When someone says “millennial,” what do you think of? First of all, you probably think of younger people—those in college or just out of school and beginning their workplace journey. Both of those descriptors would be correct. Millennials are those born roughly between 1980 and 2000, making them about 18 to mid-30s. Their age and their potential buying and influencing power are just two of the reasons why marketers are keenly interested in millennials. They need to understand this group in order to be able to message to them and reach them in ways that they’ll positively respond.
That means, of course, acknowledging life experiences, such as their exposure to diversity. This generation knows a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds, and that’s something they’re comfortable with. What else do marketers need to know to craft messages that reach them? This graphic from Salesforce.com explains it.
To market to millennials, first, you have to understand them. This generation makes up 23% of the total U.S. population, and these 17–36-year-olds are a diverse audience. What makes them important to companies, however, is that millennials make up a large percentage of consumer discretionary purchases. This is why you need to know them well, in order to market to them well.
Millennials are connected, social, cautious, and loyal. They’re also omnichannel consumers, which means companies have to be technologically prepared. When you market to millennial consumers, use the data from your CRM and from artificial intelligence to drive your decisions. Reach them on their mobile devices, as well as on social media platforms.
Make word-of-mouth marketing a priority with influencer outreach and a focus on reviews, and be aware that “social proof” is important to this generation. You have to be real and appeal to these consumers’ values. Your best bet is to sell your purpose, not your products and services.