Millennials or the Gen Y are everywhere nowadays it seems…Literally! They are being talked about, written about, analysed, critiqued…and many other things. No wonder here though, because Millennials are the fastest growing generation on the planet and they will soon be the most influential. This means you will not only be just Marketing ‘to’ them, you will be Marketing ‘through’ them!
Courting and marketing to & with Millennials (consumers born after 1982) is not only important, but crucial to your brand’s long-term success. Over the next five years, industry analysts predict that these young consumers will have more purchasing power than any other generation. At the same time, they are still forming their opinions about different brands and determining brand loyalty and preferences. Finally, Millennials represent the first generation of digital “natives” or individuals who have grown up on the Internet and mobile devices. Understanding how and when and on what platform to reach these consumers has become a science in and of itself. It is essential that brands leverage all of the digital tools available them —including digital video advertising, mobile, social media, and content marketing — to build relationships with Gen Y and Gen X.
So, here are Top 5 Characteristics of Millennials which make them the perfect choice to carry out your Branding & Marketing work – If you have to Market “To” Millennials, makes sense to Market “through” Millennials!
1. They Share Experiences Online. As digital natives who have been wired practically since they were in diapers, millennials are typically on social media constantly and feel driven to share experiences with their friends in real time. Make sure they are having positive experiences with your company’s brand to share. Get them to Share their Experiences & Reviews of your Products/ Services via Virtual Internships/ Live Projects (View Sample Project)
2. Millennials Trust their Friends. Ninety-one percent of millennials surveyed by SocialChorus said they would consider buying a product if a friend recommended it. This illustrates golden opportunity for companies to market with millennials rather than to them. If you can get millennials to serve as advocates, you’ll drive reach, awareness, engagement and sales. To achieve this, companies should develop a brand-advocacy strategy. The first step is to identify potential brand advocates such as social media followers, interns, employees, and topical bloggers. The next steps are to give them incentives to share the brand story and measure the impact. (View Sample Project 1, Sample Project 2)
3. Gen-Yers Use Social Media-based Feedback. User-generated content is a primary source of information for millennial customers who are considering a purchase. To maximize your company’s return on investment, make sure you provide an easy way for customers to share their thoughts about your product and services and provide feedback. Since, User-generated content (UGC) is basically media created by your peers, why not get Millennials (Interns/ Students/ Young Professionals) to use your product & provide their reviews via social media status updates, blog posts, product ratings, peer reviews on website, etc. (For Eg., Restaurant Reviews, College Reviews, Referral Programs, View Sample Project)
4. Millennials Like to Share Entertaining Content. One of the best ways to get millennials involved with your company is to provide valuable, entertaining content that they will want to share with their friends on social media platforms. Keep that goal in mind when developing marketing campaigns. You can even get the more creative Millennials to create such interesting & relevant content for you in the form of say, Listicles or Amateur Videos.
5. Millennials Value Openness & Transparency. Perhaps because they were raised during tumultuous times, Millennials tend to be suspicious of companies’ motives unless they are reassured by an open and transparent approach. Gain their trust, and you’ll capture their business. Engage in two-way conversations with millennials on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Share company news on social platforms. Let customers know their voices are heard by responding promptly to the feedback you receive. Give them a first-hand exposure to your company’s style, processes, and culture through Projects or Virtual Internships. If you gain millennials’ trust, you’ll capture their business.
As connected consumers, therefore, Millennials can—and do—engage with brands everywhere they go. And, it’s high time the Industry started leveraging these inherent Millennial traits for Branding & Marketing success.