Carswell Gould offers their top tips for marketing to the largest living generation - the Millennials…
In the ever-evolving world of marketing, knowing how to target your audience and understanding their day to day lives is key. As a Millennial, I’m all too aware of how savvy I am to marketing but then how does a brand get my attention?
Millennials are the most lucrative market and the demographic every brand wants to charm but, unlike the parent generations of Gen X-ers and Boomers, traditional advertising is a lost cause for this elusive and unpredictable market. With emails being ‘ghosted’, dwindling attention spans and diverse buying behaviours, winning over this generation is no easy task.
Nevertheless, evolving is all part of the industry and Carswell Gould accepts the challenge. Stereotyping will get us nowhere though, so we’re simply going to objectivise them instead; here are our top tips:
1. Authentic content is empowering
Millennials spend an average of 25 hours per week online, all whilst craving content-driven media. Websites, blogs and social media empower the online community as there is always something to relate to. Liking, sharing, pinning, tweeting, snapping and commenting on these findings is simply a way of imparting a sense of empowerment and wisdom to others in the online community. And what do they all have in common? Authentic content.
2. The power of word of mouth
Authentic content and word of mouth go hand-in-hand. For brands that want to successfully reach Gen X-ers and Y-ers, they simply need to speak their language. People of any age will perk up when hearing or reading words that could have come from the mouths of their peers, as these messages warrant comfort and trust.
Electronic word of mouth is equally as powerful, with young shoppers’ attitudes being inspired by others they know online or even strangers who share their interests on social networks (whatever happened to stranger danger?). These trusted ‘advisors’ are carried everywhere they go. Ultimately, when you offer your audience content they are proud to share with others, you’re building a real brand-consumer relationship.
3. Review matter
With word of mouth come reviews - lots of them. Millennials are an intelligent bunch, a polished product description is unlikely to sway sceptical shoppers over a blasé review on TripAdvisor. Consumers trust real-life experiences more than a business’ claim, therefore developing an authentic (there it is again) human brand presence can go a long way in earning customers’ and clients’ trust. However, it should be mentioned that these efforts must be coupled with the intention of earning more reviews because, unless your business truly makes a really positive or negative impact, reviews are hard to come by.
4. Organically made for them
I’ve found Millennials can be a tad bitter about earning less than previous generations (whether that’s due to the economy or their “treat themselves” mentality). So, we find it’s best to attract them by content being written in such a way they believe it is created for them and not their wallet. Being transparent and honest builds that key brand-consumer relationship which relies on trust. Millennials need to believe you would never deceive them or be ‘too pushy’.
It’s all about experiences. Previously the media would influence us to believe that buying ‘things’ would make us happier, but that just simply isn’t the case anymore. The media romanticises Millennials wanderlust passion and often attributes these desires to be more worldly compared to past generations. In fact, this is one of the few ‘positive’ stereotypes ascribed to millennials.
However, manufactured and inorganic experiences can’t fool this generation either. Instead, the brand should facilitate and enhance what customers are already doing. This is irrespective of age. Memorable experiences should be at the forefront of marketers’ minds whoever the customer is. Living a happy and worthwhile life is far more desirable than material items.
6. Optimise content for social media
This one may seem super obvious but it is important to get right. Creating brand experiences is one thing, but constructing these experiences to be truly picturesque and video-worthy is where the winner gains all the attention battles. In our mobile-first world, a photo can be enhanced within minutes of an experience unfolding and shared and re-shared via a social network.
For marketers, this unlocks one of the most powerful, yet most difficult channels to tap, word-of-mouth. As opposed to old methods filled with clickbait and trickery, the onus is on marketers providing value that comes in the form of picturesque opportunities for their consumers to capture and share. Because, after all, no one knows you were there unless the evidence is posted on social media. Right?
7. Find alternatives to traditional ads
If it hasn’t become clear already, traditional advertising is a no-go. However, there are still ways to reach this tricky generation. If you have the budget, influencers are another effective way to reach new audiences. Influencers don’t always have to have a huge status to make an impact. However, micro-influencers can bring new eyes to your products as well. For example, we assisted Go!Southampton with a campaign to promote Southampton as a great place for families to visit. This involved a group of parenting bloggers sharing their experience across their social media sites. The campaign was a success and reached over half a million people.