What’s with young people these days?
We’re relentlessly critical, wear flip-flops to work, and aspire to change the world. It’s an understatement to say that we have a bad rap, and the good old Internet has gone so far to call us narcissistic. Some of us would rather watch cat videos than read the news.
These stereotypes are entwined with a key problem that millennials face today. Marketers have trouble connecting with us.
Over and over again, we’re bombarded with awkward stock photos and newsletters that are just plain boring. We see websites that look like they were made in 1997, and we instantly run and hide.
I also know that my demographic group is one that brands cannot afford to ignore. Our purchasing power is on the rise with nearly 1 in 10 of us earning six figures or more.
So how do you reach this hyper-critical, impossible to please, unbearably casual group?
Here’s what you need to do to earn our business now and for life:
1. Understand What Motivates Us
As easy as it is to brush millennials off as narcissistic, what’s important to understand is that we are a product of our sociology.
- We’re the generation with the highest education rate – which means we’re obsessed with doing our research.
- We grew up with technology and believe in its power to improve the world – we’ve witnessed this change first-hand.
- Connectivity is our lifeblood – Facebook helps us stay in touch with everybody.
- We entered the workforce in an incredibly weak economy – we fear for our futures and manage our money carefully.
- We are relentlessly committed to results and efficiency – and we like recognition for our contributions.
- We love to laugh.
Marketers need to speak to millennials in terms of our values. Don’t stereotype us. Speak to us in a language we understand, and we’ll listen—we really are paying attention.
Take a lesson from Asana, a startup productivity platform. From their imagery to value proposition (efficiency), they are in a position to build a strong connection with their audience base. Their marketing message is inspiring and simple:
“Do great things.”
2. Make Us Laugh
Every generation has has a tough time. We get it. It doesn’t change the fact that millennials are struggling to find meaningful work and high-paying salaries.
If we want to go to graduate school, we’re looking at six-figure expenses, and many of us are stuck with unmanageable student debt loads. Did I mention we’re highly educated? In other words, we’re well-versed in the art of satire.
We love to laugh. We need to laugh. And we need humor that reminds us how beautiful life is and that the world will never crush us. We will persist, and our dreams will come true. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to laugh along the way.
Slate Magazine executes this concept beautifully. Take a look at their Facebook page—a referral traffic driver. The call to action here is to like the page. The value proposition is short, sweet, and hilariously on point:
That’s why Slate keeps winning millennial hearts.
3. Get to the Point
At any given time, we have 100 different things on our mind. We are notorious multitaskers who are glued to our mobile phones. Keep your marketing message as short and sweet as possible.
Think usability: Tell us exactly what to do, what to expect, and what we should expect to get.
The minute we get confused, we churn. That’s because we’re fast researchers. When we hit a roadblock, we find an alternate solution. Sometimes, that means jumping to competitors.
Take a lesson from Clarity’s clear and compelling value proposition:
“Get expert advice that will help you make faster decisions to grow your business.”
Here is the most important tip to keep in mind. Purchase cycles aren’t always short. They can cycle on and on as buyers weigh their options and find answers to objections.
Successful conversion optimization strategists understand that nurturing relationships is invaluable to the customer acquisition and retention process. It means embracing psychology and building bonds for the long term…
Even if those customers think and act differently than you expect.
Embrace millenials as they are. You’ll reap the benefits in future sales.