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First Principles For Marketing To Millennials

They are setting new trends, they are making their moms proud and while they are at it, they also tweet and Snapchat. Millennials are agile, swift and they want to be everywhere. They love instant gratification and they are here to stay. Yes, Millennials by 2018, will have the most spending power. The lucrative crowd that you have to please is right here. Marketing to millennials is different from how you market to the rest of your users. Read on to know how they function and learn the right way to market to them.

marketing to millennials You can reach out to them at any point in a day. They are always online, always available; continuously browsing, stalking, reading and analyzing. The millennials are information diggers; they don’t stop until they are satisfied. They get excited about never-ending options, select a few out of them and they are content with that, almost as if they have made a purchase. In other words, they are ‘faux – sumers’, and the numbers are just rising.

Marketers are still breaking their heads to understand why their users are not clicking on the buy button, millennials are having a thrill ride of their own. The question remains – How can marketers get into these complex heads and position their product? Millennials aren’t the problem, you are. You have got them figured all wrong. Capturing their attention is tricky and your decade-old marketing stack will fail miserably.

Every demography needs a unique treatment. So do millennials. For instance, 93% of millennials read reviews before making a purchase. I say this with conviction, as I, myself am a millennial.

Time to throw the 1/9/90 rule into the bin

marketing to millennials Remember how it stated that 1% users actually created content, 9% actively engaged and rest of the users are silent watchers, mere spectators? You do? Then write it down on a paper, crumple it and throw it out of the window. Millennials function exactly opposite to it. You need to start fresh, discard all that you know of marketing and revamp your strategy.

The millennials consider themselves as content creators whereas more than 75% engage with online content in one form the other. They want to be involved in every interesting thing that is making news (for all you know they might be the very reason behind it). The millennials believe in sharing content and making their point known; they are opinionated, bold and outspoken. They are all about creating content, sharing and creating moments, and are hungry for gratification. This is what makes 1/9/90 rule primitive.

Understanding what doesn’t work on millennials

While ads used to perform really well in persuading the rest of the crowd, only 17% of millennials said a TV ad promoted them to buy something. They trust word of mouth than claims from the brands itself. 93% have bought a product that has been praised by their friends, relatives or even strangers!

marketing to millennials It’s hard to get into their head, to know what they are thinking and market accordingly. Given the way millennials consume information, it is highly likely that millennials already have an opinion about you. If not, within a couple of taps they would know what is worthy – your achievements, your blunders, where you have been referred, what reviews you have got.

Millennials do not like to be pestered, which means no unnecessary pop-ups, no annoying emails (seriously, the millennials don’t have the time nor the patience to read one) and no filling long forms. They are highly impatient and want everything to function at an unimaginable speed, which means that your website will have less than 2 seconds to make a first impression. (Consider a Progressive Web App – Now)

marketing to millennials Never try cold selling to millennials; always remember to create an experience; weave a story, show them, rather than tell them.  The moment your pitch sounds salesy, off they go. The classic rule of engagement holds true here – It has to be about ‘them’ and not about you.

“78% millennials claimed that they would choose to spend their money on a desirable experience over buying something desirable.”

Can you believe that! It didn’t matter if they got something new, it was all about how you made them feel.

Marketing to millennials - The evolving generation

Keeping it to the point

Don’t go on and on and on. Stop the yap. When they want to know something, they want to know it real fast and the information needs to be there right on their face. Consider keeping everything to the minimal. This is critical because you are dealings with a generation whose attention span is less than that of a goldfish. Yes, you have all of 8 seconds. And then, they perceive reading the “whole thing” as a waste of time.

abandoned cart checkout strategy

Keep Is Short, Simple and Succinct! – KISSS


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That’s the mantra. When it comes to communicating with millennials, you have little room for deviation.  You have to focus on the moment, maintain context and deliver value. Now there are multiple ways of doing so – App Notifications, Web Push Notifications, Live Chat. These channels are crisp, succinct and help you push all the details in seconds. Now that’s exactly what they are looking for.  Emails, like I said, are a drag. Let not even talk about them anymore.

Be as active and spontaneous as them

marketing to millennials

Millennials consume information on the go. Once you grab their attention, it all depends on user experience. Millennials are the curious creatures with a permanent shot of adrenaline rush in them. You need to match their pace and send information at the apt moment. The swiftness in your response, gets them bang on.

This is a good example of what will NOT happen. You respond late and you lose your chance. Period.

You need to impress them with the same amount of interest and eagerness. Not much to ask, is it? After all, it is your company, you need to be a tad bit excited as they are.

Be omnipresent – Go multi-tech!

marketing to millennials

With 90% of Millennials using smartphones, you need to maintain a mobile responsive website and select a communication channel that can reach the users on their mobile in real time.

While they practically live on their smartphone, using it as many as 46 times a day, they still manage to use more than 3 devices per day! Make sure that they do not miss you just because you were not optimized for that particular device. You need to reach them no matter what device they are on right now. Broaden your approach, make yourself visible and then, of course, hope for the best.

