Connecting with Millennials
Not so much of a disclaimer: The points to be shared will open up a new perspective to perceiving millennials and growing an appealing brand through them. I also believe having a good understanding of how to connect to millennials will open up new vistas to discover and channel our potential leadership abilities. Today, marketing is taking a huge move up the hill through the introduction of new versions of communication platforms & devices and it seems the hill keeps getting taller. (You can put the word “update” somewhere in between the last sentence). Since millennials dominate the internet space, it’s a no brainier to say they are the major influence of marketing decisions today.
First, let’s clear a few misconceptions. Millennials have received massive amounts of negative attention. Adjectives most often applied to the group born between 1983 and 1997 (today’s 20–34 year olds) are “Spoiled”, “Entitled” and “Lazy”. But like most stereotypes, they really aren’t fair or accurate. If you want to reach millennials, you first need to look past the generalizations to understand what makes them unique then you use that insight to create a connection.
Millennials are not easily fooled by marketing and advertising tactics, hence, the development of an authentic relationship is vital. Let’s look at a few things to note:
1. Millennials are not a homogeneous group.
Millennials are diverse. You can’t expect to target them and come away with a streamlined strategy. The antidote is social listening, it allows you to understand the nuances of your particular Millennial audience as distinct from the Millennial generation as a whole.
2. Target millennials based on social groups. You can focus your attention on population segments that are drawn to social causes- those who are in alternative lifestyles or those who avidly follow specific social media personalities. Millennials are much more likely to have a strong attachment to specific social identities than identifying with a stage of life.
3. Understand and speak to the values that drive them — discovery, happiness, passion, diversity, and sharing. Understand their realistic lifestyles and experiences and find ways to amplify their reality. Millennials define themselves by what they use. Make sure they feel informed and involved, not just marketed to; you will find more opportunities available to you to gain this generation’s affinity.
Millennials are not lazy and inattentive; in fact, often they’re trying to be attentive to too many things at once. You have to tailor strategies and tactics to their wants and needs first, place your needs in those contexts and you’ll have loyalists who have the ability to share things faster. Keep it short, a larger percentage of millennials abandon content because it’s too long. Thinking mobile first to reach millennials can’t be overemphasized. they are making their decisions utilizing their mobile devices.
Branded VIP parties, influencer-only events are all great ways to make millennials feel like trendsetters among the crowd. It appeals to their sense of adventure.
Finally, On use of Celebrities: Marketing with millennials does not mean paying celebrities. A study shows that celebrities were trusted by only 7% of millennials as a credible source of product information. Brands should find creative ways to appeal to Millennials and EMPOWER THEM TO SHARE the brand’s story. Turning a millennial consumer into a brand advocate opens up the opportunity to create a lifelong customer. Remember that the millennial having a device makes him a potential publishing house!
According to a study on the behavioral pattern of millennials on the internet- Nigerian Millennial Report (2016), 8/10 Millennials respond positively to content that are informative. 6/10 says they would share content that is entertaining.
Millennials want to be immersed in high-quality, entertaining content. No one wants to be told what to do, what to like and what to think. That is especially true of Millennials. Come by as informative rather than instructional. Millennials want to believe that they have uniquely discovered things they like, don’t push marketing in their faces.
When millennials fall in love with a product or an organization, they tell the world!! Make them find you cool. The millennials who love your product are your best marketing tool. These evangelists will push you! Millennials value transparency and are always ready to talk about you.