5 things to do when selling to millennials

By | 19 January 2017
2 Minute Read

5 things to do when selling to millennials

If you’re going to market a product or service, it’s important to take account of the behaviours and social mores of the people you’re marketing to. While it’s difficult to learn a great deal about potential customers without ever meeting them, we can tailor our approach based on broad attributes like age and gender, and thereby create more effective marketing content.

One particularly important age bracket is the millennial – the modern age’s ‘young person’. There’s some debate over the precise boundaries of the category; some academics define millennials as those born after the late seventies but before the early 2000s, but others might define it much more narrowly. Millennials tend to differ from their older counterparts in several key respects – they’re predominantly (though not universally) more secular, more socially liberal, and more technologically literate. When we’re considering a marketing strategy that focuses on this age group, it’s important to consider all of these factors in order to secure the maximum possible resonance. Let’s take a look at five different things to do when selling things to millennials.

Don’t neglect video

In 2016, we saw online video explode in popularity. With so much content out there to compete with, the moving image is capable of putting across the most information in the shortest possible time. It’s the medium with the greatest possible ‘viral’ potential, and therefore the one which can on no account be neglected.

Engage via social media

Younger people are accustomed to using social media, and tend to react more positively when brands engage with them via social networks like Facebook and twitter. This might mean aping their language. A football club might share a video, and comment that the striker depicted had gone into ‘beast mode’, or displayed ‘ridiculous tekkers’. Likewise, a fashion publication might declare a pair of shoes to be ‘reem’. Of course, one might easily get this wrong and look ridiculous – which is why a clued-up social media team is essential in maintaining a millennial-friendly image.

Downplay traditional marketing

Millennials tend to want to feel involved with their purchases, and the people they’re purchasing from, in a way that their older peers do not. Disruptive pop-up ads that aren’t targeted toward them are likely to be more irritating than encouraging – as they remove the element of choice that’s so important to the millennial mind.

Encourage content marketing

Content marketing is more than just a passing fad – it’s been around for hundreds of years, with big-name brands releasing information and educational guides for free – as far back as the 1800s. With millennials valuing content so highly, this trend looks likely to endure for a while longer.

Use is better than ownership

Services like Spotify and Airbnb are popular with millennials – and they have one thing in common. They don’t require that the consumer own the thing that they’re enjoying. By offering your customers a flexible means of using a product – without the cost and hassle of actually owning it – you’ll be tapping into a key marketing trend for millennials.