Are you ready to embrace the generational change?
Irrespective of the many definitions millennials may bring, they are a demographic that unquestionably cannot be ignored.
Currently the fastest growing age group in population, the millennials are most broadly defined as being ‘over 18-year old’s born after 1982’ and are projected to make up 35% of Australia’s total market by 2020.
In short, thinking about the best ways to best capture this important and rapidly growing consumer market has never been more vital than ever before.
1. Your product is ultimately an experience.
Generally, millennials are considered to be less possession-oriented, and are often focused acquiring experiences instead.
Whilst some have attributed this response to growing up in a post-recession economic climate, others reasons may be due to the increased popularity of the ‘sharing economy’ becoming the norm.
According to the 2017 Deloitte Millennial survey, ‘less than 1 in 10 young Australians also think they will be more financially secure than their parents’.
Millennials are presently therefore the youngest, over-educated but underemployed generation in Australia. As a result, they will often research avidly before considering purchases compared to their older counterparts.
Promoting your product as an experience will therefore not only offer a dynamic approach to your marketing strategies, but can ultimately allow you to think about benefits of your product with a fresh, contemporary outlook. Transforming your approach in this way can also have broader onset positives for alternative markets more broadly as well.
2. Know the online realm, and get social
Knowing how to market your brand online is a given these days, but millennials remain somewhat distinct from their predecessors, as born-and-raised digital natives. Since millennials have grown up using technology and have less spending power than older generations, safeguarding a millennial’s commitment may seem a lot more difficult at first glance.
But the payoff is definitely worth it, as in fact are thought to be on average are more loyal long-term buyers when they do identify with a brand.
With many millennials also working on personal projects of their own, they are also often content creators themselves in some capacity. Since they are more likely to be familiar with creating content, good design and a strong brand identity can only take your business so far when trying to differentiate.
Your marketing engagements should therefore be cross-platform, accessible, include an element of interactivity and a connect genuinely through all available social media channels. Having this approach, coupled with an authentic brand voice will also broaden your brand’s reach as a whole.
Millennials follow narratives and ‘stories’, a trend namely set by social media’s movement towards promoting public self-archiving, so it’s best to think about your brands’ story for the long-term.
Telling a compelling story for your brand is just as important in building loyalty and consumer trust, so keep these things also in mind when going cross-platform in the online realm.
3. Think and be civic-minded:
Findings show that millennials are comparatively more compassionate and engaged to causes they value and believe in, and are less willing to compromise on their own personal values. They are also considered to generally harbor stronger feelings of responsibility for the state of the world with strong desires to make change.
A focus on community engagement and giving back is therefore essential to marketing to the millennial market. Whether it be having a ‘green thumb’ as part of your business message, or emphasising similar civic-minded values as core to your brand’s identity, this kind of philanthropic differentiation will only become ever more vital in years to come.
Some less abstract examples of companies that got it right.
Gillette’s ‘kiss and tell’ campaign
What they did:
Gillette conducted a survey of 1,000 women, and found that one-third of the participants actively avoided kissing a man because of his facial hair. Gillette then made a documentary video ‘The Kiss Debate’ asking members of the public to join in alongside and series of ‘live experiments, pointing stubble in some cases to be the culprit of romantic tension.
Source: Andrew G takes to the streets as part of ‘The Kiss Debate’ asking Aussie girls in a series of ‘social experiments’ about stubble.
Why it worked:
Gillette included their audience to be part of the conversation and their campaign globally, using social media channels and a playful level of interactivity in their campaign.
Netflix- a lesson in lifestyle
What they did:
The online streaming provider Netflix has a strong focus on convenience, effectively make regular personalised and tailored suggestions whilst connecting users with social media platforms like Facebook.
Source: Photo by Global Panorama, ‘Netflix Logo’ on Flickr
Why it worked:
Netflix understands that millennials and other generations alike want the opportunity to share the content and products they’re engaging with and care about. Netflix responded and provided.
It’s all about finding that fine balance between interactivity, sending a direct, but genuine message, and taking the time to think about your brand with an emphasis on personalisation.
It’s not just about how you market to this younger market, but how you can empower them to engage, provide feedback, and be part of your brand’s community too. The flow on effect goes for other generations too.
Keep these things in mind and you’ll be sure to successfully engage successfully with the millennial demographic in your next marketing or creative campaign and you might be surprised as to what you can discover for your business moving forward.
By Amelia Navascues