The 5 Best Ways to Market to Millennials in 2018

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Millennials are a generation of physical and digital explorers. Here's how to get their attention in 2018.

1. FOCUS ON PERSONALIZATION AND ENGAGEMENT

We are in the midst of a device war. Marketers are trying to determine the platforms to dominate consumer attention and lifestyle over the next 5-10 years. Good luck!

However, Millenials are accustomed to a world of constant change and don't feel a need to follow a specific path but rather create their own; whether its jobs or relationships or self-identification. They want to have some control over their purchase and customization adds to their brand experience.

While Millennials now spend nearly four hours per day on their phones, what do they expect from brands?A Statista survey in 3Q 2017 showed that 60% of Gen Z and Millennials are loyal to brands they like.

Importantly, Mobile will continue to dominate their attention, so remember that Millennials will swipe left on you faster than an “Oh Hell Naw!” if you don’t make their lives easier - and more entertaining. Innovation of the digital experience is required.

 

2. EMPHASIZE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Think about using gadgets differently: like asking Alexa for a Hawaiian Pizza

So, the first question in devising your strategy shouldn’t be “which platform?” rather, “how can I make this experience easier and more pleasurable for my customers?” Simplifying their experience means re-imagining your choice of technology to better serve your clients. The choice of tech and platform will follow. Unsurprisingly, Statista reports that the fastest to adopt the digital voice revolution are Millennials (born between 1981 and 2000).

Wanna bet?

Mst Millennials ask Siri to play music, open apps, ask questions to satisfy their curiosity or, for example, to settle a bet. But why not ask Siri to order you a pizza or an Uber? How can Siri or Alexa help to promote your brand or services, or help support customers with instructions, FAQ, education or training? Before you say “So, it’s like radio” think again. This is more like a live website. So how can you use it to extend the brand through partnerships? How can you deepen and enrichen client interaction?

 

3. RE-IMAGINE YOUR WEBSITE

Get ready to go 3-D

You’ve doubtless heard a lot about VR over the past year, perhaps even more than Bitcoin! So here’s a thought: once the general population is accustomed to experiencing the world in 360 degrees why would they still want to access flat assets – the computer as 1980’s web design? Why is the internet designed like a stack of flat paper when we have the means to bring it to life with video and interactivity?

 

What if you were to transform your web & mobile content into something far richer? 

You could take them on a visual journey to experience your products, processes, internal and external communications, provide training or consumer education. What if you could take customers on a trip to your factory or plant, or visit the people and locations behind the brand? Open your world to customers who prize integrity, ethics, and values by demonstrating your brand alignment.

When used creatively Virtual and Augmented Reality, Holograms and 3D printing stations can unlock not only instant discounts, but a whole world and deliver a deeper, closer connection to your brand. They are also fun, shareable experiences that Millennials will increasingly expect.

 

4.  GIVE THEM LIVE, AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES. IRL.

If you think Millennials love being online, think again.  In a study of Millennial spending habits by Eventbrite earlier this year, 72% said they’d prefer to increase their spending on experiences rather than physical things in the next year.

 

The Eventbrite study confirmed that Millennials value authentic engagement and interactive experiences. In 2017, 29% of U.S. Millennials attended concert within the previous year, up from 14% in 2014. Concerts and festivals are a great opportunity for brands to host interactive activities (e.g. “VR trip” stations), letting attendees express their creativity and engage with your brand. 

And what about the other 70? With concert ticket prices easily costing $200.00 each in major venues thanks to meddling by ticket bots that buy huge blocks of tickets within minutes and re-sell them at a multiple of the original price. Blockchain technology hopes to break the stronghold over ticket sales and effectively break the chokehold over music and sports by Ticketmaster and Eventbrite. Until that happens, however, virtual gatherings in interactive spaces (pods, tunnels, igloos) or online (Bigscreen) – are an excellent alternative. Consider involving a social media star to heighten awareness and engagement.

 

5. CREATE A COMMUNITY OF LIKE-MINDS

Crowdsource your marketing!

On the topic of communities, have you ever wondered what sort of person answers customer helpline queries, for free and in their own time? Or people who pay close attention to corporate blogs? I have. The fact that people feel so passionate about brands is an untapped gold-mine for Meetups. 

Statistically Meetup has its greatest sign-up or new users just after the new year.

Meetups provide a real-life connection that no online community ever can, providing a physical interaction over a digital one. In an increasingly digital world, it seems Community has deep appeal for people.

“The biggest thing people need to know that they’ll feel welcomed when they go to the event, not just someone standing in the corner of a room feeling awkward and out of place” says Alexa Rosariowho runs a Meetup Group with over 900 members

 

Meetup’s 35 million-member platform is hoping to evolve into a new type of billion-member social service—one that cements the intimate connections between people in a way that makes all of us feel more connected. Consider championing existing Meetups or creating one of your own!

So that’s your 2018 Millennial Marketing Strategy done. Well, mostly anyway. The tough part? Implementing it. Feel free to write or call for help, ok? And good luck!

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About the author: Catherine D. Henry, is Senior Account Lead and Chief Experience Officer of Palpable Media, delivering Emerging Tech Marketing Strategy for Advertising, Branded Content, Live Events, and Social Media. She loves outdoor festivals and meetups, but Bixby not so much.

Catherine Henry