Millennials recently passed baby boomers as the largest generation group in the U.S., furthering their buying power and influence. With millennials accounting for over 72 million people in the U.S. population, it’s vital for businesses to adequately target and market towards them.
Successfully connecting with millennials means accounting for how tech-savvy, unapologetic, and intensely focused on change they are.
However, targeting millennials with your marketing campaign requires thorough knowledge of the unique behaviors, values, and pain points they possess. Let’s explore key beliefs and motivations of millennials, best practices for targeting them, and why it’s important to tailor your marketing campaigns to this generation.
Key Beliefs and Motivations of Millennials
How often have you heard millennials say:
“Our environment is dying — we need to save it!”
“Our people are suffering, so we need to prioritize emotional, mental, and physical health.”
“We need to close gender pay gaps and racial wealth gaps.”
If you’ve heard any or all of these, you aren’t alone. These beliefs and others related to equality and justice are most important to millennials. Millennials are also motivated by the following or possess these unique beliefs that can ultimately be leveraged for marketing purposes:
- They believe a fair and just world is the best world
- Their creativity and liveliness make them less likely to conform
- They’re less afraid to suggest solutions to things that aren’t working
- They’re brave and courageous, but sometimes naive in the way they approach their passions
- Millennials see a way to work smarter versus harder
- Millennials want to spend more time pursuing what they love and doing what they love
- Millennials are innovative, creative, intricate souls looking for a way in this world that’s peaceful, liberating, and intoxicating
- They value entrepreneurship and creating jobs over staying at a company for years and years
- Millennial women are vocal about their rights and continuing to fight for them
- There are more working moms and women who manage careers and families
- They’re eliminating any boxes around identification
- They’re breaking generational curses and gender roles
- Millennials want more and aren’t afraid to ask for it
How to Target Millennials With Your Marketing Campaigns
By understanding the unique values, motivations, and beliefs of millennials, you can use this information to successfully target them with your marketing campaigns. Here are some best practices to implement when targeting millennials for marketing purposes:
Use social media heavily
Social media should be one of the first marketing tools you turn to when attempting to reach millennials. Seventy-two percent of the public uses some type of social media. Millennials have risen as the top group of users on social media. It’s important to note that there is a right way and a wrong way to do social media marketing as it pertains to millennial users.
The right ways begin with thorough research of your audience. According to Western Governors University, “Knowing who your audience is doesn’t mean you know what they want. Do further research to understand how they interact with your website and with other social media accounts. What social media platforms do they use? Are they looking for information or entertainment? What stage of the buyer’s cycle are they in?”
Establish a digital presence outside of social media
Aside from social media, millennials are heavily involved in the digital landscape entirely. They’re not just looking to social media to interact with their favorite brands. Millennials frequently use the Web, email, live-streaming, audio, and video sharing platforms to stay connected.
Focus on personalization and offering valuable content to your audience. Get away from traditional forms of marketing and explore digital and other non-traditional marketing tactics that resonate with the millennial audience.
Tie your brand to a social cause
Thirty percent of millennial consumers say they feel loyal to brands versus products. Tying your brand to a social cause could be your way of connecting with millennials. Causes related to sustainability are especially important to millennials as they are leading this movement.
Leveraging shared values will create a lasting impression on millennials that could potentially lead to a loyal customer relationship with your brand.
Leverage shared values by immersing your company mission in them and finding ways to support them through action and activism. Genuinely care about what millennials are trying to do. Value what they value and show it in your brand’s promise.
Learn how to comprehend and act on analytics data
Analytics are key to identifying exactly how millennials are interacting with your brand. Use data to identify any gaps in your marketing, sales, and overall business systems and software.
Aside from traditional analytics software and data, explore trends like big data to stay up to date on ways to appropriately and productively use data related to your target audience.
Companies have the ability to utilize big data to enhance the customer experience. Highly accurate and detailed information can be collected, which in return improves business strategies, including email follow-ups, marketing initiatives, and inclusive customer service.
Why It’s Important to Target Millennials With Your Marketing Campaigns
Targeting millennials in your marketing campaigns means you’re fully aware of the power and influence this generation has on buying behaviors. It’s important to target millennials in your marketing campaigns because:
- Millennials spend $600 billion a year in the U.S.
- Millennials are the future of the workplace
- Their influence on social, political, economic, and environmental issues is grand
- They don’t plan on backing down until they get the results they’re asking for
- They’ll soon be leading political, economical, and environmental landscapes
- Millennials lead technology and social media use
- They’re the largest generation group in the U.S.
- They lead e-commerce purchases
Smart business owners evaluate their marketing strategies every year and should adapt them to millennials. The unique values, motivations, and beliefs of millennials should be accounted for in any marketing campaigns you create. The buying power and influence of millennials should be enough motivation for you to explore shifting your marketing techniques to include them.
Illustration: People vector by Stories
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer living in the Northwestern U.S. Her areas of expertise and topics she typically covers revolve around business productivity, marketing strategies, and web design. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter: @HamiltonJori