Marketing to the NEW Millennials

Reaching out to one the largest living generations can be a challenge!

Ok, I admit it. I am among the last of the Baby Boomers (1959 dob) and I am sure this article was written in some form or fashion about my generation by the generation ahead of us!  I can not imagine, knowing all the changes during our life, how much more the generation ahead of us has witnessed over the last 80+ years.

Knowing this, I have researched till I am blue in the face (figuratively) to come into a full understanding of the thinking, understanding, needs, wants, habits and motivation of this interesting generation.  Being they are the largest “living” generational market (32% of our population), more and more I hear clients trying to “break the code” of successful marketing and branding of their products to the “New Millennials!”

The best thing going for my understanding is 5 adult children ranging in age from 35 to 44.  They are the generation before the Gen Y and have some interesting thoughts on marketing as well. Some think like Gen Y’ers.  Having been in the Web Design market since late 1997, I have seen a lot of changes.  So, here are my thoughts….

  1. Be sure your Web Presence is compatible with mobile phones and tablets.  This is critical as we see the analytical reports coming in every day with the “mobile” client visit numbers far surpassing the computer crowd.  One of my clients in the 2006 era warned me about this and I got savvy quickly.  Today’s web design tools allow your designer to jump from desktop to tablet to mobile view with a click of a button.  This is helpful in creating the best presentation of your message across platforms.
  2. Consider the ability to offer translation of your site to other languages.  The number of bi and tri lingual Gen Y’ers is about a quarter of your market.  If you can create/present a great web experience in multiple languages, do it.  It will expand your brand.
  3. Make your message engaging and “hip”. (Oops, showing my age again).  Do not be all about your product!  Be about the benefits of using/owning/consuming the right product and why.  Let them define your message.  (Focus Groups! gotta love them!)
  4. Use Online Videos to enhance your marketing.  This is critical because most watch over 5+ hours of online videos a week.  Many of these videos are not professionally done and although some are, they appear like someone shot them with a selfie stick or mobile device.  Even turned vertically, they watch the craziest things.  I have been to online and actual seminars on how to create a viral video.  It is getting crazy out here! 😉
  5. Target and use Social Media like there is no tomorrow.  Yes, you can do Facebook and Twitter and SnapChat and Instagram but do not leave out all the rest.  Is it worth it?  This crowd is looking for shared experiences with others in their age group and demographics.
  6. This group lives longer at home, they don’t rush out and get married as many of us did before our 21st birthdays. They wait on buying their “first” home. They are looking for what they want to do with the rest of their lives so they often jump ship for a new working experience, not concerned for longevity and tenure.  Social causes are very important as are geopolitical issues.  Meet them where they are with a message of inclusiveness and acceptance.
  7.  Be inclusive! Let them define your message to their segment.  Have contest for the best “Selfie” or “video” with your product or “Best tag line“.  Use their reviews and product input to speak your message to their generation.  Motivate with what they want to hear of their perception of your product message.  It might surprise you.
  8. Connect with your market on the street!  Let them be hands on with what you are marketing.  If food, let them taste it and give you a video response.  If a product, demo and then let them demo it on video.  If they like it, it will spread on social media like wild fire.  They want to buy products that agree with their beliefs and define them. THINK OUT OF THE BOX!
  9. Make them super-stars!  Find ways to promote them as they promote you to their friends.  (I am not talking pyramid schemes!) If they embrace your brand, use them to promote it to their friends.  If they don’t, listen carefully to why and retool your approach.

Part Two (2) Coming Soon – Steven Carr