How Millennials Are (and Aren’t) Changing Marketing

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As the largest part of the workforce, Millennials possess significant buying powers that companies shouldn’t ignore. Reaching them has altered the marketing playing field, and understanding how the landscape has changed will ensure you’re best equipped to capture the Millennial audience.

1. Brevity is key
We’re living in a wired world, and it’s rare to spot someone in line at Starbucks who isn’t scrolling through their smartphone. The odds that your content is being read on the go rather than while sitting at a computer? Probably pretty high, so if it isn’t short, sweet, and funny, you might be in trouble. According to a report by Adobe, 67% of consumers are liable to stop reading if the content is too long. Time to modify the old adage to “short content is king.”

2. They value honesty
You can thank Millennials for moving to get more natural ingredients into fast food chains and for American Eagle’s lingerie sister store, Aerie, launching it’s #AerieReal campaign, featuring un-retouched models in the ads. That same inclination for keeping things real extends to their relationships with their chosen brands — they want transparency from you. The same Adobe study stated that 61% of consumers question the bias of news articles, a percentage most likely higher for ads, meaning they won’t respond well if it seems like your branding or contenting isn’t genuine. A great way to up your sense of credibility is to get behind a social cause, such as Tom’s shoes, which donates a brand of shoes to a person in need for every pair bought. Even big brands like Campbell’s Soup and Always have launched campaigns to support same sex marriage and gender equality, respectively.

3. They care about what the brand says about them
Whether you condemn selfies or love them, the “selfie age” has created an environment where a person’s image is displayed on a variety of social media platforms, and the brands someone chooses reflect his or her personal one. Of course, everyone’s values and interests are different, but make sure, as a company, you can clearly convey the story, traits, and personality behind your brand. Struggling? An agency specializing in branding services like CMA can help.

4. They might not care about your doctor-endorsed product
According to “The Reciprocity Principle,” a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, less than 50% of Millennials — compared to 61% of non-Millennials— relied on expert advisors to recommend a product, opting instead for what was referred by family, friends, or celebrities. If a product serves as a reflection for the person buying it, it’s not surprising that someone would reach for what they see their favorite celeb use or wear on Instagram rather than one recommended by nine out of ten doctors. Apparel, lifestyle, and luxury brands should be most aware of the “celebrity effect.”

5. But, they’re not a reason to jump on “the next big thing”
Sure, when apps like Vine, Snapchat, or Periscope promise to revolutionize the way people communicate, it might seem like the smartest thing to do is get an account and start promoting your brand. However, as Vine’s recent demise shows, not all social media apps have the staying power of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Concentrate your social media focus and budget on platforms that you feel confident will help you reach your audience, and consult a social media marketing service to see what’s best for you.

Not a fan of tweeting? Worried about how Millennials perceive your brand? We’ve got your back. We provide the video production services, social media strategies, and branding services your company needs to appeal to consumers of any generation. Contact CMA today. We make you look good.

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