A Millennial Talking About Millennials
Welcome back to another Generational Marketing post! We have covered what generational marketing is and shown you why you need to pay close attention to generational demographics. We have also talked about how to reach the baby boomers and generation X. But, what about the millennials?
I am a millennial myself and I am here today to talk about how to reach this particular group through generational marketing. Millennials are unlike any other generation because they were raised with technology from birth.
Who are Millennials?
To begin, millennials are people born between the years of 1981 and 2000. Ever since they were born, strides were made in every field of technology, advancing life as they knew it.
Furthermore, millennials are the first generation to adopt such a wide acceptance of equal race, religion and LGBTQ. They tend not to separate people by these characteristics, like the previous generations tend to do whether they mean to or not.
The Pew Research Center found that 52% of Millennials’ priorities are being a good parent. Growing up in a peaceful time period meant positive relations were built with parents. However, “only about six-in-ten were raised by both parents.” Therefore, millennials do not take for granted the importance of marriage because they do not want a divided household. Having good parents were influential to them and they want to continue that with their own children. (Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change)
Some of the top technological breakthroughs of the 1980s, provided by Timetoast, included: the Internet, Nintendo Entertainment System, cell phone, Apple Macintosh, DNA fingerprinting, Microsoft Windows and a disposable camera.
Some of the top technological breakthroughs of the 1990s, provided by Timetoast, included: the Internet was now available to anyone who could pay for dial-up, invention of internet browsers to search online, DVD player, Nintendo 64 and a portable MP3 player.
Because of the high rate in technological growth, millennials have a tendency to expect quick and immediate results. They are not accustomed to waiting for anything and their patience grows thin quickly. Millennials have short attention spans, it is just that plain simple.
In addition, millennials have a tendency to not tolerate inequality in any form, whether it be racial, religious or LGBTQ based. Their patience grows thin once again when faced with this particular type of situation. “A nationwide Pew Research Center survey taken in 2009… found that the public — young and old alike — thinks the younger generation is more racially tolerant than their elders. More than two decades of Pew Research surveys confirm that assessment.” (Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change)
Marketing to Millennials
If you want them to notice you, then you have to notice them first. Millennials want to be seen first as a human being before a potential customer, client, etc.
Because millennials are surrounded by their technological devices, which take away from their attention towards you (the marketer), you need to reach them through their own way-MEDIA! Social media is the biggest key to marketing towards millennials.
Connecting with their families is the other way to market towards millennials. Like I said, good parenting is a high priority for them. Millennials will do anything to give their children a good life and they will put them before themselves faster than a heartbeat.
- Be genuine!
Do not try to be salesy because it will not work! Millennials can see right through every trick you may think you have up your sleeve. They have been surrounded by marketing their entire lives and they know every tool in the trade. So, do not try to pull one over on a millennial with your marketing, just be genuine!
- Be prepared to offer instant gratification.
Again, millennials have grown accustomed to getting everything at their fingertips instantaneously. If you have the ability to offer instant gratification, then you can soar above your competition.
- When competing online, actually compete.
Clearly state your value proposition right off the bat. Especially if your business or company is not meeting the status quo, then you need to be able to explain why. Demonstrate why investing in your business or company is better for buyers, even though your competition may offer something you do not.
- Answer the questions they really want the answers to.
Millennials do not tolerate marketing schemes. They can smell an attempt on one from a mile away! Therefore, just be straightforward with millennials. If they want to know how much your service costs, then offer an estimate form online in exchange for contact information. However, do not lie by saying you offer an online estimate when, actually, after the form is submitted, you call to deliver the estimate 48 hours later.
- Deliver on your promises!
You better keep your word all the way to the grave or be prepared to be trashed online and by word of mouth. Millennials are honest people and they expect the same from you (marketers).
- Do not discriminate in any shape or form!
I repeat, do not discriminate in any shape or form! As I mentioned before, millennials are extremely touchy in that subject area.
- Interact with people both online and in person.
Millennials do not take for granted kind gestures. Comment on their Facebook post or invite them to meet at Starbuck’s instead of your office. Engaging goes a long way because it makes people feel they are important to you, not only as a customer but also as a person.
- Make sure to be mobile friendly.
This term means that your company website can switch from desktop site to mobile site without any technical difficulties embracing mobile formatting applies to your email too! The Pew Research Center found that 83% of millennials sleep with their cell phone. (Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change) They will not be interested in your business if they cannot access your website on their mobile device.
The popular media communication ways include: texting, email, video and social media.
- Create an account for one or two social media sites and devote all of your efforts into keeping them running strong. It is not beneficial to have five social media accounts that you rarely use because you cannot keep up with them all. It is more marketable to only have a couple that you use on a daily basis, that way all of your time and energy is spent wisely and efficiently.
- Post everyday! It is essential that you build up an online presence in order to appear significant and valuable. People feel more confident in businesses with many followers on Twitter compared to those with very few. There is no set number to how much you should post; take in what people are reacting to and adapt to satisfy those needs
Top social media sites include: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- 82% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook
- 55% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Instagram
- 32% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Twitter
(The Demographics of Social Media Users)
What doesn’t work:
Less popular media communication ways include: television, magazine, newspaper and radio.
- Television and magazine marketing can be successful if done properly. The best way to reach your target audience is to market through specific segments. For example, if you want to reach families via television marketing, then you should go through the cartoon and Disney channels, not the mainstream ones.
Which generation are you targeting?
If millennials aren’t the only generation in your target market, check out our other posts in this 4-part generational marketing series for additional tips to reach your target audience: