Millennials: Targeting the Biggest Consumer Group in History

A millennial looking at a graph on a laptop.

Millennials are well informed, tech-savvy, and eager to be regarded as individuals rather than as just part of the general audience. (Image: via Unsplash)

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, often confuse marketers. For valid reasons, compared to previous generations, they seem to ignore shifting values and have a shorter attention span regarding traditional print and television advertising.

This group of individuals grew up during a technological revolution. Therefore, they are constantly searching for a more personalized form of communication on platforms and channels that they are accustomed to.

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When it comes to doing business with this group, the problem isn’t just about mastering the buying behavior of millennials — it is also about learning how to adjust to their short attention spans and shifting values.

Below are some considerations when targeting the interests of a millennial audience and motivating them to become your brand advocates.

Learn to do proper segmentation

Major marketing firms have affirmed that this group of people has become today’s most significant U.S. consumers and represents a gold mine for marketing opportunities — if and only if marketers have a deep understanding of them.

They are well-informed, tech-savvy, and eager to be regarded as individuals rather than as just part of the general audience. As a result, millennials engage with marketing communications that are honest, personalized, ethical, short, and direct.

Once you understand how your customers think, you get a picture of which promotions or communications will best attract millennials to engage with your products and services.
Once you understand how your customers think, you get a picture of which promotions or communications will best attract millennials to engage with your products and services. (Image: Pixabay)

To better understand millennials on a granular scale and enable marketers to weave an effective marketing strategy, psychographics and the implementation of the Value, Attitude, and Lifestyles (VALS) model are crucial. However, demographics alone aren’t going to be enough to help your business formation when it comes to targeting this group, as they aren’t a uniform market.

The VALS model is one of the main ways of doing psychographic segmentation. People’s values, attitudes, and lifestyles are intangible variables of potential consumers, and you can use these as markers of their buying behaviors. Once you understand how your customers think, you get a picture of which promotions or communications will best attract them to engage with your products and services.

VALS works differently for individuals. For example, a person’s socioeconomic status will determine the kind of place they frequent. We can also choose the type of purchases people will make based on their social class. For millennials, understanding their values, their attitudes in life, and their lifestyles, in general, will help marketers and entrepreneurs identify the kind of products and services that are in demand.

The insights you get from this model will provide you with the psychographic information you need for your marketing campaign.

Market experiences

Millennials are less interested in the hard selling of products and place more value on the experiences a brand offers. Thus, when you are trying to market your goods or services, figure out how it can positively contribute to or complement their existing lifestyle. For example, how can your brand help them resolve some of their daily worries? Or how does it fulfill their needs or desires?

You’ll have to answer some questions during your product design process or when formulating your marketing plans. These are precisely the kind of queries that belong to the decision-making processes of millennials.

Get acquainted with the things they prioritize — happiness, contentment, trust, etc. — and craft your communication by emphasizing these values or making sure millennials see that their priorities are similar to what your brand reflects.

One crucial aspect of the marketing experience is descriptive language and visual elements. Set a scene for your target market. You may use high-resolution images to show a clear picture of how the experience will look like or feel unique to them.

Online consumer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations have become the top two impactful advertising methods affecting the purchasing decisions of millennials.
Online consumer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations have become the top two impactful advertising methods affecting the purchasing decisions of millennials. (Image: via Pixabay)

Elevate your word-of-mouth marketing

Online consumer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations have become the top two impactful advertising methods affecting the purchasing decisions of millennials. Thus, brands must partner with the industry to efficiently spread their messages to their target market.

Today, like traditional TV and film celebrities, many famous YouTubers and social media personalities have created an equal amount of influence on millennials. Hence, it is advisable to build partnerships with influencers in your industry.

These figures sway their followers’ opinions and may, later on, encourage them to be your messengers who will spread positive words about your brand. Organic marketing is helpful in engaging millennials with content, products, and services that are in line with their interests.

Further, online reviews, blogs, and referrals are essential since millennials usually refer to this material before deciding what to purchase.

Never overlook the power of going social

Millennials love to have real-time engagements and conversations over social media. Popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat create an easy and current way of sharing news, images, and whatever is happening to individuals or organizations. With just a tap, people, organizations, and even businesses can create and share content that can be relevant to your brand and consumers.

As reported by Forbes magazine, 62 percent of millennials prefer brands that engage with them on social networks instead of just using social media to promote products and services. Thus, brands need to focus on utilizing social media to have two-way conversations.

Make sure to ask your audience regularly to share feedback and have them included in your process of improving or innovating your products or services. Responding to their comments, private messages, or video logs can make your brand more accessible and relatable.

Most millennials like it when they converse with people instead of getting mere computer-generated responses. Social media has made it possible to generate this quick and easy business-client communication.

Final thoughts

Again, millennials don’t like being outright marketed to — they want to have a human connection with brands and be assured that you, as part of such, can hear and value their voices and opinions.

As a marketer, the moment you can clearly understand who makes up your millennial demographic, and the values that influence them to make a purchase, your marketing effort will become much more efficient and meaningful.

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