Talk to them – One at a time

You need to make them feel that they are your favorite customer. You need to make it personal. This generation of millennials is friendly and outgoing, which gives you a great opportunity to build a bond. By providing them with a personalized approach, you could win their hearts. Here is where the ‘Internet of me’ approach sits on the throne. You need to pamper the millennials with appropriate offers and nurture them slowly and steadily. You need to provide them with a ‘WOW’ factor so that they keep coming to you for more.

It is also important that you familiarize yourself with Gen Y slang. You might have observed the lingo that they use, makes you feel old doesn’t it? Let me also tell you that half of the words they speak are not even in the dictionary. That’s the lingo you need to crack. Of course, don’t go overboard and come across puerile and an attention seeker. They need to feel that they are talking to a peer so that they don’t shun themselves from communicating to you. Surveyanyplace for example, creates entertaining surveys and quizzes, a right fit especially if you are looking out to catch the millennial's attention.

Visuals work. Videos are even better

Visuals attract millennials more than words do. You need to grab their attention first, for them to indulge the content you have to offer them. Turn the creative mode on, play around with images, make it funny and catchy, add videos to your content and make it interactive. Your page should shout ‘fun’; it needs to reflect that there is much more for them in store.

marketing to millennials

Videos help in getting out your message quicker and generates a response. Make sure that you make short consumable videos as they lose interest in seconds; you don’t want to bore them to death. And as we know, the millennials always want to put their point across, so make the most out their nature, and shower them with options to which they can interact.

marketing to millennials

Peers and peers

Remember the times you used to believe your teachers more than your parents? No matter how right they were, you always took your teacher’s word as the ultimate truth. This is exactly why influencer marketing works like a charm with the millennials. 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months. You need powerful individuals, to speak for you. I might come across blunt here, nevertheless, is it the truth – they trust them more than they trust you.

marketing to millennials

You need to get hold of individuals who are considered as a youth icon. When someone the youth looks up to, mentions your product / service, the millennials are bond to get influenced. You also need to collaborate with the right people, so that you can come across as authentic, credible and of course ‘cool’. The person / brand that represents you should be apt form your product and your target audience. For example, Ola collaborated with TVF and they kept mentioning ola in their videos, hence targeting the youth directly.

“Tapping influencers – or social media users with a large following and expertise on a certain topic – is a great way for brands to market to millennials,” says Brendan Lattrell, founder & CEO, Grapevine.

Remember the days where you had to think a zillion times if you wanted to be put something on social media? Well, that not the case with the millennials. 25% update their social profile on a daily basis. 60% who follow brands on social media are loyal to their brand, hence you need to be active on all major social media channels. 59% make product recommendations and share positive as well as negative reviews on their socials. Foster their desire to like and share content by providing them opportunities. 42% millennials said they wanted to contribute to brands by helping out on developing future products and services. What better opportunity than this to involve them and boost engagement.  Make them participate in contests, make videos that are interactive and so on. The best part, they are hungry for gratification and will share content that they like.

Automate everything with marketing automation

There are numerous software and technologies that save you from the tedious task of manually segmenting and performing repetitive tasks. They save time, effort, reduces human error and helps to function in cohesion. In other words, the campaigns need to be put on the autopilot mode; work gets automatically done, while you sip your coffee.

78% of successful marketers say that marketing automation is most responsible for improving revenue contribution.” – The Lenskold Group

It catches the attention of the millennials and encourages them to be your loyal customer. It also helps to prioritize leads, nurture them and increase revenue.

80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase.” – VB Insight.

There are softwares that help to execute campaigns effectively, track website behavior, schedule social messages, optimize keywords for SEO, track campaign performance, lead management, track buyer’s journey etc. Hubspot is a good example of a marketing automation software.

Schedule messages to communication in real time and get the information across to the millennials. Like discussed, millennials are always on their phone, which requires you to be prompt in your communication as well. For example, you can automate a welcome message once a person signs up. You can automate emails, SMS and web push notifications and schedule it for the right time. MailChimpTextlocaliZooto are Softwares that help schedule numerous messages. Web push notification can also help you to segment users on basis of millennial behavior and interests, catering the right information to them. Scheduling social messages also play an important role when it comes to marketing to millennials as they are always online. SocialPilot is a wonderful example of scheduling social messages in bulk.

Millennials are looking out for niche content and information that can be beneficial for them. And this is possible through marketing automation.

By 2030, the Millennial generation will have 78 million people – now that’s a gold mine waiting to be dug. Flatter the millennials by featuring them and acknowledging them. Once they start liking you, they will make sure that you know it, and this will help you reach the other sections of the target audience. Bag the millennials on your side, the rest will get sorted out all by itself. Then all you need to do is brace yourself, for the flight of free promotion will take off. People assume that the millennials aren’t brand loyal. There is no one more brand loyal than the millennials once they vest their trust on you; they would even back you up on a social war as if they own your company. Last but not the least, think it is too much to handle? Hire a millennial ;)

Don't have time to read the whole article? No worries! Check out this deck.

[embed]https://www.slideshare.net/PravyaPravin/tips-for-marketing-to-millennials[/embed]

This article was originally a guest post on Searchfit.

Pravya Pravin
Pravya Pravin
Pravya Pravin is a Product Marketer at iZooto. An artist who paints not only with words, but also on canvas. She loves exploring places less traveled and wishes to go on a bike trip to the highest motorable road.

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