Trying to market in today’s environment has become quite an interesting task to say the least. With opportunities constantly opening up and new possibilities appearing everyday, figuring out what to do, what you need and what it would take to implement a successful marketing strategy has become increasingly complex and challenging.
Traditional marketing is still an aspect of the game. New-age methods and mediums are firmly gaining territory, while becoming obligatory and commonplace. Then you have the hybrid between the two. Traditional advertising combined with social media. Amplified social media activity during televised events. And the list goes on.
All this and more, only makes the lucrative 18-34 year-old demographic trickier to reach. The digital natives, the Millennials, are everywhere but nowhere. Their environment, though unmistakably similar to those before them, functions in a vastly different manner thanks to the internet, social media, mobile technology and so on. As a result, we shouldn’t be applying the same standards, mindsets or thoughts to today’s youth. Here are 4 strategies to consider when marketing to the Millennials.
1. Content is not always king
“Content is king” is undoubtedly one of the most overused and clichéd phrases in the marketing and advertising industries. Don’t get me wrong, content is absolutely imperative when you’re dealing with visual, auditory and literary aspects. However, content is by no means the deal-marker when Millennials make a purchasing decision.
In fact, the phrase itself undermines many fundamentals Millennials undertake towards the products and brands they’re drawn to purchase. From the strategic values they hold towards brands, to the affordability and quality of the product, content is not always king by any means. The “Old Spice Guy” campaign is considered to be one of the best content campaigns in recent memory. Other than some minor growth, tens of millions of views have led to a few funny moments while leaving many, including the Millennials, unconvinced. Oh, and the purpose of the campaign was to rebrand Old Spice to something more youthful. How many Millennial men do you know that were convinced by this and switch to Old Spice?
2. “Join us on Facebook and Twitter.” Now what?
It’s evident that social media is everywhere. And if you’re a Millennial, this has been evident for the last 5 years. It’s a very natural place for us. So natural in fact that intrusion by marketing and advertising forces has only taken some significant shape recently, through events such as the brandification of your social presence.
Absolutely everyone wants your attention. And many have gone as far as bribing you with some incentive to get you there. But, then what? Nothing! The majority are just happy with the numbers game often resulting in the vast majority of actions starting and ending with the “like” and/or “follow”. When’s the last time you followed up on your own actions? Me – hardly ever. We gave you our attention. Do something creative, innovative and useful with it. Why bother asking us to join you then?
3. We’re savvy but we don’t like all technology, web or social media aspects
Millennials are easily the savviest individuals when it comes to technology, the web and social media. Leading a significant majority of the categories that make up these groupings, it’s incredibly rare to find a Millennial not in this dynamic. The stats speak for themselves. We LOVE our tech, web, socially savvy lifestyle and are not afraid to live it online.
But with all that being said, marketers and advertisers are constantly trying to find the next cool thing and miss the mark with Millennials. And the reason they miss the mark is due to the reason that we embrace our savviness on a level of simplicity, resulting in small minority of Millennials living this savvy lifestyle on an advanced level. QR codes are a very cool and interesting idea but even our love for our smart phones has hardly enticed many Millennials one bit.
4. Cultivating the relationship beyond the purchase
Without question, this is the age of the consumer. With growing competition and an increasing amount of options opening up courtesy of the easily accessible online world, one would think they would be vying for our dollars. Keeping us as their own. The current reality is that this is hardly the case to anything beyond some mediocre loyalty programs. But there never has been a time where you could keep such essential relationships with your customer base.
There is no denying that maintaining these relationships is easier said than actually being able to do it. But isn’t that the aspect of every relationship? To put some work into it to make it great? Well, Millennials, they want to have these relationships with you. Why not grow and cultivate something remarkable that would be beneficial for both sides? After all, we’re young and hardly set in our ways. Wouldn’t you rather have a lifetime relationship with us rather than a few random bump-ins?
These 4 strategies are hardly the only ones. Nor would they ring true in absolutely every circumstance. However, they do provide a mindset and outline to what it would take to give you an advantage when marketing to Millennials.
What are your thoughts? What would you add or change in these strategies?
**Originally posted on Josip Petrusa’s blog “it’s Josip not Joseph”