Marketing To Millennials: Eye To Eye With Gen Y

In 2015, Pew Research reported that the millennial generation – those born between 1980 and 1999 – had surpassed Generation X as the largest age group in the U.S. With such a massive and active source of buying power rising to prominence, marketers are taking notice of this technology-savvy, engagement-minded community. How can you win their trust and loyalty? Here are a few things you need to know.

Go more mobile. With 85 percent of millennials in the U.S. owning smartphones, targeting them with mobile marketing is essential. Website landing pages should be optimized to offer fast load times and clear, conspicuous calls to action on small screens. Advertising integrated into popular mobile apps and programs that provide rewards to users is another proven crowd pleaser.

Target social groups, not life stages. Earlier generations followed more traditional life paths – marriage, family, buying a home, etc. Adult life is a lot less linear for millennials, many of whom favor independence and new experiences over roots and settling down. Targeting marketing efforts according to social groups is often a more effective tactic, whether they are centered around causes, clubs, hobbies or some other common denominator.

Provide real solutions. Millennials grew up using the Internet and social media as tools for fact-finding, comparison shopping and exploring topics to make informed decisions. That means they have built-in radar that detects and rejects self-serving marketing messages. Helping them solve relevant problems is the approach that pays, with content that seeks to inform, instruct, clarify and encourage.

Create brand evangelists. It’s human nature to value the opinions of those with whom we relate. Millennials trust other millennials when it comes to product and service information. Engaging a customer base within this generation can create brand evangelists who speak favorably about you in testimonials, online reviews, and social media comments. That can add up to a potent influence on others who wouldn’t necessarily be receptive to a slick marketing pitch.

Marketing to millennials is all about building mutually rewarding relationships that transcend traditional marketer/consumer transactions. It requires more give and take than previous generations. And just like most good relationships, the more you give, the more you’ll get in return.

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