Why you should market to millennials?

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Mark Glenn

Mark Glenn is a seasoned marketer, accomplished author of three books, and Forbes contributor. He has over 25 years in marketing experience, including CMO at Viralify. Mark is known for his ability to identify new trends and strategies that go against the grain of traditional thinking. His best-selling book "The Social Media Bible" was named one of Business Insider’s Top 10 Marketing Books You Should Read in 2016.

The fact is that millennials are a significant part of our population and a significant part of the market. If you market your brand to other groups and you disregard millennials (for whatever reason), you are doing your business a great disservice.

Why millennials are significant

If you are the product of a generation that came before millennials, it is entirely possible that you don’t have a great deal of patience for people in that age group. There seem to be several personality traits that are difficult to take. No doubt, you probably have a perception of them that includes the idea that they are self-absorbed, entitled, technically savvy, and buried under financial debt. However, it is always very dangerous to generalize any group of people because that is exactly when amazing opportunities tend to fall through the cracks.

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, are the demographic cohort that directly follows Generation X. The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century.

If you are wondering exactly who fits into the millennial category, millennials are people who were born between 1982 and 2000. One thing that is certain in a profound way is that they are unique and if you can find a way to embrace that uniqueness, you will be better off for it. Instead of concentrating on the negative attributes, it is a good idea to consider all of their positive attributes, at least the ones that can be useful for your business.

    • Diversity: Diversity is always a good thing. Ironically, some millennials have very little awareness of anything that occurred in the past and they don’t seem particularly interested in learning about those things. However, it is important to give them the benefit of the doubt at this point. Tolerance is very important. Because technology advances at such a rapid pace, many millennials have a difficult time embracing anything other than what is right in front of them. However, that should not only be attributed to the idea that the millennial generation is a difficult one to penetrate but also it can be attributed to the fact that they have not had the chance to mature completely. That is certainly going to change over time and they will start to see the world and people differently, just like everyone else did at some point in their lives.


  • Their knowledge of all things technical: In this day and age, a time when we are surrounded by social media connections and interactions, millennials can prove to be extremely useful when it comes to your content marketing strategy. The vast majority of millennials possess much more than basic knowledge of the Internet and how to leverage social media properly. Although that form of communication is very different than face to face interactions, it is a valid, legitimate, powerful form of communication none-the-less. The silver lining that should be recognized in this case is that if you choose to target millennials, they will get the messages that you are sending out and they will understand them clearly. On the other hand, that is a challenge that you probably face if you market to older people. They are often not only not savvy when it comes to technology but they are actually intimidated by it and thus tend to shy away from it entirely.

If you consider diversity and the fact that millennials are technically savvy, you probably understand that millennials are a perfect group to include in your content marketing strategy. That is excellent news for your business. However, the one thing that is probably more often the case than not is the fact that millennials don’t have a lot of money to spend. If your products and/or services are pricey, you may be faced with challenges in that regard.

However, if you are able to build solid relationships with millennials, you will probably be successful at some point with selling your offerings to them because their core values include their willingness to invest in something that they truly feel is worth the money. Of course, that is only after you have proven yourself and your business worthy. The way that you do that, of course, is by building a meaningful, enduring relationship, one that is mutually beneficial.

Your approach

At this point, you may be wondering exactly how you should market to millennials. Well, if your perception is that they only like to communicate online in abbreviations and icons, you are wrong and you owe it to yourself and your business to think differently. You should engage them in the same way that you engage other people. In other words, you need to wrap your mind around the topics that matter most to them (each individual relationship will have a different set of needs and wants on the part of the other person) and tell your story based on that.

There is no doubt that you will reach the other person and that he or she will want to enter into a relationship with you. The formula that you use to engage millennials is the same one that has worked so well for you up to this point with other people of other generations. So, what can you do to successfully market to millennials?

    • Respect sustainability: Millennials care a great deal about the world we live in. You need to prove to them that you care about that as well. With that fact in mind, it kind of shatters the perception that they only care about themselves. Those two definitely contradict each other. If they care about the world in which we live, that makes them empathetic. You should write about that value. It will definitely get their attention and make them want to keep reading what you are posting. Sustainability is not only a good thing to demonstrate to them but it is good for everyone and that should be one of your core values anyway.
    • Give something back: In the past, a business (large, medium, or small) didn’t have to do anything except exist, provide jobs, and be successful. Nowadays, that is not enough. Today, you need to give something back to the community as well. That is not just so that you can impress millennials. More importantly, it is the right thing for you to do. If you do that, your clients (and prospective clients) will feel really good about you as a business and they will feel that buying from you means that they are doing something good for the community. It keeps going around in a circle.
  • Always be honest: No matter what, always be honest and always have integrity. Millennials care deeply about those two values and they will respond to you accordingly. If you make those values your values (which they should be anyway), they will respect you for them. You should always be transparent and above board. If a millennial feels that you don’t possess those values, the will simply refuse to do business with you.

It is time for you to think a little differently when it comes to your marketing strategy. It makes a lot of sense for you to include millennials in your target market efforts. Treat them with the same amount of respect that you treat other generations. They are highly respectful of solid values, such as authenticity, honesty, and integrity. If you demonstrate clearly that their values are your values, they will listen to what you have to say.

Millennials deserve your respect and you should try to find a way to rid yourself of false perceptions. You should wait to decide how you feel until after you have gotten to know them.