Millennials present a unique challenge to marketers. They both remember a world before the internet and smartphones, and are fully fluent in what has become everyday modern technology. They have access to more information at their fingertips than any previous generation, and use their mobile devices 14% more than Generation X.
They are also incredibly passionate about the brands they love. 38-50% of Millennials report that the brands they choose reflect their lifestyle and identity. That means that winning them over requires a delicately balances approach.
“The millennial-oriented dialogues that we’ve had with our brands about their marketing strategies have been about two things. One is personalization and making sure that what we are helping brands share with their audience or their customers or prospects is relevant,” said PebblePost CEO, Jacob Ross on an episode of LeanData‘s The Revenue Generator Podcast. “And two is respect.”
We dive more into these two key focus areas in this post.
Create personalized messaging targeting what matters
Although they’d be the last to admit it, millennials are in many ways as similar to their predecessors, Baby Boomers, as they are to Generation Z. They may know their way around an iPhone, but like older generations, they have established value systems based on what they experienced growing up.
Millennials entered the workforce at a time when housing prices and cost of living were high, and people were working hard to make ends meet. Many became involved with – and are still involved with – brands that built their foundations on social media through Facebook and Instagram, with tailored messaging that attunes to the ethical and ideological values of their audience.
Concerns about data privacy are also higher among millennials than any previous generation, and there’s a general intolerance any BS in marketing. So, the strategic use of digital channels and offline media to deliver personalized messages will resonate the most with this group.
Your best course of action? Align with these Millennial values and engage them in a dialogue with direct messages that meets the actual needs of the Millennial audience.
Even with younger generations, respect goes a long way. Receiving relevant, physical media in the mailbox that actually appeals to current interests is much more interesting than bombarding them with vanilla marketing messages.
Forget “spray and pray” marketing
How many millennials do you know who would answer a call from an unknown number? They don’t have time for that, and they don’t have time for random marketing messages unrelated to their interests. Marketing only to those who have shown interest in a product or service – even an adjacent product or service – can be the best way to engage with buyers.
When you’ve established someone’s interest, you can then incorporate discounts, talk up benefits, and approach people with respect—you’re not just wasting their time.
Look to a solution to serve those who are interested in your product or service — and genuinely want to be engaged in a dialogue. Once you develop an understanding for interested buyers’ wants and needs, you can serve up messages that support them.
Build a strategic framework of purchase behavior rather than sentiment
Research shows that 70% of millennial consumers feel receiving mail is more personal than online digital communications and are more likely to read promotional mail than email.
Creating a valuable, relevant message and delivering it at the right time in a way that is respectful is the golden approach to reaching millennial buyers.
Statistics on response rates, conversion rates, and engagement rates have not revealed a huge disparity between the Baby Boomer generation, Generation Z, or the Millennial generation. Consider relying on strategies that are actually demonstrating success rather than acting on preconceived characteristics of Millennials.
While Millennials may have unique attributes compared to prior generations, personalization and respect are the keys to reaching this audience. By gaining an understanding of their value systems and purchase behavior, you’ll be able to deliver valuable, relevant, respectful messaging to buyers that are interested in receiving it.