Marketing to Millenials

You need to start caring about Millennials.   They make up over 25% of the population and have an estimated collective buying power of over a trillion dollars*. Have we got your attention now?  Good.  Listen up.



Well, there isn’t really a strict definition.  But despite sounding like something you might see on The Terminator, a Millennial is certainly real, and certainly deserving of your time and consideration.  In fact, there’s a good chance you are one.  Most people consider them to be anyone born between 1980 and 2000, though those dates are subject to slight change.

This is a generation that knows the computer inside-out, quite literally.  They built the first PC’s, they invented the smartphone.  As their brains get bigger, the computer gets smaller.  They are the reason digital marketing exists, because they created it, and because they respond to it more then any other demographic.

Regardless of your business, it’s essential to consider them in your marketing strategy if you haven’t already.  They’re having children, they’re thinking about retirement, they’re teenagers, they’re just about to get a promotion, they’re drinking too much in college and they’re on the verge of getting a tattoo of a Drake lyric that they’ll definitely regret in a few years time.  They cannot be generalized, but they do share some fundamental attributes that bind the vast majority of them.  It’s these attributes that make them such a lucrative generation.  We’ve picked out a few for you, you lucky things.


Millennials are generally always on their mobile devices

In 2014, 83% of 18-29 year olds in the USA owned a cellphone*, and that number will only get bigger as plans get cheaper and technology gets better. Add to that the number of tablet-carrying Millennials, and you begin to wonder how humans coped before the advent of these gadgets.  The majority are using their devices to shop online, and your website needs to be able to facilitate for that.  In fact, it needs to encourage it.  If it doesn’t look fantastic, they’ll go elsewhere.  Don’t settle for mobile-friendly.  Make sure your site is mobile-lovely.


Millennials respond to good marketing

In a sense, everyone responds to good marketing.  If they didn’t, it wouldn’t be good marketing, it would just be noise.  But Millennials are particularly responsive, especially to digital marketing – as you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention so far.  Partly, this is because most Millennials are either sleeping or surfing – and we’re not talking about the overly-tanned, wet-haired, anklet-wearing kind of surfing here either.   This means strong digital marketing is more likely to reach them.

Secondly, they like to interact with great content. They know where the “share” button is, and they’re not afraid to use it.  More about this in a second.

Thirdly, most top marketing professionals would consider themselves Millennials.  Millennials tend to market to and for each other.  Which is kind of sweet, if you think about it.


Most Millennials love social media

Well, that’s not strictly true.  Most of them claim to hate social media, but insist on spending most of their waking hours on it nonetheless.  But don’t think you’ve succeeded if you have a Facebook and Twitter account; your Grandpa is probably on Facebook and Twitter these days.  You have to use a whole range of social media avenues and you have to use them effectively.  Create good quality content and Millennials will engage with it.  Ultimately, most of them want to be the first to find a great video, a funny picture or an interesting blog post. They want to market your business for you: indulge them.


Millennials’ attention spans are shrinking

Just like the width of their phones or their political engagement.  They might spend a lot of time on the web, but their attention is a like a rare fish that needs to be captured, photographed and thrown back into the lake before any damage is done.  Keep things simple and sharable.  The copy on your website should be sharp and to the point, but engaging.  The videos you produce should be short and snappy, and the images you share should be vivid, eye catching and self-explanatory.  You might not have much of their time, but you can do an awful lot with it.

Effective marketing to Millennials is essential for your business, whether you like it or not.  But to understand this demographic, you have to stop viewing them as a homogenous group, and instead focus on some more basic principles.  Millennials are, quite rightly, defined by their infatuation with all things digital, but ironically it is this infatuation that creates such a frequent fluctuation in tastes and trends.