Millennials are majorly individuals born between 1980 and 2000 who are currently college students, single professionals, and young married professionals. Ideally, known as a diverse group of consumers, exhibiting unique media consumption behaviors and brand messaging needs. Whether relational marketing strategies or experiential marketing strategies, this group of consumers dwells on engagement. Furthermore, inspiration, motivation and also emotional associations towards brand are important aspects of marketing to millennials. Specifically, millennials celebrate brand purpose, want a personal connection, expect dialogue and embrace disruption. So, what should a business understand when marketing to millennials?
A powerful consumer generation.
Generally, considered the most powerful consumer generation ever millennials support this narrative with their attitudes, behaviors, spending habits and the political, economic and social climate. Furthermore, most millennials make more life-changing purchases than other groups and move into their prime spending years. Above all, when marketing to millennials, statistics show disruption in communication with innovation driving large-scale market changes. Additionally, coupled up with rapid change, diverse priorities, economic upheaval unique expectations, and technological breakthroughs, millennials are a unique group. So how do millennials make buying decisions with all that diversity? Do millennials spend more or less than other generations?
What is a Brand?
Firstly, we’ll need to revise what a brand is because marketing to millennials is all about brands. In retrospect, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any feature that identifies goods or service as distinct. Similarly, brand attributes may be real or illusory, rational or emotional, tangible or invisible. But the focus of brands is differentiation, what makes the brand different from its competitors. Brand response is a huge part of marketing to millennials with relational, experiential and collaborative marketing. Furthermore, some millennials have maturity, optimism and empowerment, hence control of their marketing and media environment.
Characteristics of Millennials
There are conflicting perspectives regarding millennials’ attitude and behavior towards brands. Some perspectives suggest millennials are generally not loyal to brands. In contrast, stating that some millennials more about products, matching their personality and lifestyle rather than a specific brand. While other perspectives suggest that some millennials see themselves as rationally oriented consumers. Hence, consider price and product features as more important than brand names and loyalty. Furthermore, brand image only becomes significant when marketing to millennials if functional features of the product or service are of high quality. T
The ideal millennial profile
Incidentally, Millennials have the largest access to information at their fingertips. Similarly, testament is the fact that smartphone ownership is highest among Millennials nowadays. Generally, when marketing to millennials we see how their affinity for technology is reshaping consumerism. For instance, starting with instant access to product information, previews and reviews. Furthermore, millennials have wide diversity with the blending of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Subsequently, known for emphasizing their differences. Additionally, millennials are seen as the most educated generation ever with over 60% having a bachelor’s degree. As a result, millennials expect and demand engagement, whether emotionally or psychologically.
Generally, millennials are seen as risk-takers. Furthermore, Millennials have a high level of involvement in voluntary and nonprofit activities involvement. Many consider them as a caring and engagement-seeking generation, especially through social media. Subsequently, many millennials see participating in volunteer activities as necessary to advance in their field of action. For the most part, millennials relate to all the global and local problems that society is facing today. In contrast, some Millennials are self-paced, entitled and empowered self-organizers.
Relational, Experiential & Collaborative Marketing
Relational marketing focuses on building financial, social, and structural bonds to reduce the chances of customers ending a relationship with a brand. This affirms the belief that consumers desire a relationship with a brand, before and beyond purchasing decision. In contrast, experiential marketing focuses on the customer experience, sensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and relational values. Basically, customer and user experience. Lastly, in collaborative marketing, consumers are viewed as potential collaborators. This implies that consumers help market to fellow consumers. Additionally, this means that creating brand value becomes a collaborative process.
Generally, experience plays an important role in travel and tourism industry. Furthermore, the fastest growing spheres of influence in the global economy are related to the consumption of experiences. To be fair, experience is a very personal concept, difficult to measure. Conversely, customer experience is defined as the internal and subjective response customers have to any direct or indirect contact with an organization. Accordingly, experiential marketing is seen as a marketing tactic to stage the entire physical environment and the operational processes customers to ‘experience’ the brand. Similarly, experiential marketing focuses on an entire experience accounting for the customers’ experience creation processes, including pre-purchase, moment-of-truth, and post-purchase.
When it comes to marketing to millennials, it’s noteworthy that that brands contribute to the construction of a consumer’s identity. Hence, consumers can choose a brand over another because they see identity traits of themselves in the brand story, image and personality. Furthermore, if a consumer doesn’t see their current self-identity in the brand, they could resist repeat purchase. When marketing to millennials, perception of self-identity and image the consumer associates with the brand can play a role. Otherwise, businesses should ensure that their brands relate with their intended consumers’ identities.
Buying decision & factors
Particularly, understanding buying and purchasing decisions plays a huge role when marketing to millennials. Buying decisions are affected by political and economic climate, environmental state, mass culture, societal norms and education. For instance, time of the purchase, reason of the purchase, mood of the customer. Furthermore, atmospherics such as layout, music, lighting, smell, visuals can affect millennial purchase decisions. Similarly, their personalities, ideals, self–concepts can be a factor. Coupled with gender, lifestyles, ages, stage of life both chronological and cognitive. Additionally, the integrity of the brand, for instance, transparency, honesty, what is being said is what is being done are a factor to consider.
