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How to Market to Millennials, As Told by a Millennial



As with all publicity efforts, you need to get to know your audience—so who is a millennial? These 80 million individuals range between 15-35 years old and make up 25% of the US population. Besides these staggering numbers, this audience is unique in behavioral patterns and values when compared to the generations before. Some people call us lazy, self-absorbed or even unintelligent, but these naive persons are about to miss out on the trillions of dollars millennials are spending per year.

To connect with Generation Y, marketers must understand what matters most to young adults today. Brands should note that millennials have grown up in the Internet world, in which endless choices and information are constantly available. They’ve been raised with cell phones, tablets and social media, not only building their independence, but also their confidence as they’ve created an online brand of themselves.

Besides their access to technology, millennials have altered the typical values of adulthood. Rather than seeking higher incomes or building a family immediately out of college, this generation’s ideals consist of happiness, experiences and passion.

So how do we reach this audience the right way? Here’s a breakdown of the best methods to attract millennials:

  1. Listen to online chatter – Public Relations has always been about the conversation between a brand and its customers. The Internet allows us to receive instant feedback from our audiences and also the ability respond to their opinions. This provides the chance for unbeatable customer service. Think JetBlue on Twitter
  2. Get social media right – Generation Y has mastered the art form of every social media platform. Make sure you’re using these tools correctly and presenting your brand in the best way possible through, at the least, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If not, expect to lose a lot of credibility with your younger audience. Think Starbucks on Instagram
  3. Go to them – Millennials are curious so you’ll want to provide them with the opportunity to engage with your brand. They never want to feel marketed at, rather, they are keen on interesting content that draws them in to the personality of a product or service. Be emotional. Be funny. Be human. Think Dove #RealBeauty campaign
  4. Provide an experience – Millennials believe that spending their time and money on experiences brings more fulfillment to their lives. Brands want to use this life value to their advantage by smoothly integrating their brand into experiences like concerts, travel and other adventures. Think Red Bull Wings events.

See, we’re not so tricky after all! Marketers who fail to recognize and adapt to the changing lifestyles of the younger population are about to miss a huge mark, and lose a lot of business for themselves in the future. Smart businesses who are aware of what millennials respond to will have an advantage of building customer loyalty with the current largest population group and that’s #priceless.

-Paloma Richards

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