Martin-Wilbourn Partners

How to Reach Millennials

Millennials — that is, persons who reached adulthood sometime close to the year 2000 — represent one of the most sought-after demographics in existence. Research suggests that millennials have an estimated $200 billion spending power. Effectively reaching this demographic requires specific marketing techniques. Millennials are far more digitally connected than any other group, and they expect a more personal relationship with businesses they support. Today on Podium, we look at some facts and misconceptions about millennials, and discuss techniques that can be used to effectively engage the demographic.

Millennials are strongly motivated to stay connected at all times. Ninety-one percent of millennials are regular Internet users, and they use a combination of smartphones, tablets and laptops to access the web for everything from shopping to entertainment to news and social media. Because millennials are so tied to their connected devices, some have begun to refer to the demographic as Generation FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

One misconception about millennials is that they are young and immature; while the demographic is still young, its constituents are growing up. Many now have children. Another misconception is that millennials disregard traditional media formats like TV and magazines. On the contrary, recent research suggests that magazines are reemerging among millennials as the preferred “screen” for beauty categories, and that the group views magazine reading as a luxury or reward. Also, it’s an oversimplification to suggest that millennials don’t watch TV. While the group increasingly seeks out video entertainment online, millennials are powerfully drawn to the TV for big events, sports, premieres and finales ­— likely motivated by a desire to participate in social conversation, and by the aforementioned fear of missing out.

So, how does a business effectively market to the millennial demographic? One way is to tie your brand to a cause. Millennials are compassionate to social issues, and are likely to select brands and products that support them. Causes like Charity: Water, TOMS Shoes and FEED Projects have become very popular among millennials. For an example of cause marketing aimed at millennials, check out this ad promoting a partnership between FEED and retail giant Target:

Another aspect of marketing to millennials to keep in mind is that they don’t want to be told, they want to be spoken with. This social, interconnected group seeks to make a personal connection with brands. Nike does an excellent job of engaging with millennials. The company engages directly through social media avenues such as its Twitter page, and consistently creates ads like the following that seem to speak directly to individuals:

Millennials represent a continually moving target that requires ongoing study, but creating campaigns with elements to engage the demographic will extend the reach of a business’s marketing efforts. At Martin-Wilbourn Partners, we follow the latest developments in social media to uncover new ways to spread marketing messages and engage with targeted audiences. Contact Martin-Wilbourn Partners today to how we can use online marketing to upgrade your business.