As a generation that consumes more information and goods than any before, Millennials are an important audience to cater to. Here at GuentherMedia, we’re especially interested in Millennials because they are the rising leaders and entrepreneurs of our time. I’m also particularly interested because I am a Millennial, as are many of my coworkers. There’s a lot of speculation right now about our futures, and I’m more than a little curious to see how they turn out.
The importance of Millennials as a 95+ billion strong generation has led GuentherMedia to the creation of a page about engaging them. We will be launching it soon to share information like this list, a guide for companies looking to market toward the generation (a train we highly recommend jumping aboard). Our clients often ask us about how to best persuade Millennials, so we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the best dos and don’ts.
- Create opportunities for engagement—Millennials love to co-create in the marketing process, whether through YouTube unboxings, Yelp reviews, or tweeting directly to the companies they love or hate. To ensure their attention for your brand, make sure Millennials can interact with it.
- Maintain a sense of transparency—because of the level of engagement Millennials seek out, they also expect a certain amount of responsiveness and honesty from their brands. Brands who are honest about the good and the bad will gain more respect from Millennials.
- Actually have good business practices—in conjunction with transparency goes integrity, and Millennials are all about it. They are demanding more corporate social responsibility and will boycott brands that are not socially or environmentally conscious. Cause marketing is a specific aspect they look for in branding.
- Non-profits: think outside the box when fundraising—in a recent article from Crossroads, Mike Swenson wrote on the proliferation of unique charity walks and runs that are attracting Millennials. The Color Run and Tough Mudders are taking the traditional charity walk and turning it on its head with the incorporation of color paint bombs or obstacle courses. Millennials enjoy engagement and are more likely to contribute if a fundraiser is exciting and even a little bit demanding.
- For-profits: give Millennials something to believe in—this generation knows how to shop and is more likely than previous ones to jump on board with a new, innovative product. However “new” means nothing if it isn’t high quality, groundbreaking, and/or beneficial to Millennials themselves. To win them over, you must take risks and show that your brand, product, or service is unique.
- Do the same ol’, same ol’—like we’ve said, Millennials love innovation and they love to be the first of their friends to try something new. If you’re utilizing business tactics that were used 20+ years ago, odds are it won’t hit home with them.
- Rely on logic alone—Millennials have a tendency to look for products and services that go beyond simple functionality. They often look to hedonic criteria as well, considering emotional, symbolic, and subjective attributes and benefits in addition to the functional and economic.
- Overwhelm or underwhelm their senses—Millennials are, to an extent, walking contradictions. They are impatient, multitasking individuals who seek information and peer affirmation before making decisions. But they can also feel overwhelmed by the information coming at them from all directions. It’s important to strike a balance between the “over the top” and the demure.
- Forget to reward them—unfortunately, Millennials will switch brands or purchase from a non-favorite company if given additional benefit or offered a discount. They tend to bargain shop or seek out consumer rewards, and if you’re not offering these aspects then they will go elsewhere.