Marketing to Millennials – Don’t Sell to Me: Make it Genuine

by | Mar 31, 2015 | blog

By Drew Allen
Principal | Creative Director

As boomers are retiring, the buzz hovering around industries across the world is all related to Millennials. Millennials are the next generation coming up through the ranks throughout businesses everywhere. This group is said to have huge buying power, but how can you attract and retain this audience?  In short you will have to give up on traditional marketing and advertising ideals. Marketing to Millennials is easier than you think but traditional advertising isn’t effective. Millennials see right through an ad. They don’t want to be marketed to. They’ve grown up with everything digital and are a very savvy audience. With all that said, here are a few ways you and your business can work to develop a relationship with this 18-35 year old group of individuals and improve how you are marketing to millennials.

marketing-to-millenials Product Integration

Millennials have these keen senses that allow them to cut through the noise. They can spot an ad from a mile away and will do everything they can to avoid it. So how do you get your message through? Don’t make it an ad in the traditional sense. Promote what you offer by integrating your product in with a cultural phenomenon. Sponsor events where Millennials are sure to be. Or, make fun of advertising! The image of happy coworkers in this post is actually an ad for the upcoming movie; “Unfinished Business.” As part of their marketing campaign, the film stars shot a series of stock photos mocking how ridiculous some business stock photos can be. This mockery is light hearted and definitely not intended to offend anyone, but is reaching the movie’s intended audience marketing to Millennials in a non-traditional, non-invasive manner. Highly effective if you ask me!


Word of Mouth

Even though this is not anywhere near a new concept, word of mouth advertising is perhaps more important now than it ever has been. There are numerous ways to reach someone with your message.  However; you’ll never be as effective as a friend telling another friend about how awesome your product or service is. Don’t dismiss the power of Social Media as a way to fuel this word of mouth. Negative reviews spread like wild fire.  Be sure you’re having an open and honest dialogue when with your customers and potential customers online. You never know who will see and hear your messaging.

This particular meme was used in a recent campaign promoting upcoming Idaho Stampede Basketball games to a Millennial audience.  In less than 24 hours, the select section of tickets we were promoting were sold out with this simple, fun message targeted to our Hipster audience.  Marketing to Millennials can be simple and effective with the right approach.



DIY – Power to the People

As much as you’d like to be paid to provide your knowledge and expertise each and every time, now and again it’s ok to give some expert tips and advice on doing it yourself. This is the generation we live in. Everyone has access to information and whether they get it from you or your competitor, they’re going to get it. So why not share and create an image for your business as being the industry experts? Give a little to gain a whole lot more.

Millennials Research Before Purchasing

Knowing this now and preparing for it will increase your sales exponentially. If a Millennial Mom is researching the best day care or latest and greatest stroller, you better believe they’re going to hop online to do their research.  They will do this before ever picking up the phone or coming in to your location. When marketing to millennials create an easy to navigate, minimal fluff website that gives a ton of information right up front will be key to attracting and retaining customers. A short welcome video explaining your business right on the homepage is huge in converting leads into sales. Build comfort and trust with your visitors as soon as they arrive. In a recent article I discussed the need and importance of video for your business.

If you take anything away from this article, remember this when Marketing to Millenials: Your value proposition needs to be presented in a “start with why” manner. We understand your pain points and this is why we do what we do. Oh, and by the way, we have this great product that will help you with that. Be down to Earth, approachable and minimize the sales pitch.  This will help you reach this up and coming generation of savvy consumers.

Related articles from around the web: – The Crucial Fact Most Marketers Miss About Millennials – Reaching Millennial Moms Seems Straightforward

About the Author

Rhea Allen, President/CEO and Co-Founder of Peppershock Media (est. 2003), is known for her story-telling passion and extreme diligence in obtaining effective media campaign results by planning and crafting relevant and compelling messaging.
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