Advertising to the Millennials

Many advertisers are interested in attracting consumers between the ages of 18 and 34.  While this can be a very profitable audience for marketers, it can be a rather complicated and elusive audience to convert.

After all, this generation doesn’t watch a lot of TV. They avoid online advertising thanks to blocking software. They don’t want ads on their mobile devices.  Facebook pages or IM.  And not surprisingly, they aren’t fans of advertising in general.

Here are some ideas to help your Gen Y marketing efforts be more successful.

1.  Enable discovery.  No one wants to be told what they should like or think, especially this age group. They want to believe that they have uniquely discovered the things they like. So this means creating events where Millennials can meet your brand.

2.  Be remarkable.  This is literally having a brand experience worth writing home about.  Marketers at Apple and Nike know that to be remarked upon, you must literally be remarkable.   This is either in the product you offer, or your customer experience.

3.  Be social.  What makes Gen Y different than all previous generations is their ability to technologically communicate and share their preferences. We know that sharing information through social channels like Facebook will help encourage discussion about your brand.  But Millennials are not inclined to do so without good reason. That’s why so many brands have found success by associating with worthy causes, or highlighting their support of environmental or humanitarian initiatives.

4.  Target wisely.  An 18-year old is very different than a 34-year old.  Your marketing efforts should take this into account.  You might consider targeting parents of college-bound kids rather than trying to change perceptions of a busy college student.  And you might found that a local child-friendly event is a great place to target 30-year olds with young children.

5.  Look from within.  Talk to your younger employees and find out what they do and where they go.  Consider utilizing them as ambassadors on social media to spread the word about your Gen Y-friendly brand.

GenY is the largest American generation at 92 million strong.  And they offer a potential goldmine for marketers… as long as you are creative in your efforts to attract them.