Marketing To Millennials: Activating Fascination
What can I tell you about marketing to Millennials that you haven’t already heard, read or researched?
Here’s what we know: This is a generation that grew up on a steady diet of radical change. Not the kind of slow-rolling progression from the industrial revolution on, or even the 50’s revolution of a throw-away consumable culture. No, millennials have witnessed lightning fast advancements in technology, upheavals of traditional social thought, education and economic infrastructure failings.
Rather than fear or reject this constant change, millennials are fascinated and excited by the hyper-evolving landscape that surrounds them. They didn’t adopt it; they were born into it. Created by it. It’s this undeniable fact that defines them. And it’s this fascination that drives their passions, which ultimately determines what they are buying.
If you’re going to develop successful marketing campaigns to the millennial generation, you’ll need to understand a bit about them first. But the truth is, your main efforts need to focus on what fascinates them. The first part is easy and I eluded to it in the first sentence of this post—there’s a lot of information out there about who, what and why the millennial’s are what they are. And while there’s plenty of information about them, resources for marketing to millennials leave much to the imagination.
That is, however, another important element—imagination. Developing creative marketing strategies that appeal directly to a target market is nothing new. Millennials though, aren’t impressed or even interested in traditional marketing outlets, and instead demand evolved strategies. They can’t be told what to buy or what’s cool. They can’t be bought over with jingles or coupons. They’d rather create and develop their own solutions rather than be forced to accept anything less than what they desire.
This generation has already begun swelling ranks of the workplace while their buying influence continually strengthens. The implications to both B2B and consumer marketing are strikingly intertwined. The millennial consumer wants to interact with the brands they choose to support via social media, and every company is not just expected to have an online presence. They want to understand their brands and know that they act in accordance with their morals and values.
These same consumers working in B2B take these tools and expectations with them to work, where smartphones and internet research of B2B brands now account for approximately 89% of all B2B research. Comparing prices and features, reading about products, and contacting retailers is conducted almost exclusively on phones. And to top it off, millennials simply refuse to work for a company that operates strictly for the bottom line and faceless shareholder profits. If your company doesn’t meet their standards, they won’t support you, not even for higher pay.
They respond to customization and intimate interaction with the things that they care about. This is in no small way because of their relationship with technology. Millennials shape their world because their technology allows it. And it’s very much theirs. While they have been shaped by the hyper-evolution of technology, they are also the driving force behind its development. This symbiotic relationship is who they are, and this is what fascinates them.
Now, technology is a very, very general word here. The internet, the devices and all the other tech gadgets are a part of this, but there’s far more. The relationship between this hyper-tech mind/culture evolution paired with the reality that the state of the world they are inheriting from their parents makes them angry… well, this has had a dramatic effect upon their psychology.
The result being that they want a better world, know that they must fix it, and because of technology, realize that they can.
Fascinating millennials is paramount to engaging them and winning their loyalty to your brands. They are disruptors at heart and if you can’t give them the solutions they want, they will create it themselves. They’ve already begun to do this. Because they are so intimately connected via social media, technology, and their drive to build a better world has taught them that they can do it. They have watched their peers do it, and they realize that they can too. And if you don’t, they most certainly will.