Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

5 Steps of Marketing to attract the Millennials in 2017

25% of world population are millennials today. By 2018, they will assume the highest purchasing power that will bring in the most lucrative market.

 

Does the above statement keep you up all-night? If so, you are not alone. Many marketers are toiling hard to encode the entertainment code and hit the millennial market. Why? Well, this new generation is not only outsizing the influencers & retired baby boomers, but are also flooding the online market with their enormous purchasing powers.

 

You are running a business but many a times you might feel that it doesn’t fit to the taste of your customers that it used to once upon a time. This is because customers’ tastes are changing with times. Your challenge? You should be fresh and all-time new. This is the age of the millennials who are also the future generation of marketing. Ask the millennials who are born between the years 1981-1994, you will get a defined set of values & priorities each have set for him /her. They are the next generation, i.e., Gen Z. To stay latest to their taste buds, most brands are into the rat race trying to reach out to these influential generations, craving for a share of millennial spending.

 

While the millennial buying power is dominating the present share market scenario, marketing to them is not a uniform strategy ever. This generation is a mix of personality traits & attitudes, each with flickering mind-sets. No two millennials are the same in attributes, habits & choice. Some go for high-end purchases within a time period, while some don’t mind being a bargain hunter. Brand advertising is something they don’t appreciate much. All this has made it pivotal for marketers to gauge this craze shopping cycle and adapt to this change in purchase trends. One purchase craze cycle dries up faster than you think demanding the recurrence of next cycle of change which marketers need to adopt faster.

 

It’s a challenge indeed for brands to cater to this varied new generation of vibrant millennials. Where many strategies are proven to be ineffective in gaining millennials’ mindshare, why not take a note on these 5 powerful marketing steps to engage them? Let’s begin.

 

Step 1- Build comfortable relationships online

Millennials love self-expressions and like to create online buzz 24/7, whether it’s for personal reason, partying hard, pepping up an event or simply throwing up social buzzwords every now and then online, it’s in social media that millennials are found. They are tech savvy; they always want to be within the spotlight. Any marketing tactics that reflects their values make it easier to relate with them. To connect these millennials, set an extraordinary brand value they can relate with.

 

Step 2- Start with authentic content marketing

Millennials hate advertising; their only plea to brands is “authenticity”. 43% of millennials rank authenticity as highest over content when consuming content pieces. Old school push marketing is an extinct phenomenon; it’s time to get their attention through pull marketing efforts. Millennials find more comfort in peer recommendations, authentic content that they share with peers. Straight forward communication and natural content that reveals an authentic-self is the only way to the millennials heart.

 

Step 3- Make their research journey enjoyable        

Millennials like to research and browse a particular product they liked before entering the buying cycle. It’s more logical & compelling to them as it serves as a way to entertainment. Why not make such an online exploration more enjoyable? To spark the entertainment and get going, give them content that provides positive online experience. Curate the content from collection of their interest in search and use later to market them in entertaining ways to inspire an action!

 

Step 4- Connect millennials via inbound marketing methods

Millennials love touch points at every specific purchasing stage; whether pre-sale or post sale. It is highly important to bring them within the process of collaboration and connect them. Brands that make use of inbound marketing methods such as SEO, social media, blogs does not fight for stealing the limelight, but their highly targeted content acts as actionable key to drive brand awareness voluntarily. Remember: Advertising is losing its trust. 8 out of 10 people wants to read blogs while 80% want to depend on a series of information supplied by articles rather than ad. Now what? Well, stay committed keep it simple, offer educational information to communicate with. Don’t be pushy. Build up that trust factor within them- lead scores will follow eventually!

 

Step 5- Don’t sell; offer an experience via popular social networks

Social media is a place where millennials are mostly found active & alive. They are much busier in living a digital life rather than getting in touch on the personal front.  This has paved a way for marketers to reach millennials and add them up to the customer base without much effort.

 

Believe it or not! Huge sales potential lies untapped within social networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook. However, not all digital ads receive the right kind of attention or interaction from the millennial generation. 78% of millennials are interested to become a part of the brand if they have a face to face interaction. To make them friends, marketers need to get the format right. Conduct live events, let them participate and express their views. Switch to experiential marketing- a strategy that suggests face-to-face engagement, real-time connections offering more immersive experience. Let them explore the brand via touch, feel and sense; it definitely pays off!

 

The above steps work well to keep you up-to-date with marketing strategies while targeting these millennials. A large group of online consumers are millennials and this generation can exercise massive influence over other generations as well.  For marketers, it is extremely important to connect them at a personal level; influence their opinions & decisions and finally connect the larger group at a broader level. That’s how successful marketers leverage this principle to harness the purchasing power of millennials and increase lead generation from this wealthy group.

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