Marketing to the ‘Generation Y'

One of the key elements in marketing is understanding your target demographic. This, amongst many other things, gives room to you as a brand to be proactive. It allows you know the needs of your potential market and provide them even before this potential market become aware they have such needs.
The millennials also known as the ‘Generation Y' constitute the generation born between the early 1980s and 2004, and they are so named because this demographic cohort was born near the dawn of a new millennium. Amazingly, the millennials are not just a target demographic, they are 'the' target demographic. They are the most lucrative market in the world and make up more than quarter of an entire population (U.S population), that’s some really large market. Nearly every marketer today is making this segment of the population a priority - or at least working to understand what drives this group.

In the words of Bill McDermott(SAP co-CEO);

“...75% of the purchasing class of the world in the next ten years would be the millennials, so, we had better understand them.”

When millennials shop, it’s most likely to be on their smart phones or personal computer, they totally have a different buying culture from the preceding generation and companies that intend to experience increasing sales as well as thrive had better pay attention to them.

When it comes to content; recency, authenticity and transparency are qualities they look out for. They crave content-driven media. Spending an average of about 25 hours per week online, these generation thrust through webpages and social media platforms seeking to discover information that would empower them. They perk up when they come across words they feel was created with their interest (not their wallets) in mind, and they can tell.
84% of millennials report that user generated content on company websites somewhat influences what they buy. (Source; BazaarVoice). Understanding the importance of few carefully crafted words that matter to them and adds value to them as well is key. When you offer your audience content they would proudly share, you’re building a real brand-consumer relationship.

Also, creating a forum for this group to communicate and relay their opinions with each other can initiate a loyal following. When this is the case, they are more organically introduced to buying your product or service.
63% say they stay updated on brands through social media. There has been a major push in almost every sector from the conventional approach to more of online platforms, creation of applications that are smartphone friendly and the active engagement of their audience on social media platforms. Even some firms in the print media industry have apps that tell news.

When marketing to millennials, you need to speak their language. They want to feel connected and involved when it comes to their purchases and traditional marketing does not help matters, not close. This notion should not be restricted to only digital marketing as millennials still make in-store purchases, they look out for ease of purchase, efficiency and speed when choosing a shopping destination.

No matter what platform you use, you should market to millennials in entertaining ways in order to effectively engage them and inspire activity; you have to delight them where they are hanging out.