The keys to reaching millennials: aesthetics, purpose, convenience

Younger consumers are crucial audiences for organizations eyeing future growth. Reaching them hinges on understanding what they want from your organization.

The millennial market is huge.

Numbering near 90 million, the millennial population in the U.S. alone accounts for a large portion of consumers with buying power. So, it’s no surprise that brands are scrambling to find ways to reach these consumers. With the rise in social media marketing and the use of influencers to grab attention of potential buyers, many brands have hedged their bets and gone all in on reaching this young adult segment.

But is there a special trick to marketing to these users? What the concept comes down to is a thorough understanding of the target market, what’s important to them, and what resonates with them.

Statistics dedicated to analyzing millennial behavior are available for any curious marketer seeking a way to connect with a new market. Millennials focus their spending on socialization and convenience, according to a study done by the University of Southern California. Much of the direct to consumer popularity that has sprung up in recent years comes from this highly targeted concept of marketing to millennials. This culture shift has caused brand managers to pivot to appeal more to this younger demographic with aesthetically pleasing—but also convenient—options.

Millennials also show strong preferences for purpose-driven marketing. Brands that are able to display a clear action towards having an impact or making a difference may be more likely to win the loyalty of millennial consumers.

The millennial demographic is also the most technologically advanced generation, given that they came of age during the big boom of smartphones and mobile internet. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, meaning future generations will be even more in tune with the latest changes, millennials show a large preference for shopping online or using their devices to do research on a brand. Therefore, more brands are focusing on their digital marketing and the mobile optimization of their websites and communications.

It can be difficult to ascertain the preferences of the target demographic. Sure, there are countless sources to consult for the latest statistics and analytics on millennials, but what about the human element of marketing?

Here is where doing some good old-fashioned research can be pivotal. Finding a focus group or simply having conversations with members of the target demographic can shed a lot of light on areas of the consumer behavior pattern that may not come to light with straight number reporting.

Marketing successfully to millennials is an objective that many brands have set out to accomplish, but as with any specific target it can be difficult to hit on the right message. Get comfortable with testing content and taking the time to gather feedback from those in the target demographic, rather than simply relying on what the statistics show.

Use the numbers as a guideline, but marketing to millennials will be more fruitful with a human touch.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading public relations firm.

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