Born between 1980 and 2000, the so-called Millennial generation – also known as Generation Y – has often been the subject of discussions in recent years. And for good reason. The age group now accounts for over a quarter of the UK population and will make up 75% of the country’s workforce by 2020, with $1.4 billion worth of annual spending power.

Therefore for brands and retailers, having a marketing strategy in place that integrates the Millennial's wants and needs really is the million, or rather billion, dollar question. The prospect of appealing to the most tech-savvy and socially conscious generation in our history may seem daunting. However, the opportunity that the millennial represents is too good to ignore; those businesses that don’t meet the demand of this group risk being left out.

With this in mind, here are three tips for reaching Millennial consumers:

Think technology-first

Labelled the ‘selfie’ or the ‘always on’ generation, Millennials have grown up in the age of technology. They’re accustomed to the on-demand lifestyle, constantly plugged into smartphones, and other connected devices. In fact, 87% of Millennials use between two or three devices at least once on a daily basis. In order to attract, convert and retain this cohort, brands must be able to engage with them on all potential platforms.

Start a conversation

Millennials want brands to make them part of a conversation. So how best can this be achieved? The answer lies in social media. It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, but over 60% of this demographic claim that if a brand engages with them on social media, they are more likely to be loyal. The power of social media makes it an invaluable tool in a wider marketing strategy.

However, it’s no longer enough for a brand to simply have a Twitter or Facebook page. Social media has now become one of the primary channels for immediate customer service and feedback from brands. Whether it’s promoting offers and discounts, asking opinions about products, or even encouraging customers to upload photos and ideas, social media is the lifeblood of 21st century engagement for retailers. Curating and maintaining these channels may take up more time and resources, but brands that use social media to best effect stand to reap the rewards in the longer term. For example, harness the power of user-generated content by encouraging users of your product to send their best photographs and posting them on their social channels.

Keep your adverts relevant

Like it or not but, in an age where the majority of internet users aged 16-49 will skip an online ad whenever they can, traditional advertising techniques won’t work. For millennials, the new authority is authenticity and trust, and they will become disengaged if it feels like they are being shown irrelevant, impersonal or company-focused advertisements. The way they consume and act on all information – especially targeted ads – is completely different to past generations. To reach millennials, brands need to adjust their advertising strategy. One effective way to do this is by using Remarketing Lists for Shopping Ads (RLSAs) to show consumers targeted ads based on the pages shoppers have browsed. These ads connect with people while they’re actively searching for a brand’s keywords online, giving the brand a better chance of getting the right message in the right place at the right time – something that is critical when trying to reach attention poor millennials.

In an increasingly competitive market, where millennials have more choice than ever before, it’s crucial that brands understand who they are targeting and how best to reach them. Changing your marketing strategy may not be easy, but it’s fundamental to better target this much-coveted generation.

 

By Adam Joseph, director of client services at ChannelAdvisor


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