3 Tips for Marketing to Millennials – When You’re Not a Millennial

Slack who? Emoji what? Gif when?

As a seasoned marketer who falls right on the cusp of Generation X and Millennials, it’s not just about how you talk to a particular generation anymore, it also includes an overwhelming amount of new platforms in which you can reach them.

For us good ol’ fashioned folk, a clever email or brilliantly executed radio or tv ad was enough to do your business and do it well.

*Screeeech* – not anymore.

Notifications here, new platform there, how can marketers who didn’t grow up alongside Google or wake up next to an iPhone embrace this technological revolution and create campaigns that are smart, witty and, most importantly, relevant to a population that’s driving a large part of our economy?

Tip #1: Keep it real.

Millennials can sniff out falseness from miles away. On a generation that relies heavily on shared thoughts and trends before making purchasing decisions, millennials tend to carefully select sources that they believe to be trustworthy. In our era of over-sensationalized headlines and attention seeking articles, millennials have a much stronger filter when it comes to content – and need to feel a certain air of authenticity. So how do you get millennials to open their wallets for you? Open your hearts and be authentic above all else and the rest will follow.

Tip #2: Invite them to the party.

According to Customer Think, 86% of people look to user-generated content as an indicator of product or service quality and 65% of them consider user-generated content to be more honest and valuable.

These numbers are huge.

So why not adopt a user generated content strategy where you’re leveraging those who know millennials best – other millennials. When crafting your next marketing campaign, take the guesswork out by inviting trusted and respected content generators to join you in building your brand or content.

Tip #3: Don’t do what I just did in the other two tips.

Don’t label them.

According to Pew Research, millennials despise being referred to as millennials given that the word has such a strong negative connotation  — self-absorbed, whiny and spoiled.  So go ahead and scrap that cringe-worthy word from your vocabulary immediately.

So how do you refer to this particular group of people? I’m not quite clear on this yet, but I do know that this with so many new mediums of reaching them, they require a far more layered approach to being understood. Perhaps it’s best to segment them and market to them accordingly, instead of lumping together over 25% of the entire US population.

So while yaaasss means yes, but no means no, as marketers who aren’t millennials, I think we can all come to a consensus that “the struggle IS real.”