Millennials 101: What Makes Them Tick

First, it was the Baby Boomers. Then, came Generation X. And now, we’ve arrived at the era of the Millennials. 

What does this mean to you as a marketer? In short… *everything*. Although you want to avoid pigeonholing any group, the truth of the matter is that marketing is all about knowing *who* you are talking to so that you can do so effectively. By defining this group of buyer personas, and utilizing them in your marketing efforts, you’re more likely to draw them in as a customer.

 

What Typically Defines a Millennial

Let’s start off by saying that nothing is ever 100 percent, meaning that every millennial you come across won’t share all of these attributes. Heck, you might even meet some that defy all three. What we’re focusing on here, though, are generalities. If you know what generally makes a millennial tick, you’ll be in a better position to find a marketing strategy that will match as many as possible. So, what typically makes up a millennial? We’d say there are three elements:

They want to be acknowledged. 

Most people want to feel as if they belong to something, but this desire seems to be much stronger with millennials. Although some of the older generations will sometimes view them as “attention-seeking”, the truth is that the majority of millennials simply want to be acknowledged for their efforts. They wish to be viewed as vital members of society. They seek out businesses with strong customer service… ones that acknowledge them as integral parts of the world around us. If you can do this, then you’re one leg up on your competition.

They lean to the left. 

As a rule, Madison Taylor Marketing will often try to avoid speaking politically, in part because it can be a dangerous subject to broach, no matter your position. For the purpose of this topic, though, it is necessary to point out that most millennials seem to possess liberal views, especially when it comes to topics of cultural and gender equality. As said above, they want to feel as if they belong… and they want everyone else to feel that same way. As a business, even if you don’t agree with all of their political views, It’s a good idea not to alienate them. If you do, then you can expect to lose a chunk of business, especially since millennials also have a tendency to spread both the good and bad by word-of-mouth and online outlets like Yelp.

They are both independent and dependent.

This one’s a little tricky, but kinda cool at the same time. You see, millennials will tell you that they’re individualistic. In a lot of ways, this is absolutely true… but in reality, they are individualistic as a group. Confused yet? To put it simply, millennials want to be recognized as individuals who are not dependent on others for their success or achievements. But, they also have a herd mentality. They rely on each other for support and recognition. A lot of the time, they travel in packs (see the Pokemon Go frenzy as an example) and rely on recommendations from other millennials or those they trust. 

 

How You Can Use the Attributes of Millennials in Your Marketing Strategy

Last week, we touched on a few elements that are typically shared by millennials — the desire to be acknowledged, the tendency to lean to the political left, and the fact that they’re both independent and dependent. Now, what we’re going to do is take what we talked about last week — which you can read right now by clicking here — and give you some marketing tips that will take those attributes into consideration. You can probably figure a lot of it out on your own, so we’ll keep this short and sweet by providing you with our quick thoughts on five strategies to utilize:

Bring Them into Your Company’s Mission Statement

Remember what we said about millennials wanting to belong? If you can develop a mission statement that addresses some of their concerns, be it in the realm of technology or other interests, they will see that you understand them and are on their side. You don’t need to necessarily redesign an existing mission statement — just include this newer generation.

Develop Strong Content

Millennials have been inundated with pop-up advertisements and whatnot since they were practically in diapers, and they find such things to be an annoyance more than anything else. What you want to focus on, instead, is the development of strong content that will grab their attention and draw them to your site. Also, make sure that the posting of such content is done on a consistent basis.

Heavily Utilize Social Media 

On a personal level, you may sometimes dislike social media… but as a marketer, you must learn to embrace it. The millennial generation is the generation of social media and if you’re not hitting these avenues hard and often, you’re missing out. We suggest engagement on a daily basis, and on at least the “big two” — Facebook and Twitter — in addition to at least a couple of others, if possible. Just don’t overdo it, or this strategy may backfire.

Improve Your Website’s Navigation

Millennials know technology. They’ve grown up with navigating websites, and if they visit one that doesn’t allow them to quickly and effectively find what they’re looking for, they will move on. Also, keep in mind that much of this engagement will be done on smart phones, so optimizing your site for mobile is essential. Fail at this and you can kiss your profits goodbye.

Communicate Whenever Possible

If you can find a way to engage with millennials, they’ll be more attracted to your company. This can be done on social media platforms like Facebook to good effect. You don’t have to answer every single message, but the more you can interact with your customer base and make them feel important, the better. It’s also a good idea to solve any problems that customers mention on review sites like Yelp.

 

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