Marketing February 21, 2017 Last updated February 16th, 2017 360 Reads share

5 Powerful Ways of Marketing to Millennials

Image Credit:

Whatever size your business or line of work you’re in, there’s a pretty good chance you’re marketing to Millennials. Now making up the majority of the labor force in the US, by 2025 Millennials will form over

#1. Get socially responsible

Millennials like nothing more than rallying around a good cause. Having grown up with the Internet, they have constant information about world problems. They know the people and corporations responsible and the types of companies that are making a difference. So, if you can learn to weave social responsibility into your marketing, you’ll get a leg up on this audience. A study by Nielsen Global on Corporate Sustainability found that 73 percent of Millennials are willing to pay more for a product that helps a cause. They also prefer to work for companies that have social responsibility built into their core values.

Exposed to the many mistakes of their parent’s generation, Gen-Y, it seems, has grown up with a conscience. So, if your company hasn’t caught on to the power of social responsibility yet, it’s about time you did. Multinationals and conglomerates have been working on this for a while now. Especially ones that need to offset their carbon footprints, like Hewlett-Packard and companies that make products or cause emissions harmful to the environment. But, social responsibility is something that any company can get invested in, whatever their size.

Make shoes, accessories or clothing? Try sourcing some of your materials from developing companies, or start initiatives to help out local communities. Make paper or products made with wood? Plant a tree for every one that you use. If you’re not sure what would work well with your company, try going back to your core values. Find a cause that aligns with what you believe in. Don’t just pick something random in the hope of wooing your target. This brings me to my next point.

#2. Be transparent

Want to get boycotted and marginalized by your biggest group of customers? Try lying to them in their faces. Nothing gets Millennials so worked up than companies trying to pull the wool over their eyes. That’s why it’s so important to figure out what your core values are and the type of causes you should support. Don’t come out with a statement that feels fake or take actions that make you look hypocritical.

Being transparent works in other ways as well. Millennials don’t like the hierarchical companies or faceless leadership of their parent’s generation. Stimulated and motivated by all thing entrepreneurial, they want to speak to and buy from companies that give them a personal touch. That they look up to as mentors and that respond to their social media personally.

Social media, in fact, has given us the perfect platform to humanize our brands and allows for two-way communication, so make sure you use it well. Instead of hiding behind a logo, or using stock images on your website, try putting up real pictures instead. Write about the accomplishments of your employees and followers. Start a discussion about the coolest things to do on a budget. Keep an open dialog going.

#3. Harness the power of social proof

You may be thinking that social proof means having a Facebook page or Instagram account. Well, in part, it does. But being active on social platforms isn’t the only way you can stamp your mark on your customers. Embracing the concept of transparency, Millennials love finding out about a product from a third-party, trustworthy source before buying it.

So, write great content for your website that’s optimized for search engines and speaks your customers’ lingo. But don’t expect them to read it — and much less believe it. What can really make the difference to Millennials is having real customer reviews on your website, 70 percent of consumers now search for online reviews before buying a product. This information-obsessed target will do their homework on what you’re selling, so make sure your product info is widely available.

Customer testimonials on your website, or on third party sites are the surest way to convince your target to buy. Don’t doctor your reviews, or you’ll make them less authentic and cause them to lose trust. Be ready to respond to bad reviews, too. Nobody’s perfect, and a bad review here and there will serve to make your brand more human – especially if you deal with the customer complaint swiftly and politely.

#4. Save them time

The average adult has an eight-second memory span, while the grand majority won’t stay on a web page for longer than 15 seconds. Millennials are short on time. But they aren’t necessarily short on money. If you can work out how to serve them what they want in a short space of time, you’ll win the golden ticket. Companies who keep this in mind do well when it comes to marketing to Millennials.

Take Consumer Essentials online review site, for example. Not only do they tap into the fact that Millennials like to read impartial reviews of products before they buy them. But they also save consumers time, by sorting the products into the top 10 in any given category, out of millions of reviews. No more visiting 10 different websites to find information about 10 different products.

#5. Get creative

You don’t have to sell the most cutting-edge products or offer high-end technology. It helps, but there will always be a need for basic, “boring” products, even for Millennials. But there are still plenty of ways to get creative with your customers. 97 percent of Millennials own a smartphone. That’s an insane statistic when you think it was barely 10 years ago since Apple unveiled the first iPhone.

They are used to being mobile, and it goes without saying that your website and marketing efforts need to be optimized for this medium. What else does it mean? Constant connection, constant chatting, constant interaction with social media. Companies that do well marketing to Millennials tend to have a powerful social media presence.

Just think about Taco Bell‘s ‘blind pre-order’ campaign of February last year. They gave their fans the chance to order a mystery item online and pick it up from their local store. Why would anyone want to buy a product they hadn’t even seen? Surprise factor, authenticity, and exclusivity, to name a few reasons.

The campaign was also marketed heavily across channels, from Twitter and SnapChat to the Super Bowl. You may not have the same kind of budget as this fast food giant, but you can still build excitement and buzz for your products if you get creative. Try inventing some contests that could go viral or that provide the sensation of exclusivity. Get creative.

Successful marketing to any target is about knowing your buyer persona. Transparency, social proof, time-saving, social responsibility – and having a little fun – are all top of the list for Millennials. So, make sure you keep that in mind for your next campaign.

Image: Shutterstock

Will Blears

Will Blears

Will Blears is an entrepreneur and blogger over at One Mans Brand where he helps teach people how to make an income from online marketing. Connect with @williamblears on Twitter

Read Full Bio