For the most part, most millennials rank promotional products as the most effective advertising channel. This is higher than broadcast, online, mobile and print. Hence, if you desire to develop long-term relationships and deliver effectively consider promotional products as your vehicle for success. In retrospect, promotional products provide an opportunity for stronger brand-consumer relationship. Millennials like ‘freebies’ and promotional products are making them feel more than appreciated. Sparking curiosity to learn more about the brand. For example, free Gifts, samples, discount offers, vouchers, giveaways, social media contests, and Coupons.
For the most part, millennials commonly look to peers to determine the merit of a website, service or a product. For instance, online consumer reviews consistently provide a trusted source of product information for millennial consumers, a valuable sales asset. Furthermore, online peer reviews are beneficial since more millennials are more prone to reading an actual review rather than just reading summary statistics. In contrast, extremely negative reviews have a greater impact than extremely positive reviews. They have the ability to derail consumers attitude toward the brand.
Generally, millennials are seen as innovative, self-expressive, embracing creativity. For instance, inefficient traditions are being abandoned by millennials and irrelevant norms rejected. Paired with technological independence, millennials are very optimistic about their capacity of bringing positive changes into the society. As a result, many Millennials prefer creating advertisements rather than just watching them. Furthermore, some companies are now leveraging consumer-generated content as a valuable digital marketing tool. All for the purpose of inducing consumers to spread the word about their services and products. Providing consumers, a venue to voice their opinions and in return, some companies pay cash, give points, or provide some other form of incentive.
Blogs and Online magazines
Generally, online magazines and blogs platforms are free and efficient marketing form. Supporting the demand for real customer reviews of customers who are still considering a purchase. Specifically, information published in blogs is reputed as unbiased and noncommercial. Hence, making it attractive to the self-aware and skeptical millennial consumer. For instance, telling stories from” behind the scenes” awakens great curiosity and increases the involvement of millennials. Ordinarily, keeping it sensible and smart in terms of frequency and content is important with online magazines and blogs. Consequently, maintaining a friendly and personal relationship with the people who matter to the brand.
Particularly, nowadays brand communities play an imperative role for the Millennial consumer. Brand communities make it to build friendships, allowing new people to meet who all have particular things in common with me besides the brand attachment. Furthermore, environmentalism is key in buy-ins from millennials. This is seen from the increased frequency of new products coming out from the market in developing countries. Specifically, being organic, eco-friendly, going green is a big deal as many millennials demand for environmentally conscious purchases. Besides, this works for young idealistic adults showing more concern about using the environment’s resources efficiently.
85M millennials consume online content monthly in the US alone with more than $1.1 trillion in spending power. Furthermore, millennials love brands that express social and community values. Specifically, they expect businesses and brands to positively contribute to the community at large. Thus, a brand community image is key when engaging millennials who are proactive with interaction, participation, and co-creating with brands they love. Additionally, combining this with a recognition or rewarding system for millennials can maintain their participation. Ensure you connect your brand with related values, such as concerns for the environment or global warming.
64% of millennials only share content which they deem thought-provoking and intelligent. Specifically, when engaging millennials, creating content tailored to their individual interests is extremely imperative. Similarly, keeping in mind their age, location, genre, and cultural interests at all times. Inevitably this enables you develop a deep understanding of who they are, where they are, and what motivates them. Remember, millennials receive over 50 marketing messages a day hence have learned to ignore the things that don’t deliver value. So, your content isn’t valuable, it will be shooting blind.
Social media comes to mind to most people when marketing to millennials. This is with good reason since millennials consume the most content across a number of different social media platforms. Known as a technologically driven generation, social media has empowered a shift in the branding process when marketing to millennials. Specifically, social media has raised the levels of interactivity, opening doors for a multitude of marketing channels and brand stories. Furthermore, allowing engaged millennials to purposely seeking out brands to connect, interact and collaborate with. It’s no wonder that the first association when marketing to millennials, is social media.
Marketing strategies to avoid
Firstly, millennials detest online pop-up advertisements, un-closable windows, mandatory downloads, and flashing items. Secondly, most millennials dislike Spam, such as annoying repetitive letters on e-mail. Avoid any forms of clear dishonesty as millennials value transparency. Most millennials are thorough and tend to scrutinize details and fees closely. Additionally, remember, millennials attract other millennials indirectly through role models and directly through their personal networking practices. Millennials don’t mind giving out their personal information if they see the benefits for themselves. The more creative a brand gets, the better the millennial attention it gets.
Word of Mouth
Likewise, social media can push negative word of mouth about a brand. Simply because content is easily shared with a mass audience. Furthermore, unhappy influential millennials can jeopardize and even damage a brands reputation. Specifically, cognitive, emotional and behavioral investment in specific brand interactions affect millennials on social media. Additionally, this can affect levels of consumer loyalty, satisfaction, empowerment, connection, emotional bonding, trust and commitment. Thus, controlling the negative evaluations, and opinions about brands on social media can be a nightmare. Hence why it is important for companies to be on social media to listen and respond.
In conclusion, whether developing a mobile app filled with shareable content or using sharable hashtags to encourage social sharing. You could keep the above tips about marketing to millennials in mind. Authenticity with content is key whether it’s a meme, article, or image, or one idea at a time. Secondly, it’s important that brands humanize themselves and have real people speak on behalf of the brand in social media. Furthermore, millennials expect participation in the decision-making process. There so many strategies you can use when marketing to millennials, be sure to contact us for your free consultation.