16th October 2019

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials, or Generation Y as they are also known, are classed as those born from the late 1980s up to the year 2000. Like every generation they have witnessed change. Fuelled by technology, this latest crop of consumers are not just at the heart of the fast-paced, digital revolution, embracing the changes – millennials are driving this revolution.

Social networking plays a huge part in the psyche of this generation. They want to share, connect and interact with their network of digital followers. This is part of the reason why marketers try so hard to tap into the Gen Y market. This is the generation of over-sharers, so it makes sense that companies want the millennial influencers of today to be shouting about their products on their Instagram accounts.

In a recent interview, our managing director, Louise Vaughan, highlighted that, by 2020 a third of the working population will be millennials*, and it’s not just consumer marketing that needs to take note –  if B2B campaigns aren’t built for the ‘digital generation’ then you’re going to miss out on key opportunities.

So how do you tap into the mind of a millennial?

It comes as no surprise that millennials are impatient and with their phones permanently in their hands, they have everything at their fingertips. Streamed films and TV shows, online dating, Amazon and ASOS next day delivery at the click of a button and the best part of all; they can get their Wagamama katsu curry in 20 minutes delivered to their door thanks to apps like Deliveroo. They want – and get – instant gratification.

Because of this, millennials have high expectations of businesses to deliver what they want there and then. With great service and a smile. Google’s 2018 Home Alone advert starring an adult Kevin McCallister (a 38-year old Macaulay Culkin) demonstrates this perfectly. The advert cleverly reconstructed famous scenes from everyone’s favourite Christmas film – all with the help of Google Assistant. “Hey Google, add aftershave to my shopping list.”

The advert was a hit because it’s a nostalgic throwback to childhood, all with a modern and amusing twist that viewers can relate to today. It ended with “Make Google do it” – because not even Kevin McCallister can start “Operation Kevin” without some technical support.

It’s no different in the B2B world with businesses needing to adapt campaign tactics to reach this audience.

Take our client, the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society as an example, a maritime charity that has been going strong for 180 years. Definition has worked with the charity for over 10 years and in 2019 we delivered its seventh annual photographic competition, supported with a national media campaign.

Having started as an art competition with submissions sent in via the post, today’s competition has adapted and embraced technology to remain relevant and engage with new audiences – both in changing to a photo competition with entries submitted digitally, to how we have conducted the supporting awareness campaign.

We now employ a proactive, far reaching social media campaign to reach audiences and drive entries, including helping the charity take advantage of Google Grants to spread the word even wider. In doing so, we’ve been able to significantly increase the number of entries to the competition.

Samsung’s ‘Aiming Higher’ campaign for the Galaxy Note 8 also takes aim at the heart of the millennial market by showing the day-in-the-life of a business leader who conducts his day completely digitally. The video shows him taking hand-written notes on his phone and transferring this to his office computer, editing presentations on the go, all from his phone – no laptop or notepad needed. In an age of digital dependence, the campaign showcases what a modern business leader can look like and engages millennial business decision makers.

So, what’s the key to cracking the multi-tasking millennial? Social media certainly captures their attention, but to sustain it, make it multi-media. Engaging content is king so think visual and audio content that can be used across several platforms, with interactive elements for the user to fully immerse themselves.

Ultimately, millennials are open minded and want options and choice. They want an experience to be new and experiential, but also authentic – they can tell if it’s not!

With such a tech-savvy generation, the good news is that brands are able to highly effectively target this crucial audience. The really good news is that if you do it well, they will – consciously and subconsciously – help you extend this reach even further by sharing and connecting you to wider audiences.

 Maisy Pollard, Account Executive

*ManpowerGroup – Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision

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