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Make Your Mark with Millennials

By Robyn Lu

Having grown up in the digital age, we Millennials have always had the greatest and easiest access to information than any other generation. With this, it is essential that brands resonate with Millennials across all fields, particularly as we wield $600 billion in annual buying power (and that’s expected to grow to $1.4 trillion annually by 2020).

Now when one asks, “How do I market to Millennials?”, more often than not the immediate answer is: social media. Sure we log onto Facebook three to four times a day and most of us use at least two internet devices every day, but when we’ve got a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, for brands to simply have a presence on the latest social platforms just won’t cut it. Instead, it’s not about getting Millennials’ attention – we most probably know you exist – rather it’s about tapping into our perceptions of you.

So here are a few handy tips on how to keep up with the youngest and most dynamic customers out there.

1. Communicate on a Personal Level

Social behaviour is ingrained in Millennials so communication needs to be a two-way street. Speaking to your audience is purely a speech, allowing them to speak back creates a conversation. Ensure there are opportunities for Millennials to voice their opinions whether that be feedback on products or services, sharing experiences with friends or discussions on a forum. User-generated content is now integral especially as social proof has become so prominent. Listening to the conversation will help to repurpose marketing campaign content and give a brand direction.

2. Target Social Groups

Move away from focusing on life stages or milestones, such as buying a home, as a basis for segmentation. Instead, target Millennials according to social groups. For example, draw your attention on segments that are drawn to social causes, or are into alternative lifestyles, or who ardently follow social media personalities. Here, influencer marketing is crucial especially as Millennials undoubtedly resonate with and refer to these celebrities in life. Millennials are much more likely to have a resilient attachment to social identities than to strongly identify with a specific stage of life.

3. Be Consistent and Creative with Messaging

In order to build lifelong customer value, ensure you’re messaging consistently and also frequently. And don’t think you’re restricted to digital marketing, good old traditional media works too. Moreover, distributing information that is meaningful, fun, and creative will make it worth sharing. Engage to the extent where we take action and not merely accept your message on face value.

As such, the problem brands have at hand when marketing to Millennials is not about awareness, it’s an issue about perception. We already have thoughts about what your brand stands for, now you’ve got to make your brand stand out. Dig into our interests, echo our thoughts, or even tug at our heartstrings.

It’s out with the buzzwords and in with the real talk.


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