Millennials are the largest generation in U.S.history. These youngest children of the baby boomers numbered 80 million as of 2012 and made up the largest share of the American workforce as of 2015. Overall, they are highly educated, socially conscious, tech savvy and frugal. They are also more racially and ethnically diverse than any demographic in history. And all of this makes marketing to millennials a challenge for businesses large and small.
Obviously, there’s no single strategy for marketing to millennials that’s guaranteed to work. But given their sheer numbers and enormous buying power, it’s definitely worthwhile to reach as many as you can. With that in mind, here are a few tips for marketing to millennials you’d be wise to keep in mind.
No. 1. Engage Them
Millennials are the first generation to grow up on the internet. They value connection, and they expect you to engage them if you want to win them over to your brand. And that means more than just putting up a Facebook page and posting a couple of blog posts each week. You need to actively solicit their input by asking relevant questions. Add a poll to your Facebook or LinkedIn page, or tweet a survey to your followers; then share the results online. And, of course, respond when people reach out to you, whether with a question, a comment or a complaint.
Not sure how to keep up with all this online activity? Try a social media monitoring tool like Hootesuite, which lets you manage your social media channels, reply to comments and track engagement with one simple interface.
No. 2. Embrace Diversity
Millennials embody our nation’s emerging “majority-minority” status. While the demographic is still more white (55.8 percent) than non-white, 30 percent of millennials were among “new minorities” (Asian, Hispanic or mixed-race) as of 2015. This trend is particularly strong in California, where nearly 60 percent of millennials are new minorities and only 30 percent of the population is white.
Millennials are also politically liberal and socially progressive. For example, 74 percent of U.S. millennials support same sex marriage, and 20 percent of them identify as LGBTQ. Thus, a business that wants to market to this age group successfully must embrace diversity in its advertising and its brand.
No. 3. Offer an Experience, Not Just Stuff
This can be a hard one if your company sells goods and not services. Still, if you want to be successful in marketing to millennials, you need to recognize that they value “doing” over “owning” in a big way. According to Social Media Today, more than three out of four millennials would rather spend their money on a fun experience than a new outfit or a new toy.
So what do you do to engage millennials if your company sells shoes or electronics (short of rewriting your entire business plan)? Make the buying experience as fun and different as you can. If you sell beach apparel, put up a big screen TV and stream videos of surfing events. If you sell designer clothes, stream a video of the latest Paris and Milan fashion events. Get creative with your decor, and give your store a personality that customers will remember and identify with your brand. The same holds true if you’re an online retailer. Make your website uniquely appealing in some way so customers want to come back for more.
Another good idea when you’re marketing to millennials is to sponsor events that they can attend, such as a live concert or a softball game. Or hold a free class at your store. Do you sell fishing gear and camping supplies? Teach customers how to make their own flies and what kinds of bait works best for which fish. Own a vegetarian grocery? Give a free vegan cooking class each week. Once you get the customers into your store and using your products, converting them to paying customers will come naturally.
At the Carmoon Group, we offer you solid strategies for growing your business. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting out, we can answer your questions and help you plan next steps. Why not give us a call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs? Or if you prefer, reach out online and we’ll get back to you right away.