Time to Update the Marketing Playbook for Millennials

Millenials word cloudWith 75 million consumers in the group, Millennials are the second largest generation in the United States today…but not for long. This year Millennials will surpass the Baby Boomers to become the largest generation. Since numbers alone don’t create sales, it’s important to know how this group thinks and behaves in order to tap into the vast opportunities Millennials represent. Consider these essential strategies for appealing to this segment of the marketplace:

Strategy #1:     Tailor content to meet the characteristics of Millennials.

According to a Pew Research Executive Summary, Millennials are less likely to be married, religious and have served in the military. They are more ethnically and racially diverse, educated and frugal. Millennials place high value on happiness, passion, diversity, family, friends and experiences. They care about the planet, want to make a difference in the world and try to buy from good corporate citizens. Understanding the emphasis Millennials put on these values provides the foundation for marketing plans that will appeal to this generation.

Strategy #2:     Use Millennial-approved methods of contact.

Web And Social Media ConceptWhile Millennials have greater access to information, they tend to trust social media over government, business or religious institutions. Don’t just sell to Millennials. Instead, design marketing campaigns that help Millennials feel informed and involved using the power of social media. Even B2B companies can use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and other social media venues to connect with the Millennial generation.

Strategy #3:     Re-think the traditional marketing mix 4Ps of Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

It’s time to add new plays to the marketing playbook rather than relying on traditional advertising methods. A Harvard Business Review article recommends using “S.A.V.E.” instead. Solutions replace Product. Access supplants Place. Value displaces Price. Education supersedes Promotion. The model used in this article is aimed at B2B marketing, but it’s just as relevant for the B2C marketplace. “Solutions” speak louder than “Products” for Millennials, which is the foundation for a paradigm shift to a more customer-centric relationship and shopping/buying experience.

Strategy #4:     Build relationships with Millennials.

Make sure the social media conversation is ongoing and consistent. If you’re not talking to Millennials, someone else is. Build value by educating them about the benefits of using your product or service. Grab their attention by branding the experience. Help them to continue to feel good about their purchases by ensuring your company has a good global reputation, building the best buzz and facilitating the conversation.

Capitalize on the Millennials generation gap

Successful marketers seek to earn Millennials’ trust by informing and educating. They attempt to sell ‘through’ and not ‘to’ via well-managed social media platforms. By establishing relationships before trying to sell anything, marketers demonstrate they are interested in Millennials by paying attention to their needs and recognizing that each one is unique. As a result, savvy marketers can deliver buzz-worth experiences that capture the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of this key market segment.

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