Reaching Millennials on Mobile

My generation hates being told and sold. How do brands reach a market working so hard to avoid traditional advertisements? On mobile.

Netflix and Spotify now have 181 million users that are paying to avoid ads.

In the past, ads solved the consumer’s problem, but now they are a consumer problem. Millennials have found a way around ads. Every month, 43 million people use ad-blockers, and subscription services thrive on millennials efforts to avoid ads. Netflix and Spotify now have 181 million users, and their adoption is only increasing. Advertisements that live on large screens and internet browsers are no longer effective. Instead, they’re an easily avoided nuisance, but that’s ok because there’s a new ad frontier.

The best part of millennials mobile engagement? There’s no Ad-Block in apps.

In-app advertising. Recent Pew research shows 90% of U.S. citizens have a smart phone and the average smartphone user spends 85% of their time in app. We millennials, don’t go anywhere without our phones. We’re a generation who enjoys a constant connection to our family, friends, and influencers. In fact, a recent study shows that millennials spend more time on our phones than we do with our peers. Right now your customers are averaging 4.7 hours a day on phones. The best part of millennials mobile engagement? There’s no ad-block in apps.

Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, and Instagram dominate the app ecosystem.

The app ecosystem is a big space. There’s currently 2 million apps in Apple’s app store, and that number is growing. Where are millennials spending their mobile time, and where should you target your ads? It turns out the mobile world isn’t that big. The four brands you should care about are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Here’s how app usage looks by the numbers:

Time in Apps

What does this mean to you, the brand? You have a captive audience that spends half its smartphone time in apps that are friendly to brands. In apps, your commercial cannot be blocked, and its at the fingertips of your future customers. My argument is simple, you must shift to a mobile focus if you want to increase brand visibility amongst millennials. Chances are your brand already focuses on the desktop version of at least one of these platforms, which makes transition to mobile easy.

You must shift to a mobile focus if you want to increase brand visibility amongst millennials.

With a mobile push, millennials bring your brand with them. Instead of the monitor on the desk, you have a 5-inch screen and four apps that give you an opportunity to share your brand over the course of a millennial’s day. But the question remains, how do you make sure your effort gets millennials not only to listen, but to engage and act on your ads.

Find out next week in Part II: Create content, not ads.