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Marketing to Millennials


An emerging trend in Digital Marketing involves appealing to a younger demographic. Marketing to millennials is not only a trend, but also a necessity for your business to thrive. Due to the sheer size of their generation, by 2017 millennials are estimated to spend roughly $200 billion annually and more than $10 trillion in their lifetimes. As a result, millennials are expected to reshape the global economy.

One of the largest generations in history – even larger than the baby boomers – is about to move into its prime spending years. Also known as generation Y, millennials are individuals born between 1977 and 1995. Here are some key statistics about millennials:

  • There are about 83.1 million millennials living in the U.S.
  • Millennials account for roughly 27% of the U.S. population.
  • Millennials make up for about 25% of the U.S. workforce.

However, it is essential that you shift your marketing paradigm if you want to reach millennials as potential customers. Unlike previous generations, millennials are averse to traditional marketing efforts and actively try to avoid it. When developing your marketing strategy, keep the following tips in mind.

1. You Cannot Sell

Due to having grown up in the age of advertising, millennials have become immune and distrustful of traditional ads. In fact, Hubspot reported that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.

Millennials – like previous generations – have their own set of problems that need solving. If you want to reach millennials, you’re going to have to be a resource to their problems and make the shift towards content marketing. According to Hubspot:

  • Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts who happen to be strangers than advertisements.
  • Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs and social networking sites.

Reports also show that millennials spent approximately 25 hours per week reading digital content that informs and entertains. Due to their behavior, millennials can spot when you’re trying to be helpful and when you’re trying to sneak in advertising efforts, which will only turn them off. If you want to reach millennials, you need to create content of value that is both practical and direct.

2. Purchasing Habits

Compared to previous generations, millennials have more student debt and less income. As a result, their buying habits have changed. Millennials are now looking for brands that can offer them convenience at a low cost. Statistics show that:

  • 57% of millennials compare prices in store.
  • 77% of millennials practice in loyalty rewards program.

3. The Mobile Experience

It is estimated that more than 85% of millennials in the U.S own smartphones, which they use for browsing the web, shopping, checking social media and much more. If you plan on attracting millennials as customers, it is imperative that your website has responsive design and is optimized for the mobile experience.

Avoiding a website redesign will only hurt your business. Statistics show that 62% of millennials check their phone more than 30 times per day. If they encounter a website that is not optimize for their device, they will leave and probably never return.

4. Your Brand Needs Values

Millennials have grown up in an era of rapid change. Their upbringing has given them a sharply different set of priorities and expectations compared previous generations. More than any previous generation, millennials value social responsibility. According to the Huffington Post, 61% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference.

Additionally, millennials also want their favorite brands to have values that correspond with their own. Whether it’s dealing with climate change, social injustice or taking a stance against corporate greed, your brand should also take a stance on important issues.

5. You Must Be Social

Older generations often make baseless and unfair assumptions about millennials; laziness and entitlement being a few of them. One truthful view, however, is that millennials are obsessed with technology!

  • According to eMarketer, Millennials account for more than 70% of Snapchat users.
  • Hubspot reports 90% of millennials are on Facebook.

Millennials are so immersed in social media because it is their preferred way of getting their news, but also the way they connect with other like-minded individuals.

If you want to attract millennials as customers, then you not only need a strong social presence, you also need to facilitate engagement and interaction. When developing your social media strategy be sure to reference current events, trending topics and provide your audience with insightful articles to help consumers solve problems.

Bringing it All Together

Like it or not, there are two key takeaways you cannot ignore: Millennials aren’t going anywhere and they cannot be reached through traditional marketing tactics. In the near future, millennials will have more purchasing power than any other previous generation. Their unique upbringing and experiences are already changing the way our society buys and sells. If you don’t want your business to be left behind, you need change your mindset and start thinking like a millennial. Make sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips and trends regarding digital marketing.