How to Market to Millennials

Sometimes referred to as Generation Y, Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000. Making up 23% of the British population, worldwide there are a total of 2.5 billion Millennials, meaning they’re a massive audience to tap into.

It’s no secret that Millennials are subject to great debate. Whilst some refer to them as lazy, entitled narcissists; others view them as open-minded and upbeat individuals, passionate about equality. Love them or loathe them, this generation is a key part of society, and a great source of revenue for brands. Here, we share our top tips on how to market to Millennials (hint: throw all traditional marketing tactics out the window).

Be Active on Social

A report by BCG Perspectives has shown that 37% of Millennials have stated if they don’t check their Facebook and Twitter every day, they feel like they’re ‘missing something’. Compare this with 23% of non-Millennials and it’s clear that social media plays a huge part in this generation’s lives.

91% of UK Millennials own a smartphone, spending an average of 115.7 hours a month using it to access digital content. This means that there is potential for huge visibility, but brands need to do so correctly for it to be beneficial.

Millennials like to connect with brands; and social media is the perfect way to inject personality into your brand. 52% of Millennials have stated that they would openly ‘like’ a brand on social media, with 39% posting product reviews. Get it right and your potential customers’ newsfeeds could be plastered with rave reviews about your products. But get it wrong? Millennials love listening to their friends (and even strangers) about their views. Get some bad feedback and you could have lost a lot of revenue.

Don’t just think of Facebook and Twitter when using social though. 71% of Snapchat users are under 25, so it’s a great way to access the younger Millennial audience. Whilst only a few lucky brands have access to Snapchat Discover, you can utilise the Live Stories section. Oreo’s campaigns provide a great source of inspiration for getting started. Instagram is also a great way of injecting personality into your brand – Millennials love #BTS (that’s behind the scenes, for those not in the know) pictures.

Provide them with Experiences

Millennials enjoy experiences – nearly 8/10 Millennials say their best memories are from an event or live experience, so get involved in the act. Coca-Cola has worked on many experiential marketing campaigns, with their ‘Coke Hug Me’ tour through American and Canadian college campuses a huge success.

Sponsoring an event can be a good alternative option, although it takes more than just plastering your name across a few props. You’ll need to get involved and interact with your market. Then, when Millennials post pictures of the amazing time they had, it’s extra coverage for you.

Don’t Focus on the Hard Sell

Millennials don’t respond well to screaming ‘Buy Now’ CTAs. Instead, focus on engaging them in the long-term. Create interesting content: they’re much more likely to read an article on ‘The Top 10 Winter Coat Trends’ than ‘Cheap Winter Coats’. Similarly, they’re more likely to share a funny picture that you’ve posted on social as opposed to something that’s pushing the sell of your products.

Research conducted by AdWeek found that 57% of Millennials are willing to check out sponsored online content, provided that it’s interesting. You just need to ensure that what you’re writing about is engaging for your target market.

If you’re a company that works with charities, this is a great thing to promote. Millennials inspire to do good. 87% have donated money to a charity they were passionate about; and as they love to connect with brands, it’s a perfect opportunity. H&M for instance, have set up their Conscious Foundation. They consulted with their customers and employees to help choose the three main areas to help improve: education, clean water and strengthening women. Similarly, Little Black Dress are donating a portion of their sales to a domestic violence charity. Obviously, you have to be passionate about charity in the first place, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Ultimately, whilst Millennials may be unlike any other generation, they are not all the narcissists they are often portrayed as. Nor are they an unknown sect of the human race. You just need to ensure that you market your brand to them in the correct way, in order for a new pool of customers to open up to you.

Would you like help with any of your marketing needs? We have a range of experts working within the creative, digital, motion and photographic areas, and they’d all love to help you. Simply drop us an email at to get in touch.

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