Written by Richard Wilson| CEO | CLICKON Media
Millennials are now one of the largest generations and are about to move into their prime spending years. There’s a reason the advertising world is going millennial crazy. Their influence is greater than most of us think – we should all definitely start listening, and hard.
Here are FIVE reasons you need to gear your marketing effort toward this demographic:
1 – THEY HAVE INFLUENCE
Most marketeers mis-understand the millennial demographic as not being their core ‘heavy’ consumers and focus marketing budget elsewhere. This generally tends to ignore a few key principles.
i) Future Proofing – sales today are important but its the sales of tomorrow and winning future customers that brands need to consider in their strategy.
ii) Millennials are a digitally native and savvy generation born into the world of social media who have grown up with ‘sharing’, ‘recommendations’ and ‘social currency’. They have become the early adopters and have the ability to start trends for campaigns and products.
iii) Traditionally older generations follow, listen and take advice from ‘early-adopting’ younger generations. Research shows for example, that parents would seek advice or consensus from their children before making purchasing decisions. Gen-X and baby boomers might give plenty of advice to millennials but advice is definitely shared both ways.
2- THERE ARE MORE OF THEM THAN YOU THINK
Millennials are the most studied generation to date. With an age range spanning 18-35 it’s estimated there are over 80M+ millennials in the United States overtaking Baby Boomers to become the largest generation. This represents an incredible opportunity for brands to build early-stage relationships with this key demographic. With a spending power of over $600 billion already they will truly come into their own in 2020 with a projected spend of $1.4 trillion annually, representing over 30% of retail sales.
3 – LOYALTY – THEY SHARE CONTENT
Millennials share, engage and interact with content every single day. Born into a digital world its estimated 80M millennials in the US engage with digital content every day and are the early adopters agencies and brands aspire to reach in order to achieve social traction.
It isn’t always that simple through – 45% of millennials in a recent Newscred Survey mentioned they didn’t find online content compelling enough to share. Generally able to call BS more quickly than any other demographic – advertisers and in particular brands must work harder to add value and social currently to millennials lives.
4 – THEY ARE SPENDERS
Don’t believe the hype that millennials don’t have the money to spend on products and services. Statistics will prove doubters wrong every single time and those who omit millennials at the expense of focusing on older ‘heavier purchasing’ demographics are consigning their brand to history.
What has changed for millennials is their perception and expectation from brands. Experiential over hype, personalisation over mass-marketing, omni-channel vs fragmented. The old logic of marketing was to throw as many advertisements as logistically possible at younger generations in the hope you could get them hooked on your brand.
This method was probably applicable during Don Drapers’ finest hours at Madison Avenue but is seriously out of touch with generation-y.
5 – THEY ARE THE FUTURE
Millennials aren’t going anywhere. They have scale, purchasing power, digital prowess, entrepreneurial zeal and a craving for the experiential. Whether now or in five years time their importance can’t be ignored.
The key is understanding how they operate and accommodating into their lives. For too long advertising has become intrusive. Millennial reluctance to engage with traditional tv, pre-roll and display advertising gives opportunities for all of us to engage with fans in a whole new and engaging way.
If your brand isn’t getting it right there will always be another competitor coming down the road, more than happy to eat away at your millennial pie.
Authenticity comes from understanding and treating millennials the way they want to be perceived: unique, decisive, and authentic. Build authentic relationships, rather than those based on a constant state of selling. The rewards could be infinite.