Millennials are impossible to ignore. Currently making up the biggest slice of the work force, this group of 18- to 34-year olds has an estimated $1 trillion+ in annual buying power.
So how do you effectively target this powerful consumer group? We’ve compiled eight crucial things to keep in mind when marketing to Millennials.
1. Millennials Are a Very Diverse Group
People can be quick to judge Millennials, who are often lightheartedly grouped as a single, egocentric entity. That oversimplification is an easy trap to fall into. But per 2014 data from the Pew Research Center, Millennials, in actuality, are an incredibly diverse group. In fact, nearly 43% of American Millennials are non-white and come from nearly every socio-economic background. Despite being very left-leaning, when asked about their views and beliefs, surveyed Millennials were also split on issues of religion, patriotism, politics, and the environment.
2. They’re Breaking Away from Tradition
Despite being a very diverse group, Millennials share key identifying habits and characteristics. One of which, is a marked, collective departure from established life traditions. Adult life for the Millennial is not as formulaic as it may have seemed with other generations, and advertisers should take note. The ideas of ‘family’ and ‘work life’ are becoming more abstract for this generation. Instead of targeting Millennial consumers based on life events, like marriage, advertisers will likely find greater success in focusing on their social interests.
3. Most Millennials Own, and Love, Smartphones
A staggering 85% of Millennials own a smartphone. That’s an overwhelming majority. And compared with Gen X and Baby Boomers, Millennials are far more likely to shop online from their phones. Mobile marketing is, therefore, a must. You should also capitalize on this by ensuring that you have fast-loading web-optimized landing pages that allow for an easy and effective mobile browsing experience. By doing so, you’ll encourage on-the-go Millennials to make quick, on-the-go purchases.
4. Engagement is Key
Consider this: Younger Millennials have never known a world without social media or the Internet. And while Millennials engage with social media platforms to varying degrees, an estimated 89% of Millennials are using social media, many of them daily. Of that 89%, a reported 82% are using social media to interact with their favorite brands. With the majority of users reporting that brand engagement is likely to increase their brand loyalty, the close and constant connection that social media allows between consumers and retailers is a unique and essential opportunity.
5. Millennials Value Authenticity
The hard sell is hardly selling when it comes to Millennials. Millennials are pushing-back against deceptive and forceful advertising and pushy salespeople. Pew found that more than 95% of Millennials count friends as the most credible source when it comes to scouting out new products to try and buy. That’s why more and more advertisers are seeking Millennial consumers to spread the word to other Millennial consumers for them. Countless beauty and clothing brands have effectively enlisted the subtle selling power of social media influencers; others brands have strategically enlisted the help of informational bloggers. As Millennial consumers have been shown to research new products before committing to buying them, original user-generated content can be a valuable resource.
6. …And Millennials Love to Share
With many Millennials constantly plugged in and frequently posting on social media, getting genuine, positive reviews of your product or service can be easier than you think. Simply encouraging loyalists to mention you on social media in the hope of having their content reposted can be a powerful suggestion. Many brands are also running contests that tell followers to share their experience with their product in order to be entered into a prize drawing, getting consumers to excitedly share their experience.
7. Personalization Has Power
There may be something to the ‘me’ generation moniker, after all. In line with Millennials’ views of authenticity is a privileging of personalization. A study found that 85% of Millennial consumers were more likely to buy personalized goods and services. Customer customization can come in many forms. Whether you opt to pitch consumers a customized subscription service, curate a newsletter of weekly product picks directly to a loyal client bathed on their shopping preferences, or simply address a marketing email directly to your consumer, Millennials will be paying attention.
8. Views of Altruism Play a Crucial Role
Curb that notion that Millennials are purely self-absorbed. This generation is demonstrating a vocal social consciousness. Many Millennials, an estimated 77%, are using social media to engage with brands on issues of corporate social responsibility. And Millennials respond well to brand’s ties to philanthropy and social good. In fact, 91% of Millennials said they prefer brands associated with a good cause. This is evidenced in Millennial consumer’s positive response to brands like Toms and Warby Parker, emphasizing social and environmentally-responsible missions.
Keep these eight things in mind, and your marketing plan is bound to draw in those Millennials and their purchasing power.