by guest blogger Michael Fleischner
The “Millennial Generation” (or Gen Y) was born between 1977 and 1998. Members of this 75 million person group were raised during the most child-centric time in our history, and the marketing impact is undeniable.
Business owners and entrepreneurs must understand the millennial generation in order to market to them in the most effective way.
So, just who are these millennials?
In general, this generation displays a great deal of confidence. This could be the result of focus they received from parents and high expectations placed upon them — not to mention their independence through cell phones, the internet and other electronic forms of communication. This is the first generation to grow up completely online, so the marketing mix used to target them needs to reflect this.
Millennials are good at multi-tasking, and grew up studying while listening to the radio or watching television. From an academic perspective, they were able to play a sport, attend school and engage in social endeavors. As a result, work-life balance is important to them. Millennials believe in social responsibility. “Going green” and supporting endeavors that are good for the environment are also a priority for them. When it comes to work, millennials expect structure. They acknowledge and respect positions and titles, and want a strong relationship with their boss. Millennials are in need of mentoring and they respond well to the personal attention. When considering the management of millennials, be mindful
that they appreciate structure, stability and feedback.
Marketing to Millennials
Now that you understand a little more about millennials, consider the places they go for information and the way they behave. Millennials are using social media, texting friends and consuming more electronic content than any other generation.
1. Use social media. Listen to the conversation. Make sure your business has a space among social media outlets. One thing to keep in mind though is to not be overly commercial. Millennials see right through it, and it is a huge turn-off. Rather, be genuine and let your prospective market understand what you’re really about and what you stand for.
2. Communicate on a personal level. Create a two-way dialogue with your audience, giving them an opportunity to speak to you. Whether you let them share comments or share their experience with friends, providing a forum to socialize is an essential part of any business strategy to attract millennials.
3. Be consistent. Regardless of which media type you use (print or electronic, email marketing, social media, etc.), keep your messaging consistent. If you change your messaging frequently, you won’t build the trust necessary to ensure lifetime customer value.
4. Be creative. When your marketing is creative, it can quickly gain momentum. With the advent of YouTube and blogs, messages are quickly shared and distributed. Don’t force it. Rather, create something meaningful, fun and worth sharing. Before you know it, millennials will be sharing and distributing information about your business.
Improving your marketing to millennials is no small undertaking. To be successful, you need to understand the social dependence these individuals have when communicating and the value they place on others’ opinions. Although much of millennial marketing needs to happen online, don’t lose track of traditional media and outreach. As much as marketing has changed, traditional approaches can still be effective — just make sure they have a social component.
About this blogger: Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert with more than 14 years of traditional and web-based experience. He has appeared on the TODAY Show, ABC World News, and Bloomberg Radio. Michael is also the author of today’s top selling Search Engine Optimization book, SEO Made Simple (second edition), available on Amazon.com and mySEOmadesimple.com.