Are Millennials Different?


Ranging from the early ‘80s to the first few years of the 21st century, millennials will come to occupy a primary role in the United States over the next two decades. With incredible purchasing power and specific interests, this generation is much more likely to communicate their ideas and feelings over social media platforms. Brands are often behind in capitalizing on this age group.  So why is advertising to the millennial generation such a challenge

Millennials have turned the traditional marketing strategy on its head, requiring an entirely new approach.


The nature of media and advertisement is constantly changing. With every new generation, old rules have to be reconsidered or thrown out when ineffective.  The same old advertising techniques will not always work on a new generation.


In particular, the millennials are proving to be a challenging market. They are, as we call them “digital natives”, the first generation to grow up literally attached to smart phones, tablets, and laptops, with access to social media and the Internet, and the way they find, consume and act on all information – especially targeted advertising – is completely different from past generations.


Millennials Are Mobile First


A new study shows Millennials more open to advertising than oldsters—if that advertising is relevant to them.


“There are so many stereotypes about Millennials, and we are trying to break this down and figure out who this generation really is and how to reach them,” says Anne Gherini, director of marketing, StumbleUpon, which recently released data on Millennials and online content.


The goal was to break down some common stereotypes of Millennials, such as that they are needy, aloof and have short attention spans.


The reality is that a lot of those are fallacious statements,” Gherini says.


The study reinforces the idea that Millennials are a mobile-first generation. The desktop is becoming ancillary, and marketers need to figure out mobile strategy when targeting this generation.


Millennials Don’t Want Ads


The old logic of marketing was that the more advertisements you throw at the younger generations, the earlier you can get them hooked on your brand. This approach might have made sense during the prime days of Madison Avenue, but it’s quickly become stale and out-of-touch. Now, reaching out to the younger generation requires a different line of thought.

Many companies today want to connect with millennials because they seek to cultivate deep, personal, long-term relationships. That goal and the concept of how to reach it quickly and at scale makes today’s marketers sweat. Everyone wants millennials’ attention, loyalty — and ultimately, their dollars. Earning those takes consistency and consideration. I found that content marketing is at the heart of both of those keys to success with this generation.


They Want Stories


Getting the right message in the right place at the right time is critical when trying to reach millennials. If your company is heavily targeting the group — like Converse or Red Bull — you already know that millennials are everywhere online today and they’re accessing and interacting with your corporate brand from countless devices.


Marketers are smartly investing in content to reach millennials whenever and wherever they may be, via their preferred channel and with messaging that resonates. In a study conducted by NewsCred, — which surveyed about 500 U.S. millennials — found that 47 percent of them open company communications most, if not all, of the time. They’re listening and receptive. And 62 percent of millennials surveyed agreed that the content they read and see online — on websites, social media, in the news — from a company makes them feel more connected and loyal to the brand.

Millennials are willing to engage, and they know that when they do, it’s moving the needle on marketers’ goals. Ensuring that your content marketing meets millennials with speed and scale at the moment it counts the most guarantees a long and healthy relationship. If you’re not consistent, another company will be there that is, and it will eat away at your share of the millennial pie.

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