How to Market to Millennials

Millennials

If you’re like many firms, you want to reach as wide an audience as possible and bring as many potential buyers as you can from your efforts.

In the past, this was a complicated (and arduous) process that often required teams of creatives, marketing specialists, and data analysts – many jobs that are now performed by computers.

What this means is that the individual, or the old school marketing team, is even more empowered than ever before with robust, actionable data that can help them direct campaigns and drive sales for their clients.

While every age and demographic can be targeted in this new advertising age, a realm that encompasses both traditional and Internet-based tactics, one group in particular provides marketers both with reams of data and a persistent challenge, and that group are the Internet-savvy millennials.

To market to millennials, firms will need to use a variety of targeted and bespoke methods to get their attention.

First and foremost, the millennial generation are digital natives. What this means is that they are a generation that grew up with and largely evolved with the revolutionary technologies we see around us today, such as the Internet and social media.

Social media remains at the core of marketing to the millennial generation but it’s not as simple as activating a Facebook ad campaign and watching the dollars roll in to your wallet.

One thing that is interesting about millennials compared to generations in the past is the brevity and multiplicity of their experiences with viewing media. Compared to generations past, millennials view more varied types of media and for briefer amounts of time. In addition, while they do watch television, they are also likely to watch television on tv-connected devices rather than in the traditional setup – changing both the way they view the content and their ability to retain information. Indeed, this group’s levels of distraction parse down into lower information retention rates according to Forbes which cited Nielsen’s Millennials on Millennials report.

What these findings indicated is that the millennial generation, moreso than previous generations, is more prone to multitasking – that is, undertaking multiple tasks simultaneously. For example, in Nielsen’s study millennials were less likely to change the television during a commercial, but were more likely to engage with a smartphone, tablet, or a PC during that commercial period. In other words, advertisers have to go where the eyeballs are, and having multi-tiered campaigns will help in this regard. For example, if your content is tied to a certain media event, you can multiply its effectiveness by running a Facebook promotional post during that event.

In terms of bringing this message to a particular audience is where marketing today has changed drastically from the past. Now the targeted ad is specific and surgical, honing in on groups of people who meet demographic profiles with an amount of precision that teams could only dream of in the past. The downside of this, though, is that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will apply. Campaigns have to be adjusted and directed so as to remain optimal. Set it and forget it is not only a mindset of the past, but a deadly one at that.

In addition, millennials have grown up in a world where product reviews and word-of-mouth is common. This has directly impacted the rise of influencer marketing, a paradigm that may help your company reach certain targeted audiences. Influencer marketing relies upon individuals with large social media outreaches to get the word out about your product or service. These folks typically specialize in your niche or are wildly successful in some way. A unique opportunity, it might not work for all companies.

What all of this means is that traditional methods of advertising and marketing are disappearing quickly, and the methods used to target millennials now may be a harbinger of the future – one that is dominated by clicks, likes, and shares. But overall the general spirit has not changed: Marketers need to go where the customers are, and, right now, millennials are all over social media.

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