August 28, 2018

Marketing to Millennials: 5 Best Practices to get them to a ‘Yes!’

Reading time about 5 min

“Tough to understand, quick to react and unrestrictedly social.”

This sums up how marketers feel about Millennials — the new generation of consumers who defy every rule of marketing. Frankly, marketing per se is a tricky affair. When it comes to marketing to millennials, it can get messy unless you know what you’re doing.

Because millennials are what can be described as “fickle”, taking the right approach with your marketing can get you the results you’re looking for. In the long-run, it’s the most persistent and genuine marketers who win with millennials.

Below is a list of 5 super tips on how to effectively market to millennials that you can apply to your next marketing campaign to achieve maximum results.

1. Don’t go for traditional paid channels

This is a given. Ignore it at your own risk. Print ads and other disruptive ads (popups) come off as overly promotional and lacking in substance.

And promotional — or let’s say “salesy” — stuff doesn’t really work when marketing to millennials (don’t you notice how ad blockers have become all the rage these days?)

But, it’s not just mere speculation. According to Hubspot, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional ads. Though millennial spending might reach numbers as high as $1.4 trillion annually by 2020, they won’t do it the “normal” way like previous generations. Hint: they’re going organic. (Pun intended.)

Our suggestion: Opt for organic channels like SEO and micro-influencers instead. Remember, word of mouth has always been and will always be the golden ticket for businesses to quickly win over new customers.

2. Be authentic in your communications

In this survey by Stackla, 86% of millennials said they value authenticity. And over half of the respondents also said that less than half of the brands create content that seems authentic. Who could have guessed?

If you keep putting in a similar effort, you will keep getting similar results. Change your marketing strategy to specifically target millennials if you want to see more engagement.

Avoid being overly salesy in your marketing messages.

Try to engage your audience in an interesting interaction. Be authentic and genuine about the benefits of your product and show how it fits with the values/lifestyle of your prospects. But more importantly, let them decide. Let them do the talking for you.

Why do you think social networks have become so popular? They have let people express themselves through their own voices, and their own thoughts and opinions.

Our suggestion: become a brand that is truly social…one that is genuine inside out.

3. Keep commitments low

Okay, let’s address one of the most important issues of marketing to millennials. Unlike previous generations, this new generation has invested quite a lot in education, leading to substantial amounts of student debt and financial hardship.


Even if you are earning a huge salary in your new finance job, a significant portion of that is still probably being used to repay your student loan.

As you can see, many millennials can be cost-conscious and wary of commitments because they don’t have much money to spare — even if they wanted to. You have to keep this in mind when you’re trying to market your product to them.

We can see this effect play out with the rise of sharing-economy that places less focus on ownership and more focus on shared usage and convenience.

Needless to say, if you stay rigid on your high-end pricing or delivery methods, you will end up yesterday’s dinosaur.

Our suggestion: Millennials like perks, so offer small promotional incentives like free shipping and seasonal discounts. This helps ease the financial burden and wins you brownie points along the way.

4. Value, value, value

Now more than ever, the concept of corporate responsibility is essential if you want to build a strong brand. As a business, you’re expected to stand up for a cause and promote values that matter to you.

Relationship building triumphs one-time sales in modern times. And it starts with adding value to the lives of your prospects, whether before or after the sale.

In this study by Elite Daily, it is found that 75% of millennials said it was important as a business to add value to society, rather than only making profits.

And shouldn’t surprise us at all.

Millennials have faced one of the harshest financial crises in history, and many see it as the aftermath of corporate greed.

So as you might expect, millennials these days love brands that share their values and support local communities. So, although it might take more work up front, this value-driven consumption also creates a stronger brand loyalty among millennials. Once they choose to support a brand, it’s highly likely they would switch to a competitor without a strong reason.

Our suggestion: don’t focus only on being a profit-making machine. Rather, stand for something bigger than that.

5. Communicate via right channels

As a marketer, need to be where your audience is. That means figuring out their favorite communication channels and start promoting your products and services there.

Whether it’s Facebook, Snapchat, or something else, if you are marketing to millennials, you have to think like a millennial in order to reach them.

Our suggestion: Start with email, as the majority of millennials prefer to receive brand communications via email. Social media is also a good option since 49% 0f millennials start their brand research on those platforms.

Remember, millennials are all set to outnumber non-millennials by a whopping 22 million people by 2030.

We are talking about a new breed of trendsetters and decision-makers, with a far greater annual income potential and influence than older generations.

Tap into this awesome marketing opportunity and you are golden!

As I already said above, marketing to millennials does not have to be too complicated. All you have to do is think and act like a millennial. Simple as that.

About the author:
Anna Kosuv: Storyteller. Mixing business, creativity & psychology for a living. Sales and marketing automation enthusiast powered by psychedelic music and vintage finds. Anna calls Toronto her home, but is always finding her next big adventure. Her secret? Just do it!

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