David Willey (pictured below), co-founder of Millennial engagement specialists Growth Tank, shares with B&T his spin on making your Gen Y marketing strategies work.
Millennials are one of marketing’s biggest challenges – for professionals and brands alike – and as such, they require a multi-faceted marketing strategy to reach and retain their engagement.
Here are four tips for improving your marketing strategies for Generation Y:
- Do not treat all Millennials the same
Millennials are not a homogenous group. Like each generation that came before them, Millennials have a host of unique characteristics that make them incredibly challenging to target. Adopting any strategy that’s too general will never work. Where possible, brands must narrow their engagement by targeting highly specific niche audiences.
One way to overcome this hurdle is to target Millennials based on social groups as opposed to life stages. Would you treat an 18-year-old student in the same way as a 29-year-old mother? Social listening allows you to understand the nuances of your particular Millennial audience as a distinct segment from the Millennial generation as a whole.
- Millennials have ubiquitous access to technology
We all know that Millennials are the most digitally connected generation ever. Every day, they consume huge volumes of content, and purchase a diverse range of goods and services across multiple channels. Most will use two to three devices at least once a day, so you must adopt a multi-platform marketing strategy. It is crucial that your brand experience is seamless across every outlet – being mobile-friendly is key.
To really capture Millennials, look at ways they can effectively move across each platform with ease. For example, order online for collection in store. Seventy-three per cent of Millennials report that they make purchases directly on their smartphones. Don’t get left behind!
- Be authentic and embrace two-way dialogue
Millennials are three times more likely than any other generation to turn to social media for opinions on products to buy. However, Millennials are selective in whom they trust. It’s not new news that they trust content and recommendations from their peers over brands, celebrities or governments, so what are you doing as a brand to prompt an open and honest dialogue with Millennials?
Marketers should embrace the good, the bad and the ugly to really capture the attention of current and prospective Millennial consumers.
But this is only half the answer – you must then engage! Sixty-two per cent of Millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. They expect brands to not only be on social networks, but to be responsive as well. Engagement is no longer optional or nice to have – acknowledgement is expected and it is blatantly obvious if you choose to ignore them. Remember, Millennials are the most connected generation ever, and word spreads quickly.
- Content is how they connect
Millennials binge on content every day, and it’s also what they use to connect with friends. This can be through social media sharing, discussions in the workplace or even consuming content together with friends or family. It’s almost like what they’re watching has become the new fuel of social interaction. The challenge for brands is finding a creative way to appeal to Millennial consumers and empowering them to share the brand’s story across these platforms.
If you are looking to develop content, ensure you stick to the golden rules of inform, entertain, or provide value. Sales, conversion, and clicks should always be a secondary consideration.
It is also worth noting the importance of keeping it short. Despite the value of long-form content, 41 per cent of Millennials said the main reason they abandon content is that it’s too long. Keep the context of your content in mind – are they on a mobile device looking for a quick distraction, or researching for real, in-depth information?
Marketing professionals must adopt multiple strategies to reach Millennials – there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Learn and experiment with what they respond to best to ensure you understand what matters to them to achieve the most cut through.
For a more detailed deep dive into the behaviours, trends and attitudes of Millennials, check out the Millennials Marketing Conference and hear it from some of the world’s leading practitioners. Alternatively, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.