Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing to Millennials

Experts reveal the best strategies that resonate with Gen Y.
Christine Hassler is a Gen Y expert and author who leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. (Photo: Christine Hassler)
Christine Hassler is a Gen Y expert and author who leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. (Photo: Christine Hassler)

At a time when millennials are spending almost 80 hours per month on their mobile devices and entering their peak spending years, companies are scrambling to figure out what captures Gen Y’s attention and gets them to spend.

Two renowned millennial experts share their advice on how to best market to this generation.

Start with your staff

Millennial employees are a small business owner’s greatest untapped resource in helping businesses understand how to appeal to and reach millennials, said Joan
Snyder Kuhl, founder of Why Millennials Matter. Her insights about millennials have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fox News, CNN, U.S. News & World
Report, Fortune.com, Forbes and Reuters.

“Providing a platform for your early career professionals to voice their ideas, weigh in on product and service strategies, branding and outreach is a great way to unleash their potential,” Kuhl said. “It will empower them to feel that they can be a part of the process versus on the sidelines.”

Joan Snyder Kuhl

“Cultivating internal and external ambassadors is the best strategy for success with millennials.” -Joan Snyder Kuhl (Photo: Joan Snyder Kuhl)

Don’t underestimate social media

Not only are millennials digital natives, they also trust peer content and social media over more traditional media outlets for news and information.

A 2015 millennial consumer study conducted by Dan Schawbel, in partnership with Elite Daily, confirmed that millennials rely on peer reviews before making a purchase, with 33 percent of millennials using blogs as their primary research resource.

Only 1 percent of millennials surveyed said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. This generation demands more customer­-driven, personalized marketing on social media.

Promote a higher purpose

“Businesses should incorporate some kind of socially responsible, impact-­based, give-back component into their marketing strategy,” Christine Hassler, a millennial expert who has appeared on “The Today Show,” CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, said.

Hassler said that altruism matters to this generation. Millennials are willing to go out of their way to purchase from businesses with a history of supporting local communities: 75 percent said that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit.

Don’t be long­-winded

Millennials read with purpose, efficiently filtering and searching for what’s relevant.

Despite the value of long­-form content, 41 percent of millennials said the main reason they abandon content is that it’s too long. Be pithy and allow them to connect with your content quickly: 60 percent of millennials will only share content if it is thought-­provoking and intelligent.

Better yet, get them to giggle: 70 percent of millennials said their main reason for sharing content is that it makes them laugh. If you can build an emotional connection with someone, it means you can build trust.

Co-­create with your customers

Millennials are interested in having a say and becoming product co­-creators. In fact, 42 percent said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services.

“Allow for opportunities to get direct feedback and interact with younger consumers who want to really get to know your brand and what it stands for,” Kuhl said. “Cultivating internal and external ambassadors is the best strategy for success with millennials.”

Want A Demo?

Sign up for a POS demo from NCR Silver today.

Let’s Connect

Have a direct line of communication with NCR Silver and get the latest news on the social media site of your choice.