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5 Tips for Marketing to Millennials

The Information generation is a common name for millennials.

Millenials, Generation Y, the Internet Generation, the Echo Boomers, … all other different kind of names for the generation born between 1980 and 2000.

I am currently 26, and as such holding a member card of this generation of narcissistic trophy kids. At least that’s how Time Magazine once referred to us in an article bearing the glorifying title Millenials: The Me Me Me generation. I’ll leave it to you to judge whether there is any kind of truth in these accusations.

Anyway, fact is that when you’re a marketer in whatever industry, you’ll need to reach out to the millennial audience at some point. In this blog article, I’m happy to share with you some tips on how to make a success of this.  

Ditch pure promotional talk

The “Information Generation” is another common name for millennials. This is of course because we have grown up with the Internet and take it for granted to be able to find the information we need at any time, anywhere. Consequently, marketers can’t just fool us with slick advertising.  

Millennials definitely always trust social proof over ads.

Rather than expensive ads, good reviews given by peers will grab our attention. Does this mean that no single form of advertising can be used to target millennials? Of course not. The key message here is to not solely focus on ads and to minimize pure promotional talk 

Give your brand a face

Be open and reach out to your millennial target group in a personal and transparent way. A great way to do this is by literally giving your brand a face. 

Millennials are sceptic and it’s not easy to gain our trust.

Showing who’s behind your brand might make it easier to let us believe in the message you’re trying to pass. In other words, put your face on your website and tell the world something more about yourself and your colleagues.  

Understand and respond to the trend of fauxsumerism

Ever heard about “Fauxsumerism?

If trying to successfully connect with millennials, it might be useful to understand this phenomenon. Fauxsumerism is an important millennial trend. In fact, it has a rather negative connotation. It means that we are often very much interested in everything surrounding shopping, minus the actual buying process. A closely related phenomenon to this is the act of (virtual) window shopping. For many millennials shopping without actual buying stuff has become a real source of entertainment.   

It’s true that fauxsumerism is a trend in other generations as well. But research has shown that it’s strikingly more common among millennials. It’s clear that an important job for marketers today lies in the act of converting browsing millennials into buying millennials. Therefore, a well developed customer engagement plan and omni-channel strategy are definitely a good start to tackle this challenge.  

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Think about cooperation

It should be clear by now that one-way communication does not work with millennials. As soon as we have the impression that a brand considers us as passive creatures by whom they can make money, we drop out. Setting up a co-creation plan is the perfect way to prove different.  

Millennials love to experiment.

Make sure to respond to this desire. For example, Ikea is a brand that successfully manages this. The Swedish brand often closely involves people in the creation and designing process of its furniture.  

Respond to our FOMO

FOMO or ‘fear of missing out’ has become a phenomenon among the millennial generation. 

Through social media we get real time information on what our friends are doing, which leads to a constant concern that someone somewhere might be having more fun.  

For marketers there are certainly opportunities here. Don’t miss out on them and respond to this ongoing urge for experience with specific marketing actions.  

Did you know that “FOMO marketing” has even become a common used term? The travel industry, for instance, is already firmly committed to this. Regarding missed social opportunities as a major driver for millennials, FOMO-type communications can also be very effective in promoting events 

Conclusion

Millennial marketing might be challenging.

But at the same time there are definitely lying plenty of opportunities here. Everything starts with a good understanding of who we are and and how we think. Might need some advice? Get in touch with us and we’re happy to help you out!  

Now it’s really time for me to finish this article. Sun is out and I just noticed on Instagram that most of my friends are having drinks in town. Imagine that I would miss out on this..? Bye! 

About the author

Emma is a driven marketer with experience in the field of (digital) marketing, communications and advertising in both national and international environments. She’s familiar with marcom, branding, content and email marketing, website and social media management and several other (digital) marketing practices.  

She’s currently working for the corporate communications department of Visit Flanders, where she’s responsible for all external B2B communication. Connect with her on LinkedIn or contact her through the 4P square contact form. 

Emma Demuynck

Marketing Consultant

Marcom, Copy & Events

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"A stumbling-block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist."