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Millennials: Targeting the Biggest Consumer Group in History

Millennials represent the biggest consumer group in history. (Image:  Pixabay /  CC0 1.0)
Millennials represent the biggest consumer group in history. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, often confuse marketers, and for valid reasons; when 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 technology revolution, and they are in constant search for a more personalized form of communication on platforms and channels that they are accustomed to.

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 to motivate 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. Millennials engage with marketing communications that are honest, personalized, ethical, short, and direct.

Millennials are well informed, tech-savvy, and eager to be regarded as individuals rather than as just part of the general audience. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Millennials are well informed, tech-savvy, and eager to be regarded as individuals rather than as just part of the general audience. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

To better understand millennials on a granular scale and to enable marketers to weave an effective marketing strategy, the use of psychographics and the implementation of the Value, Attitude, and Lifestyles (VALS) model is crucial. 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. The values, attitude, and lifestyle of people are intangible variables of potential consumers, and you can use these as markers of their buying behaviors. Once you understand how your customers think, then you get a picture of which promotions or communications will work best in attracting 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 he or she frequents. We can also determine the kind of purchases people will make based upon 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 the psychographic information you need for your marketing campaign.

Once you understand how your customers think, then you get a picture of which promotions or communications will work best in attracting millennials to engage with your products and services. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Once you understand how your customers think, then you get a picture of which promotions or communications will work best in attracting millennials to engage with your products and services. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Market experiences

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

These are some of the questions you’ll have to answer during your product design process or when formulating your marketing plans, since these are exactly 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 by making sure millennials see that their priorities are similar to what your brand reflects.

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

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, it is necessary for brands to partner with industry to efficiently spread their messages to their target market.

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 / CC0 1.0)

Online consumer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations have become the top two impactful advertising methods affecting the purchasing decisions of millennials. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Today, like the traditional TV and film celebrities, there are many famous YouTubers and social media personalities who have created an equal amount of influence on millennials. Hence, it is advisable to build partnerships with influencers in your particular 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 useful in engaging millennials with content, products, and services that are in line with their interests.

Further, online reviews, blogs, and referrals are highly necessary, since millennials usually refer to this type of material before they decide on what to purchase.

Never overlook the power of going social

Millennials love to have real-time engagements and conversation 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, it is essential for brands to focus on utilizing social media as a means to have two-way conversations.

Phone apps

Millennials prefer brands that engage with them on social networks instead of just using social media to promote products and services. (Image: Pixabay / CC0 1.0)

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 even 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 the idea of being outright marketed to — they just want to have a human connection with brands, and to be assured that you as part of such can hear and will 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.

Author Bio: Maggie Martin is very passionate about healthy living, and has been writing some great and informative blogs about Food, Healthy Lifestyles, Beauty, and Fashion.

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