Millennial: That beautiful buzz word. That materialistic, entitled consumeristic generation. That parasite of the expanding digiverse: We consume everything, feeding off of media, product placements, and, of course, the notion that we deserve everything. And we are that beautiful breed that marketers can’t get enough of these days.
So what does this mean for marketers? How valuable is this “#genlike” demographic in reality? Pretty damn valuable. The millennial generation is a self-serving one, always asking “What have you done for me lately?” However, we are also quick to act as brand advocates, it just comes at a cost. We are a generation that feeds off of attention, be it Likes, Shares, RT’s, etc. That means that we will be quick to promote a product (often unknowingly) for free, but we seek confirmation in the meantime. After all, we are the “Me, Me, Me Generation” which means that we want you to make it about us. We expect brands to interact with us – to have active social customer service, to engage us in conversation, to be a “voice for the people.” Static brand advertising is a thing of the past; brands need to be on 100% of the time. “I want it now” has never been so spot on as it is when marketing to the millennial, which means you have to have it all.
While this may be daunting, it provides a lot of opportunities for brands to go beyond tradition marketing and actually reach their customers on a personal level. Brands like Progressive have done an excellent job of giving their product a voice and persona. They’ve taken a pretty mundane product and have given it life. By entertaining and relating to their audience, they have made themselves more appealing, and therefore are seeing the results. Millennials aren’t necessarily an affluent demographic, but we spend a lot of money. We are a generation that revolves around constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, made especially easy through social media, and our spending habits reflect that. This is where marketing becomes extremely important; signifying your brand’s products as a valuable commodity that will set us apart (or make our lives easier since that’s also often a priority with our generation) is essential for convincing us that our money is best spent with you.
This is where social media becomes an asset for brands, because it’s an easy and inexpensive avenue for reaching the millennial market. We are the demographic that spends the most time online, and we can be reached through so many avenues there: YouTube, ads on Hulu, Facebook advertising, Twitter accounts that we follow….the list goes on and on.
There’s so many ways to reach us that it would be foolish not to get into the digital space. With the whole world at our fingertips, why would we as millennials go offline?
The online universe has taken the marketing world by storm as millennials migrate to the Internet for everything from TV viewing, to shopping, to social interactions, and even dating.
With millennials at the helm of it all, the shift towards marketing in the digital space is rapidly growing, as marketers scramble to find new ways to capture the attention of this easily distracted demographic. From real-time marketing to native advertising and even “memevertising” (so adeptly coined by millennialmarketing.com), marketers are seeking ways to elude the obvious, and capture the millennial dollar without being overt about it. The best advertising after all is the kind where consumers don’t even realize that’s what it is.
So basically, when it comes to marketing, millennials are a necessary evil, and we are a demanding demographic. What can you do for me? Woo me. Make me feel special. Give me what I want, and more importantly, give me what I need. Most importantly, and at the most basic level, just make me believe that’s what you’re doing. After all, “we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.”