Reaching Millennials in a Changing World

Michael Colton / Creative Director – Visual Brand Personalities

At a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau Leadership Meeting, a guest speakers had some advice for marketers trying to reach millennials: “You’re not going to effectively reach them with traditional ads”.

This generation doesn’t dislike brands…. but what they don’t like is advertising.

With the ongoing advancements in technology and visual innovation, it is getting more and more difficult to reach consumers in general. The challenge becomes even harder relative to millennials given their skepticism relative to large, established brands and conventional Baby Boomer thinking and values.

So how do you reach millennials? What really works and what is cost effective?

One way to answer that question is by employing research to determine how to connect with this demographic.  To many millennials having a TV set is not a priority, not to mention any news or entertainment delivery from a traditional print format.

Things are changing, and so are attitudes.  The entertainment value of a marketing or advertising campaign is almost as important as the product itself, and can often take on a life of its own. Millennials are looking for creative approaches that are exciting, sometimes careless and free, and often humorous or self-deprecating.

In the past, brands had much more control over their image, but now through social media, consumers have the chance to review a product or service in an instant. This process can hold brands accountable for their actions. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, but either way a consumers attitude about a brand image, even one with a long history can be affected very quickly for better or for worse.

Some things to consider when approaching this market segment:

  • Test creative with your target millennial customers
  • Factor in every electronic device that can communicate your message
  • Consider the entertainment value of the creative
  • Don’t over-think what are you are trying to convey
  • Stay authentic to your brand

Millennials are quickly becoming the largest and fastest growing demographic in America. Thus progressive marketers can not afford to ignore their likes/dislikes in brand communication and marketing outreach programs!