Millennials. They're unmotivated. They lack the work ethic of their Gen X predecessors. They're perfectly happy living off mom and dad versus making their own way. They'll never really have spending power.
Believe these uninformed sentiments, and you'll miss out on the greatest marketing opportunity since social media.
Millennials or Gen Y, born between roughly 1982 and 2004, are the largest generation in our history at more than 80 million strong. This generation is extraordinarily loyal of brands that work to earn that loyalty.
By 2018, they will hold significantly more spending power than any other generation, including Baby Boomers, and by 2020, they are predicted to drive 30 percent of retail sales. And they aren't lazy, incidentally. They have different priorities; considered by many as striking an admirable balance between their professional and family lives.
If you still don't think millennials matter, your brand likely isn't on their radar anyway. Generally speaking, they aren't paying attention to traditional one-size-fits-all marketing tactics. And due to their brand loyalty, once your competitor makes a connection, you may be out of luck.
Effectively marketing to millennials begins with researching the preferences of this generation of consumers in your market. If you don't have the resources to do so, consider aligning with brands that already have a strong millennial following to ensure both your product/service offering and communication approach is generationally relevant.
Most millennials want brands to either entertain them through social media or provide tangible value such as meaningful educational content, special offers, discounts or free product. Simply use your social channels as promotional or push-marketing opportunities, sans value, and you'll lose the attention of Gen Y.
Get visual and tech savvy. For millennials, technology is like breathing. They have a mobile device in their hands practically all day every day. Ensure your website is optimized for viewing on any mobile device. Figure out how to tell your brand story visually whether that be photos, infographics, interactive games or video. Inspire this generation with your innovative use of technology, and you may just win their hearts and minds.
Millennials see their brand purchasing decisions as extensions of their own values. They seek brands that are transparent, ethical, cause oriented, able to consistently deliver on a brand promise, and able to make the purchasing decision easy and enjoyable. If you can entertain them or deliver something unexpected along the way, well, that might just seal the deal on their brand loyalty.
The bottom line is that millennials get a bad rap, and they are soon to be a force to be reckoned with. Brands that figure it out will dominate.
Find more advice at www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).