By 2020 millennials will have a collective spending power of $1.4 trillion. As a consumer powerhouse it is essential for companies to build a meaningful connection with this diverse demographic. Resisting the urge to use mass marketing tactics that proved successful with previous generations. Our guide explores how you can effectively market your products and services to millennials.
Millennials, who are they?
Millennials, as defined by Pew Research Centre, are individuals born between 1981 and 1996, they range from ages 22 to 37 years old.
This group of people are the largest and most ethnically diverse generation to date. For example, 43% of US millennials are non-white, and Asian millennials vastly outnumber those in Europe and US combined. To provide some context, globally there are 2 billion millennials, in the US alone they represent 1 in 3 of all adults.
What do Millennials value?
There are some key factors that appeal to millennials, understanding these and adapting your marketing strategy can increase brand engagement and loyalty.
So, here are 5 key insights on what millennials value:
- Millennials are purpose and passion driven consumers
For your brand to resonate with this consumer group you need to think about how your product or service aligns with their needs and desires. Local, original and what they feel they can trust are all good in the Millennial world. The 80s and 90s approach of one size fits all mass marketing will not work. Tailor your approach and personalise.
- They value unique experiences
Millennials value experiences over physical things. They are likely to spend more and share their experience of your brand if the service or product you provide offers something unique.
- Ease of finding unique services or products
The ability to find and connect with your brand i.e. “discoverability” should be treated as an extension of your total consumer experience. You must identify where your target consumers are most active online and seed your messaging there. Optimising content for search engines and creating a consistent experience across your digital estate are essential. You must think mobile first – its where all the attention is these days!
- They want to be part of a community
Incentivise participation and engagement around your brand from your followers and consumers. Purchasing behaviour is massively influenced by referrals from friends and family, approx. 80% consumers are likely to purchase if they receive a recommendation from a friend or family. By not engaging on social you are losing out on this very important trend.
- They value innovation
Millennials seek simple fluid solutions that integrate easily with other elements of their life. For example, they want their bank account to easily talk to services like Uber and Deliveroo so if they need a cab they can request one instantly and jump in a car without having to think about cash. Or, they want to eat their favourite meal without leaving the living room, and they want it within the hour! Integration and speed of delivery are key to attracting and retaining consumers.
So, how do I market my products/services to millennials?
Millennials range from 22 to 37 years old. That is a wide age range, the needs and desires of 23 year old are going to be different to that of a 33 year old, so how do you market to such a huge range of people?
The answer is you must segment further to create meaningful content that resonates.
Micro segmenting millennials
To effectively communicate and influence we think about millennials in 5 micro segments:
- Boomerang Millennials (22 to 25 years old)
This group is in a place where they have just finished university education and have had to move back in with their parents. They are likely to be crippled with debts due to student loans, credit debt or struggling due to the high cost of living. This segment is active in the gig and sharing economy.
- Millennials Hustlers (26 to 30 years old)
This group has entered the workforce and working their way up the corporate ladder. They are multi-talented and can monetise multiple skills. Increasingly they are forgoing high paid jobs to follow socially responsible ventures or start their own business.
- Millennial Parents (31 to 34 years old)
There is a spike in millennials having their first child around this age bracket. As parents their needs and wants are going to be totally different than first two micro segments. Gender stereotypes are being broken with more Dads opting to stay at home and spend more time with their children. Its important to note that Mums are likely to be bloggers and their own purchasing habits are highly influenced by bloggers on topics surrounding the welfare of their children and family at large. Mums are most active on Pinterest.
- Millennial Fringe (35 to 38 years old)
The millennial fringe are those people who are on the fringes of both the millennial generation and generation X. They are usually on their first child if not second and are most likely to have purchased their first family home.
- Millennial at heart (38 to 41 years old)
Although I’d like to be in one of the segments above I believe I am a millennial at heart. This is a group of people who are at the tail end of generation X but do not squarely make into the millennial bracket. This group has embraced the millennial lifestyle, they understand the importance of social media, inputting into online conversations and are open minded in terms of new ways of purchasing products and communicating with friends and family. This consumer group is most active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Marketing tactics to influence millennials
Marketing to millennials is tough, we’ve explored the wide age range that makes up this group of people; we know they are the most ethnically diverse generation; and they are a consumer force to reckon with.
So, how do you create a meaningful dialogue and influence millennials?
- Think mobile first
Mobile is where the attention, in the US watching content on smartphones beats that of TV. Its increasingly the first screen that people look at. 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone in store to compare prices and read reviews.
- Social media strategy is a must
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C silence on social media is no longer acceptable. Social media content is what TV was to Gen X and Baby Boomers. 55% of millennials find out about products, sales and services through social media.
- Personalise your messaging
Millennials are not a homogenous group that can simply be blanket messaged to. They are one of the most diverse generations, you need to understand the niches and target your messaging accordingly. Advances in mobile and social make this possible, but the expectations around focussed messaging have increased too. Mass market messaging that worked for previous generations just won’t work anymore.
- Influencer marketing is a growing trend
Wikipedia defines Influencer marketing as “a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.Influencers, unlike celebrities can be anyone. From a serial blogger on cyber-security to a fitness instructor on Instagram. The key is they have knowledge which results in hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers that trust their point of view.
- Foster online discussion and user generated content (UGC)
We know that referrals from friends or family are a strong driver for purchasing, you are 4x more likely to buy. Millennials contribute on average 70% of all UGC. With these two keys in fact you should incentivise consumers to create positive content tagging in your brand. Incentivisation could include access to special product releases, events, or discounts.
How can Butterfly help?
Butterfly has experience in developing campaigns that are targeted to millennials. We have successfully deployed our Methodology to deliver revenue growth and engagement levels of 80% with millennial audiences.
Our proprietary Methodology uniquely empowers us to quickly identify the steps your business needs to take to deliver measurable results.
If you have a specific requirement to discuss you can request a complimentary 1 hour consultation.
How is Butterfly different?
Our strength is our ability to understand your business, your objectives, and core outcomes. We partner with you to refine your requirements and challenge the status quo to provide competitive edge. As a result, we create innovative digital experiences that deliver measurable results.
If you’d like to discuss your marketing challenges, you can schedule a time to chat here: