May 5, 2017 Advertising to Millennials

You don’t understand them. You can’t understand them. The truth is, no one gets them, no matter how hard you try, you might be upsetting some of them. So how on Earth do you expect to market to them all? Well it can be done, but it's extremely challenging. That’s because you can’t just plop a generic name on an entire group of people and expect it to be true for all of them, but reoccurring patterns can be found. Let’s face it, stereotypes happen to every generation – yes, even the “Baby Boomers” – so don’t get too annoyed if you can’t completely pin down this new generation of stereotypes.

Connecting to Millennials for Dummies.

As hyped up as it is, it’s really not that hard. Advertising is going through a lot of changes and that means we’re moving into branded story telling and inviting our audiences to connect and create lasting consumer connections. Like all people, Millennials like to feel important, so you need to relate with them in a way that accomplishes just that. You cannot, I repeat, cannot, connect to all Millennials with one thing because they all have different interests and can’t be held down to all enjoy your snack food brand.

The easiest way to gain traction in this market is to narrow down your target into a network. A network in simplest terms is a more refined ‘stereotype.’ The 20-30 year old sports fanatics are usually different than the millennials that are obsessed with music festivals, so these more specific groups are networks. When you find your network of people, you can actually create a bond between your brand and them. Being unique is crucial and makes your brand different, which creates something memorable and grows interest.

You’re gonna need a bigger bonfire.

Stories are passed down and prove to be engaging no matter what age you are, and no matter where you come from. Just about everyone has sat around a campfire and told their best stories, in an attempt to one-up their friends. These stories are conveyed through every media channel and the best ones are retold by everyone, creating viral content that grows interest. At EFK Group, we’ve always seen branding as a way for powerful story telling. It is an opportunity for succinct, and authentic story telling that builds on the brand and resonates with our audience.

Millennials aren’t looking for you to rewrite the Game of Thrones novels; they want bite-sized content. It’s not because they don't like sitting down for more substantial content, it’s that they thrive off the convenience and efficiency of on-the-go media. Find a concise way to convey your brand, story and ideas while utilizing media in an innovative way and then you’ve got a winning campaign.

Stats, Stats!

No one is safe from statistics, and they’re arguably the best way to generalize Millennials, so here’s a bunch of them. Specifically, 78% of Millennials are jumping to 4-5 online platforms daily, and some go to even more than that. On the bright side for marketing, 57% of this demographic will answer all the questions asked from telemarketers. Of course, TV conquers all other media so 81% of Millennials say that these ads are actually enjoyed, rating them from 4-5 stars. Something that people struggle to understand is how they go about deciding to buy something. 20-30 year olds are nothing if not premeditated. Rather than turning to friends, family or actual workers of the store, 77% of Millennials use online reviews to decide whether or not they want to purchase a product.

How Millennials Decide to Buy Something 

On Youtube, ads are everywhere and led 11% of Millennials to use adblockers, though 59% of them just watch until they can skip the ad. So you have 5 seconds to get them to want to watch your content and not what they clicked on. (1) Goodluck. Want some help? Check out the Unskippable ads from Geico. (2)

Grab some light bulbs.

An oldie, but a goodie, is the Ritz cracker cutter. (3) This is an idea that turned into a product that shocked their audience, and not only generated attention, but also revenue. Exciting, innovative ideas are what impress and attract Millennials, and if the idea checks off enough boxes for a network of Millennials, you just gained consumers. If you actually care about what you’re marketing, then it will show, and Millennials like that. They’re still people, not just numbers. In today’s fast-paced media storm, it’s hard to stay relevant, but look at Denny’s. (4) They’ve been the peaks of social engagement for years now. Wendy’s even got some great publicity from their twitter account recently. (5)

Chill on the Emojis.

Advertising is different to each generation, and that means it’s an ever-changing beast. Sometimes it’s about name brands and sometimes it is just about who Millennials remember when they’re ready to buy something. Every network is going to enjoy different things, but for the most part, trying to use only Emojis in a tweet isn’t going to reach many of them. That isn’t to say they don’t have their place, as the fastest growing language. Emojis have already cemented their place in our culture, but if you seem uninformed or just expect that throwing a bunch of them together will create a connection, that probably won’t work. If a network of Millennials like your content, you’ve just gained an audience that will steadily grow.

Millennials are always online, through social or sites that interest them. Specifically, they’re on social because this is a prime way for these 20-30 year olds who are more self-focused to get a bit of the spotlight. Millennials aren’t mysteries, just picky. Always keep in mind, they like their content small and their ideas big.

References:

  1. http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/infographic-what-millennials-want-online-and-off/
  2. http://www.martinagency.com/work/unskippable
  3. https://www.fcb.com/our-work/ritz-cracker-cutter
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/katherinegustafson/2016/09/14/replace-the-headphone-jack-with-a-flapjack-why-dennys-diner-is-the-king-of-twitter/amp/
  5. http://www.distractify.com/humor/2017/01/06/the-real-wendys-girl