“Millennials make up a crucial part of the global economy, and they possess certain personality traits that make marketing to this coveted demographic a complicated road to travel on. Complex, however, doesn’t mean impossible. The concept of Millennial is more of a mindset than an age range. The process of reaching and connecting with Millennials will be much easier if you remember to strategize around the many media Millennials use and recognize the unique qualities that Millennials prioritize with regards to a brand or product when making a buying decision.
BUILD MILLENNIAL AUDIENCES BASED ON A MINDSET
Marketers need to think about the concept of Millennial as a mindset or a persona, rather than an age bracket. The term Millennial often focuses solely on an age range. Generally, that means defining them as an audience made up of consumers born between 1980 and 2000. However, to succeed in capturing members of this audience, the definition needs to expand beyond that scope.
The Millennial mindset is made up of a series of generalizations that have become norms. When you dive a little deeper into the analysis of this audience, you start to notice that beyond these generalizations, there are audience traits that make up several smaller audience segments. Each segment is unique and consists of members that come from all walks (and demographic cohorts) of life.
While an audience analysis using tools like Facebook Custom Audiences and Audience Insights will help you learn more about the interests and behaviors that define your smaller audience pockets, the following list outlines the characteristics that make up the Millennial mindset:
Millennials are tech savvy.
Younger Millennials are digital natives. They matured as consumers as connectivity became available for social media, the web, and mobile. Members of older generations that fit the Millennial persona have adopted new media and modern technology as an integral part of their research and buying processes. While they may still rely on some traditional media types, such as print or television, new media plays a central role in their decision-making.
Millennials live on mobile.
This statement holds true across virtually any age bracket. Mobile has become such a central part of everyday life that all consumers, from young Millennials to Baby Boomers with even a remote Millennial mindset, will use the platform to connect with brands and communicate with the world.
Millennials are savvy users of information.
Consumers share brand experiences, expert reviews, and insights. Brands push an endless amount of information to all viable media. Millennials, being the tech savvy bunch that they are, sift through this information and arrive at your organization’s doorstep either literally or online with plenty of information at hand and even a few conclusions drawn. Don’t underestimate them.
Millennials value utility.
For a long time, consumers were willing to pay a higher price for an expensive name brand they perceived to be of high quality. This is not the case with Millennials. They’re in search of utility that comes in several forms. A Millennial’s willingness to pay a higher price depends on a brand’s relationship with the consumer and its general audience. They weigh the company’s values and associated causes (such as a charity or social initiative) and, of course, the quality and durability of the product or service.
CREATE STRATEGIES THAT UNITE MULTIPLE MEDIA
When it comes to the buying journey, your prospects are no longer confined to one particular medium. Millennials aren’t looking through a newspaper, watching television, or listening to the radio. Millennials may encounter potentially dozens of touchpoints (points in the buying journey where the consumer can connect with a brand or engage with a brand’s message) before making the decision to buy.
You need to strategize about how best to keep your brand top of mind and engage your prospects at each of those touchpoints. To accomplish this level of ongoing, valuable engagement with your prospects, keep in mind the following key points:
Tailor your communications for each audience segment.
Every Millennial will possess a series of identities and personalities determined by the medium on which he’s communicating. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the best practices to communicate in each medium. Then analyze the personalities of these prospects before developing an engagement strategy.
Maintain consistency in your messaging, tone, and branding.
To create an omnichannel marketing strategy that unites all your communications platforms together, you need consistency among your marketing assets. While the structure or medium of the message may change, your brand’s tone and stylized elements, such as your logo or color scheme, should remain constant. Consistency will help your prospects identify your message and easily follow it across all channels.
Guide your prospects through the journey.
In a campaign or program that leverages several media, you need to provide instructions or links or that guide your prospects through one step of the process to another. Eventually, you’ll want to steer them to an owned asset like a landing page or signup form. From there, you can push them toward the next critical step in the buying process. Using calls-to-action that explicitly tell a user what to do, such as “Click here to find out more,” are an excellent way to accomplish this objective.
Establish separate communications strategies for prospects, customers, and advocates.
The relationship you possess with your audience will vary based on the kinds of interactions your audience members have with your brand. For example, prospects will be looking for educational information, customers want to see an effort that enhances a relationship, and advocates (those that help promote your brand due to their affinity for it) will want to see that you value them. It is important to create communications strategies unique to each of these three categories and to provide each cluster with an omnichannel experience that is unique to their relationship stage with your brand.
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS TO CULTIVATE THE MILLENNIAL EXPERIENCE
For Millennials, experiences and relationships have a significant impact on a purchasing decision. Simply pushing a user toward an online store or through a conversion funnel does nothing to build a relationship. Relationships are cultivated as customers experience your brand over time. You don’t necessarily need to create a unique campaign every time you want to convert new prospects. It just means that you need to remember that Millennials look beyond price and brand recognition when making a purchasing decision.
When you provide prospects with an experience that extends beyond a conversion, you provide prospects with something that keeps your brand top of mind. What you provide can be something simple, like sharing a fun fact, a joke, or something of interest to users on a particular medium. This content strategy will lead them to want to follow and regularly engage with you.
Then, as the relationship grows and there is an experience to be had on the part of the consumer, you can begin driving users to business-generating assets, such as an email sign-up or an online store. Just remember that, for Millennials, it’s not all about the sale or the value of the deal; it’s about the connection as well.
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