Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are slowly but surely becoming the largest group in the work force. All that income also means that they are set to become the most dominant consumer group, with the most purchasing power.

So if you think that ‘millennial’ is just another buzzword, think again.

Diversity of Millennials a Marketing Challenge

Marketing to Millennials is only becoming more important, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Millennials are one of the most diverse demographic groups in Canadian history. Older Millennials were born in the 1980s and still remember the times before the Internet became ubiquitous, while younger Millennials may never have even seen a home phone.

The oldest Millennials are already in their 30s, enjoy the success of established careers, and are even starting families of their own. Younger Millennials, on the other hand are digital natives, permanently connected and still in school.

Marketing to a demographic with such stark differences isn’t easy. To make things simpler, here are some basic Millennial marketing tips:

  1. Segment Millennials
    Millennials are such a broad group, to derive useful information you need to dig deeper. Don’t think of ‘Millennial’ as a comprehensive description but as a starting point. Millennials come from all economic levels, and backgrounds. They may be the most diverse cohort that marketers have ever seen.
  2. Digitally Native
    Millennials are digitally native and more connected than any previous group in history. In 2017 virtually every business has a website, but is your website optimized for use across all devices, browsers, and operating systems? Is your content search engine optimized? Do you have a social media presence on the platforms that Millennials use, like Facebook, G+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat?
    Not only should you be on social media platforms, but you should be integrating them with one another as much as possible to create a seamless user experience.
  3. Mobile
    Many older Millennials remember the days of dial-up Internet and desktop computers, but they now prefer mobile devices. According to Nielsen over 85% of Millennials own smartphones. Overall mobile web usage surpassed desktop last year. This means that not only do you need to make sure that your digital advertising is optimized for mobile usage, but also that your content is. Targeting local keywords, and ensuring that your information is accurate and on all online maps (like Google maps and Apple maps) is vital.
  4. Authenticity
    Millennials are skeptical of traditional advertising, in fact 84% don’t trust it. This fact means a hard sell approach won’t work. Instead, focus on generating real content with authentic value, which is much more likely to influence Millennials.
  5. Influence
    Influence marketing is now bigger than ever and only growing. According to the Journal of Consumer Research, Millennials make judgements based on the opinions of others on social media. Hub Spot notes that Millennials are “247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.”

According to,  “89% of Millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand” and 44% “are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards.”

Encouraging Millennials to engage with your brand in a positive manner through influence marketing is the best way to spread your brand by virtual word-of-mouth.

Marketers targeting Millennials certainly have hurdles to overcome, but the opportunities that this cohort presents to businesses makes addressing such marketing challenges worthwhile.

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