Marketing to Millennials

Young and happy teenagers using digital tablet and smart phone outdoors.

The millennial generation, which comprises those born between 1980 and the early 2000’s is the largest generational cohort in US history at about 80 million strong. As this diverse demographic group reaches its peek earning years millennial preferences and consumer behavior are increasingly taken into account in marketing strategies and business planning – especially in the e-commerce sphere, since millennial tend to be keen online shoppers. Here are three things to keep in mind when developing a marketing strategy to reach millennials.


  1. Consistently deliver value

One unique thing about millennials is that they grew up with the internet. They have no problem researching and reviewing products, and companies online.Although millennial value their privacy, they are more willing than previous generations to share personal information with companies in exchange for something of value. For marketers this means promotions that require customers to “like” a company on Facebook or follow a business on Twitter can work, but it’s important for the marketer to ensure that all communications that follow deliver value.  That doesn’t necessarily have to entail monetary incentives, information can be useful and appreciated too. Value should be a centerpiece on the communication strategy.

  1. Build trust via quality products and excellent service.

What makes millennial unique is their willingness to share their experiences with brands online. Millennials tend to communicate with peers in real time on social media about life experiences, big and small. Companies that get it right when dealing with millennial customers have an opportunity to bolster their brand image and gain word of mouth marketing value

On the other hand Millennials will also share a bad experience with a product or service, or detail a negative encounter with a customer service rep. If they are impressed with a company’s product or service they tend to become repeat customers. That’s why it’s so important to build trust with top-quality products and quickly resolve customer issues.3.

3. Appeal to their sense of idealism

Millennials are a civic-minded and group-oriented generation.  Many millenials are understandably cynical about companies and institutions, having coming of age during a period of social, political, and economic turmoil. They tend to not believe in traditional advertising claims. They do believe in the power of working together to effect change and are more likely to associate with brands that reflect such personal values. For those reasons companies that operate sustainably, or show serious commitment to giving back to the community, tend to attract millennials support. Promotions that donate a portion of proceeds – or donate a product that matches a product that consumer has purchased – to a group in need appeal to millennial consumers in particular. Millennial consumers share traits with other demographic groups of course, but their online buying habits and generational values are fairly distinctive, so it makes sense for marketers to rethink their approach so that they can capture this group’s business. A focus on delivering value across communication campaigns on every platform is a must, as is a commitment to providing top-quality products and services. Above all, millennials are drawn to authenticity in both communication and corporate behavior.

Companies that can sincerely reflect millennials values as consumers and members of the global community, by demonstrating that they care about making the world a better place, can win this generation’s loyalty – and it’s business.