 18 to 34. They classified the oldest Millennial born in 1981 and the youngest born in 1997. However, generally speaking, Millennials range from 1980s to early 2000s.
Millennials are one of the most researched generations with over 80 million individuals to study, and all with varying data. This gives us abundant information where we can learn about their habits. The one trait that seems to be the most consistent with Millennials is they are classified as technophiles. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines technophile as an enthusiast of technology. There is no doubt that Millennials are driven by technology and that is because we were in the early stages of this digital era. Millennials have easily adapted to the Internet, cell phones and social media.
There are many labels for the Millennials generation. It is important to know that each Millennial is an individual and many of these labels are generalizations based on data collected. Not everyone possesses these qualities nor do they behave the same way.
Common traits Millennials occupy:
- Overall a diverse generation
- Thrives on technology
- Community involved and politically engaged
- One of the most educated generations
- Self-promoters especially with the help of social media
- Receives most of the latest news from the Internet
- Cell phones are “attached” to them
- Ambitious, passionate and optimistic attitudes
- Collaborate with others and brands
- Prefers a work-life balance
- Flexible and open minded
- Accept challenging opportunities
- Appreciates structure
- Enjoys self-expression
Ways Your Brand Can Market & Connect with Millennials
While Millennials differ from culture to culture, all Millennials want to be viewed as individuals. So how do brands market to Millennials after you understand their common characteristics or traits? After all, they hold a substantial amount of buying power with over 80 million Millennials today. You don’t want to miss your opportunity! Here are a few things to keep in mind when marketing to this generation.
Brands must know how to use social media. Social media is important for Millennials and this is where you should focus much of your marketing. This is not only because Millennials are always connected but also because they tend to follow and associate with brands that fight for a cause. Does your brand show how much you care?
Brands should also understand their social media sharing tendencies. Many Millennials are willing to give information about their likes/dislikes and other opinions. They are not afraid to speak their mind and social media gives them the opportunity to do so. This allows for collaboration. Millennials will also listen to their friends on social media for recommendations and information on brands. This is a great chance for brands to get their name out there and build a reputation.
Openness & Flexibility
Millennials are generally open to new experiences, which gives you the chance to interact. You can use this opportunity to have them try new products or offer their opinion. You can use your creativity and be innovative. Millennials will appreciate it! Do you have a new tech gadget or a new app? Perhaps you have a completely new idea for a product, chances are Millennials will be willing to try it. As long as it involves their needs, wants and concerns.
How are you advertising? You should choose to advertise on the Internet or with streaming services because this is where Millennials spend much of their time. You should find out what kind of things they are watching and reading so you can place ads in the right location to increase your success.
You should also make sure you utilize mobile devices for marketing. As stated earlier, Millennials are attached to their phones so why not use mobile devices to market? It is important that you have mobile marketing these days but even more crucial when marketing for Millennials.
Most importantly, all your marketing efforts need to create meaningful experiences. Why should they use your product or service when many of them are frugal? What can you do to make your advertising and marketing efforts memorable? Today’s society seems to be focused on going viral. When you think about what makes something go viral on the Internet, a video or image tends to have that “Wow factor.” Many of these viral sensations are genuine and authentic. Find ways to make Millennials remember you as a relatable and genuine brand.
The most important thing to remember about marketing to Millennials is that a one approach for everyone will not apply. Just with any audience, once you understand Millennials you can create not only better ads but also more relevant and targeted ads. This will increase engagement and thus build relationships around the products and services you offer. When you market to Millennials you should create custom campaigns that focuses on their characteristics and other interests.
How does your brand market to Millennials? Share with us your thoughts and ideas!