Common Misconceptions Surrounding Millennial Marketing

Millennials Using Social MediaMillennials are a powerful consumer force, but connecting with them isn’t as hard as it seems.

There’s plenty of buzz around popular marketing channels about Millennials and their impact on the digital world. And for good reason, too: Millennial populations have several key features that make them ideal for marketing segmentation.

Millennials have Spending Power

According to Accenture, Millennials have a buying power of $600 billion in the U.S. alone. And if previous years are any indication, this number can only continue to rise. What’s more, over a third of the 18-35 year old demographic reports shopping online at least once per week.

Millennials are Powered by Tech

But it’s not just spending that makes Millennials desirable candidates for marketing outreach. Millennials’ lives are integrated with technology, with many Millennials being the coveted “early adopters” that give companies much needed feedback on early device launches. In fact, a survey by Nielsen found that “technology use” was the most defining characteristic of the generation as reported by Millennials themselves.

Millennials are Social

Data on Millennial social media use, courtesy of Adweek, found that (unsurprisingly) Millennial use of every social media channel far outstrips their “Generation X” or “Baby Boomer” counterparts.

As these numbers continues to rise, it becomes increasingly important to speak to these all-important consumers with your marketing outreach.

Misconceptions of Millennial Marketing

Common logic for reaching Millennial consumers with your marketing is pretty formulaic at this point:

  • Anticipate their needs.
  • Focus more on optimization of your content strategies than winning their loyalty.
  • Reach out to them on social media.

And while these trends may have some truth, marketers need to dig a little deeper if they want to engage with this powerful market. There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding Millennial marketing that are tripping up brands.

Speak to Their Preferences, but Don’t Presume to Know How They’ll Act

Many marketers assume Millennials want everything served through a digital lens. Mobile apps. Online shopping. Social integration. And while it’s true that brand marketers need to speak to this desire for the digital, they mustn’t assume that this is all Millennials want.

For example, the above research by Accenture reports that 68 percent of Millennials are interested in a cross-platform shopping experience rather than an entirely digital one. This means that retailers need to know how to tailor their digital presence to cater to online customers while still giving consumers the option to transition to a brick-and-mortar establishment if they want.

They’re Loyal, but Only if You’ve Earned It

The Baby Boomer generation is known for its loyalty. They find a brand, a retailer, or a business that they like and they stick with it ’til death do they part. Millennials work a bit differently, but that doesn’t mean that loyalty doesn’t exist in the Millennial mind.

Forbes reports that 60 percent of Millennials are loyal to the brand they purchase from. The difference comes from the need to win them over: Millennials are wary of advertising, and with the wealth of options made available to them through the internet, select their brands more carefully than their parents do.

Offering low prices isn’t enough. Brands need to optimize their online presence to take the effort out of the buying process as much as possible. It’s not easy to win them over – but if brands can, Millennials can be just as loyal as their predecessors.

Social Follows are Not the End-All Be-All

In our wild world of metric tracking and data analysis, many marketers view likes and follows as wins. Don’t be fooled, though. These metrics, while valuable, don’t always indicate that your social marketing is successful. Many younger consumers use social media to discuss brands but don’t follow those brands’ owned profiles.

Instead of relying on metrics to assess the health of your Millennial-focused social media outreach, work on developing the complexity of your brand’s social presence. Get active in the discussions. Post regular content for users to engage with. Build your brand into something more complex than a two-dimensional profile. The best advertising through social media occurs when your users organically discuss your brand without any input from you. This is only possible when you give them something to talk about.

Reaching Millennials with Your Marketing

Above all else, Millennials aren’t some abstract concept that needs to be catered to with each and every technique in the marketing playbook. They’re just people. Optimize your strategies to suit their needs, but don’t forget that the tried-and-true marketing mantras of an effortless user experience and a personal touch will always remain king.

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