May 5 2016

Why Old Marketing Tactics Won’t Reach Millennials


Sure, Millennials are strapped with staggering student loan debt and mile-high housing rates, but this demographic is swiftly becoming one of the most attractive (and lucrative) consumer groups in market. Accenture predicts that Millennial spending will account for a minimum of 30% in total retail sales by 2020. In other words, Millennials make up for approximately $1.4 trillion in annual spending. That’s a whole lot to love about our youngest generation.

But don’t get too excited yet. Your traditional marketing techniques may not work on Millennials . Unlike Baby Boomers and their predecessors Generation X, Millennials have grown up interacting with brands in interactive, new ways. Before you bank on their spending power, we’ll share a few tips and tricks to engage this unique generation to ensure your brand doesn’t get lost in the marketing clutter.

Pass On Big Media Spends

Forget print ads, radio buys, and television commercials. Millennials tend to ignore and tune out most traditional advertisements. Don’t try to grab their attention, win it with great content. When someone picks up their mobile device, chances are they want to learn, do, find, or buy something right now. Customers start researching both B2C and B2B product purchases way before marketers realize that they’re in market for that purchase. Our recommendation is to produce bite-size content that users will want to share and talk about. Consumers gravitate toward brands with snackable, educational content—not brands giving the hard sell. Content and context represent the best bang for your marketing buck in terms of engagement and click-thru rates.

Get Them Talking

Harness Millennials’ love of sharing, tweeting, Instagramming, and chatting into marketing power. Shoppers are willing to share a coupon or experience instantly through mobile with their friends and family members. Millennials have a prominent voice with regards to issues and products that affect daily life. This “social generation” is heavily connected to brands and helps facilitate conversation between business and consumers. Every time a Millennial shares your content or information about your brand, your sphere of influence grows exponentially based on their peers and followers.

Use Mobile Offers

A report by says when it comes to apparel shopping, almost half of Millennial’s surveyed said they would choose a store based on the savings. But Millennials aren’t clipping coupons from the Sunday paper the way their parents did. Instead, they’re using apps and mobile devices to seek out the best deals and promotions. Deals actually account for 31% of their shopping dollars.

Think Multi-Screen

When Millennials interact with brands, they move seamlessly between devices. They may engage with your brand on their laptop, mobile phone, and iPad interchangeably, so investing in mobile-ready marketing is more important than ever before. Every brand should at least have a responsive design to ensure the optimum experience for consumers, whatever their screen of choice.

Rethink Your ROI on Events

In the past, brands have shied away from large-scale marketing events because leads are hard to qualify and ROI is even harder to calculate. With Millennials, the key to event marketing is simply choosing the right type of event that will get people talking and engaged. Brands such as Redbulll and Mercedes-Benz have built near cult-like followings for their products by hosting events that speak to their consumer markets. Redbull leans into its high-energy reputation with flashy extreme sporting competitions and festivals, while luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz favor lifestyle events such as fashion shows, galas, and iconic cultural activities (think: polo matches and symphonies). The results yield unbeatable brand recognition and high engagement with social media channels which, in turn, lead to sales.

When hosting an event, consider an event app. It’s the perfect way to engage with Millennials. Mentioned the app at every major session, integrate social media, spotlighted users, and gave away great prizes to participants. As the marketer, you’ve got your audience’s contact information and you can build excitement around app usage and functionality. Encourage Millennials to do what they do best: whip out their phones and take photos and videos. Your marketing event will become a source of viral buzz in no time. Just make sure that you choose the right event for your target audience. After all, if it isn’t a mobile-friendly, picture-ready event, you may be missing out on potential impact.

 Connecting with Millennials

Millennials represent the first generation of digital “natives” who have grown up on the Internet and mobile devices. Understanding how and when and on what platforms to reach them is essential to the success of your mobile marketing campaign.


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