When the subject of millennials is brought up, many other generations give out a slight sigh, as they identify millennials as both benevolent and egocentric. Therefore, it is apparent that millennials are possibly the most complex and diverse generation to date.
Organisations are falling short when marketing to Millennials. To be successful, you must have a burning desire to understand them in great depth. Companies need to relate to the target audience by understanding how millennials see themselves, gain raw data based on their shopping habits and study advertisement campaigns that may or may not have worked, recognising why. Additionally, if companies have a concept for a marketing campaign that they believe will successfully market to millennials as a whole generation, they are sadly mistaken.
There are two essential factors you must have knowledge of in order to move forward. Firstly age. Age is pivotal. This particular generation spans 18 years, therefore if you are targeting a 34 year old millennial you can guarantee a 18 year old millennial will not be interested, as they are at very different stages in their lives. Secondly, millennials perceive diversity differently to other generations. Diversity is considered to be the blending of different backgrounds and experiences, also known as as cognitive diversity. They believe by having a united front and the combination of these unique traits will help them overcome challenges and is a necessary element for innovation. It is important that companies wanting to attract millennials to become loyal customers, integrate this into their core values.
The younger millennials (aged 18-24) are the least frequent in-store shoppers, however they tend to spend large amounts when they do shop – therefore you need to drive footfall into your stores. This can be achieved by providing a seamless and personal shopping experience for them. Additionally, MSS Media have stated 63% of millennials would be more likely to go in-store and ‘check-in’ to a business on social media platforms if it meant they’d receive some sort of discount. This is very simple, yet generates a gateway of opportunity for free advertisement and word of mouth.
On the other hand millennials between the ages of 25-34 are reshaping the way the goods and services are being marketed by staying unresponsive to traditional marketing tactics. According to WordStream, 68% report that millennials won’t make a major decisions until they have discussed it with people they trust and other consumers. Internet platforms such as TripAdvisor and Rotten Tomatoes have allowed individuals to provide truthful feedback about their experiences – positive or negative! Businesses could discreetly and indirectly market to this generation by allowing online reviews and customer experiences on their own website.
One feature that is prominent across all millennials behaviour is that loyalty is hard to win. There is a preconceived perception that millennials lack loyalty, and in many ways this is true, so I can sympathise with brands. We are well beyond the days of investing thirty plus years with the same brand. With the internet at our fingertips 24/7 it is second nature to compare prices of brands. However this is not such a bad thing as this ensure brands keep up with the needs and wants of their target market to survive in this fiercely competitive world.
To summarise, in my opinion, millennials are internet pioneers. They do take notice of effective advertising, but you have to ensure that you identify the ages within the millennial generation you are trying to target. The value and reward that comes from advertising which connects emotionally with millennials, that shares valuable insights and informs them about new products or services which are within their interest remit are huge. Once you strip this generation back they are simple in their complexity. If you understand them you are 90% of the way there. The last 10% falls in the execution of your campaign. If you can achieve this, millennials will be your most loyal fans.
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Written by: Lois Gower, Media Partnership Account Coordinator, BAM Agency Ltd