What’s a millennial? These are young people also known as Generation Y or Generation Me. They are born in the early 1980’s to about 2000. These folks expect a tailored user-experience with your brand.

Businesswoman giving a presentation

Marketing to millennials can be challenging, but not impossible. In this article we hope to provide some insight into how they think to help you win them over.

Millennials like print and mail. Even though they are tech savvy, they still prefer to read from a printed page over reading from a device screen. They value their social media tools and appreciate feedback/opinions of others. If your marketing mix shows signs of caring about the world, being authentic, and creates a personalized experience you’re already starting to pull at their heart-strings and pocketbooks.

One powerful way to build your millennial base is to show subject matter that relates to them. Use lifestyle images that match their persona. Have you ever considered producing a magalog? This is a hybrid catalog/magazine that can give voices and names persona’s as well as communicate what your company is all about. It also allows catalog marketers to showcase how your brand is making a difference in the world, and how your community support programs can benefit not only the millennial, but also the cause you’re supporting. Doing this type of marketing will send a clear message that you’re authentic and gives millennials another reason why they should be purchasing from you. They’ll even look for excuses to make purchases they haven’t even decided they need.

As a catalog marketer you may wonder how you can build a community. Think about ways to integrate user-generated content into your marketing mix. Host contests for best photo submitted, share user-generated feedback on product reviews, and develop a loyalty program that resonates with millennials. Your social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc … are a good place to start.

Don’t forget about having a mobile friendly website that’s fast, simple, interactive, and uncluttered. This is a “must have” not a “nice to have” for millennials. It must be easy for them to do business with you on their preferred platform. And finally, millennials love video content, it’s a quick way to understand your products and how they are used. Just remember to use messaging that is authentic, that allows viewers to understand the right application for your product. It’s about connecting the dots on way your product/service makes sense for them.

When creating a brand message make sure millennitals can relate to it and give them avenues to share your message with their friends, family and co-workers. Let them know how much you appreciate the sharing they are doing and find ways to reward them. In order to do this you’ll need quality and stylish products that millennials are interested in, even if they aren’t buying you’ll be surprised how eager they are to share with others.

One thing for sure is that millennials know what they want. They’ve grown up being told they can have anything the way they want it, and they expect it. To summarize, what they want is:

  • Authentic products and services
  • Direct mail marketing that they can relate to such as magalogs
  • Informative/Interactive content such as blogs, social networks, video, etc …

If you allow millennials to collaborate with your brand, and let them have fun doing it you’ll create a shopping journey they can’t resist.