5 Tips on Planning Your Marketing to Millennials

When your business is launching a new product and building a brand, 18-to-34-year-olds are likely still a coveted demographic for your company (by the way: we really need to move you away from age ranges and over to detailed buyer personas).

According to the 2014 report “Millennials in Adulthood” from the Pew Research Center, Millennials now encompass the 18-33-year-old age bracket (give or take). They are also a widely criticized (and misunderstood) generation that many companies fail to truly engage (or just blatantly ignore).

This leaves an advantage for companies that can fill this marketing gap and focus more on our new generation of consumers.

But where do you even start? Here are our takeaways from the “Millennials in Adulthood” report – 5 tips to keep in mind as you plan your product marketing to Millennials:

Digital Natives

Millennials are “digital natives”. They are first generation that has not had to adapt. They have grown up with our new technologies. As you would expect, they also use them the most.

81% of Millennials are on Facebook and know what a “selfie” (Oxford Dictionaries “word of the year” in 2013, believe it or not) is, and 96% of them have a cell phone.

“Online social networks are the building blocks of social interaction for many young adults”, which, with many online businesses still utilizing a Sell, Sell, Sell mentality on social media, likely explains why they are:

Low on Social Trust

While being digital natives makes Millennials more accessible to digital marketing, you also need to work harder to earn their trust – “just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted”.

“Being human” on social media, then, becomes an even larger factor. Millennials want to interact with people, not with brands.

Your messaging should also be clear and concise. Avoid click-baiting and fudging headlines to capture an audience under false pretenses. People eventually catch on: at least, the people you care about will.

It’s a process, but you can build that trust over time when you provide them with honest:


Across every generation, solid majorities agree that “young adults today face more economic challenges than they themselves faced when they were first starting out.”

Between the recent recession, the sluggish recovery, higher student loan debts, and higher unemployment rates among young people, this generation has plenty of motivation to be more discerning consumers.

Your products and marketing, then, need to focus on providing value to your customers. With value in your products and your content, you will continue to build trust. You can then convert that trust into sales.

Because, despite all of their issues, this generation is also the first I would call:

True Consumers

“85% of Millennials (both employed and not employed) say that they either have enough earnings or income now to lead the kind of life they want or they believe they will in the future.”

This may help explain why, even in their tough economic climate, Millennials are more than willing to part with their hard-earned money for quality products. For a variety of reasons, their savings are essentially (or even less than) 0.

I cannot fault (and somewhat envy) them for their overwhelming confidence, especially when they, like all of us, are:

Products of Their Environment

The rather persistent rally cry against Millennials has been reminiscent of the complaints every generation has about those that follow: “In my day, …!”

The next time you hear that complaint, remind that person that we are all, especially Millennials, products of our environment.

Times have changed, as they always will. New generations have grown side-by-side with our new technologies. Life expectancies continue to increase. We are living in the beginnings of a truly global economy.

People take advantage of these advances and evolve their lives in unique ways, and it’s time for us to stop resenting, and start embracing, those changes in our marketing.

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