Marketing to Millennials, Part Three

How consumers live informs how they spend their money. Using demographic information to learn about lifestyles of groups helps marketers make assumptions about the average consumer within that group. This rule applies to the Millennials, a generation that’s now taken hold of the marketplace as the largest generational consumer group in the country, but it comes with a catch: Millennials are different, something discussed in detail in the first two parts of this series.

How Millennials differ from the rest of the population in how they spend their money, where they live and who they spend time around creates a special challenge for marketers looking to market to the Millennial demographic. Millennials are different, yes, but understanding how and using that knowledge to excel in marketing to Millennials is possible. This third installment of the Marketing to Millennials series will teach you how to do just that.

First, recall that Millennials have a unique relationship with housing. PEW research in 2017 indicated that Millennials lead the nation generationally in renters and are more likely than any other generation to live in a multiracial home, a home featuring unwed adult couples, or a home headed by a single mother. Millennial leads in categories like these paired with their apparent (if unavoidable) reticence to purchase homes of their own indicates that Millennials live a less “settled” life.

This means traditional marketing tactics geared towards home ownership, building a nuclear family or keeping up with the Joneses will fail with Millennials. We know that Millennials are more interested in experience than material possession, and this is reflected in their living situations. Don’t count on traditional or old-school marketing ideas with Millennials – you have to sell them on the experience of owning your products. Many Millennials buy products that imply stability, maturity, culture or success, since so many of the traditional markers of those traits are out of reach for much of the generation.

Millennials communicate with others about their lifestyle through the purchases they make. And the platform they use to communicate those ideas? Social media, of course. This means gearing your goods and marketing messages to be social-media friendly is more important than ever. The most successful brands create products that are Instagram-worthy, knowing that their products will essentially market themselves after purchase.

A final strategy that marketers must not forget when marketing to Millennials centers on Millennials’ interest in social progress and equality. In general, Millennials are interested in doing business with brands that promote those values. Your business doesn’t necessarily have to rebrand itself around a cause, or take up the mantle of social justice world wide – simply choosing to support a philanthropic organization or charity that reflects your brand’s values in an authentic, non-contrived way is a great way to capture Millennial interest and perhaps make the world a better place too.

These are three of the most important factors in marketing to Millennials according to the average Millennial lifestyle. Remember to continue to sharpen your brand’s image to keep Millennials invested in the success of your company.

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