4 key questions to Millennial marketing answered

What’s the one thing I should know about Millennials?

If you think the one thing is “Technology”, you’d be wrong.

Yes, this generation grew up with technology. This has a huge impact on their lives, which in turn has a huge impact on how they engage with brands. But it isn’t just about being on the web, or being on Facebook. After all, who isn’t? If it’s that easy, everyone would have done it and it would have work. But it’s not. It’s about being part of their technological life. And that requires a deeper understanding into who they are and how they use technology. The one thing you should know about them is Passion.

Are you sure it’s not about technology?

Well, it’s a little bit about technology… Technology is a great enabler, and that’s all that is. This generation has been told that they can be whatever they want to be and that they can make a difference. With technology, this generation will start non-profits in their backyards and start-ups in their basements. This generation uses technology to see their ideas and passions come to life. Therefore, to market to this generation, you need to figure out how your brand fits into their passions.

Technology has also given this generation voice to express their passion. Most marketers have learned the lesson that we no longer own our brands. The consumers co-own our brands. If they have a bad experience, they will post that online. They will post that on their Facebook profile. They will tweet it. They will make sure review sites also know it, and link those back to Facebook and Twitter. They can be our greatest advocates or our greatest enemies. They are not a generation to be marketed to, but a generation to be engaged with and build a relationship with. It’s a relationship that needs to be cultivated, just like any other relationships in life.

How to engage this generation?

This generation is inherently creative, empowered by technology. They’re building a personal brand online before they graduate high school. Facebook, Pinterest, etc., are all channels with which they are expressing themselves and their passions. They’re creating their own personal brands online. This gives marketers a huge opportunity (and really the only opportunity). Be a part of their brand! They are sharing online. They are creating contents. They need contents. Marketers can provide that content, preferably in an exclusive manner. Make your brand become a part of their brand. As they build their brand, they are also building yours!

Let me make one thing clear. Marketing to millennials is not about Facebook or Twitter. It’s not about social media. It’s about building a relationship with them, wherever they are. This means Facebook. This means Twitter. This means Amazon. This means Yelp. This means store websites. This means stores. This means school. This means events. This means really being social, not being onsocial…

What about my current non-Millennial consumers?

A common question is would you offend you loyal customers if you all of a sudden start targeting millennials.

The answer: Not if you do it right.

You know your brand. You know what your brand stands for. That wouldn’t change. The core of who you are shouldn’t change. If we compare your brand to a person, you are still who you are. If you’re trying to access a different group of people, you may join a different network. You may even dress differently. You may go to different parties. But if you’re a funny guy, you’d still be a funny guy. Who you are won’t change. In the marketing realm, you may leverage different tactics to engage the millennials. You may access different marketing channels bring your message to life. If you’re about high tech, you’d still be about high tech. You just may be on Facebook talking about high tech. What makes your brand unique won’t change. But just like you may tell different jokes at different parties because of the different audiences, you would likewise adjust your marketing message to make sure that it resonates with the audience at that particular marketing channel. As long as you stay authentic to who you are while doing so, you will be able to stay true to your brand while engaging with this new audience.

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon / Flickr / Creative Commons License

For more tips and tricks on strategy and marketing, check out my blog at CuriousMarketeer.com or follow @jeannie_chan on Twitter. See my work at JeannieChan.com.

Originally published on CuriousMarketeer.com

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