Millennials... go ahead. Sigh.
We’ve all heard the complaints about them at some point or another. Even millennials complain about millennials! The generation has disrupted just about everything in society, from the job market, to how we watch television, to what clothes we wear.
But it’s time to wake up to a harsh reality – no matter how much they are berated, millennials are who they are and they control an ever-growing important economic power.
So, as civilization has done for millions of years, it’s time to keep adapting. This doesn’t mean you have to adopt their tendencies and behaviors, but the time is now to acknowledge their preferences so you can use their influence and their purchasing power to your advantage.
The first step for marketing to, and not against, millennials is to understand some of their core behaviors. Below are the top three complaints about millennials, and the new “rules of the game”to work past them.
Problem 1: Millennials have a short attention span
Inundated with a plethora of electronic devices, news, and other stimulating information, millennials are constantly juggling an influx of data. Cut through the clutter. Make your content short, sweet, and unavoidable. Don’t spend time crafting long-winded editorial copy. Find innovative ways to relay your message through visual channels, including video, photography, and infographics.
Problem 2: Millennials are cheap
Studies show millennials are spending less money than their predecessors across most industries. With financial costs exponentially growing in other areas, it’s unlikely these trends will slow down anytime soon. Whether the millennial spending cap is affecting your business directly (sales) or indirectly (hurting your industry as a whole) it’s crucial you do a little self-reflection on how to make your brand irreplaceable. Find things that cost your business little to no money –like starting a brand lifestyle blog or engaging social media campaigns – that will help build your brand reputation so that when millennials are ready to purchase, they come to you.
Problem 3: Millennials are only self-interested
The “selfie” generation is approaching adulthood differently than those that came before them. Why? Because many of the things that they once expected would come out of adulthood (buying a home, having a steady job, and getting married) are harder realities for millennials to obtain. Because of this, millennials often feel – or ARE – misunderstood. Evaluate your brand and figure out how you can appeal to the changing generation of “young adults”. What is it that makes your correspondence attractive to a 20-something stuck in a very challenging young adulthood? How can your product or service offer them solutions? Answer these questions before trying to communicate with this ever-challenged generation.
There is a lot at stake when it comes to marketing to millennials. The massive generation is rapidly entering the workforce and will be a powerhouse in affecting our economy for years to come. To successfully reach this demographic, understand and speak to the values that drive them, recognize their lifestyle, and ensure your communication is less informative, more engaging.