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4 Ways to Successfully Market to Millennials

Via All Business Experts : In the past two decades, the average attention span of individuals under age 30 has drastically decreased while their sophistication of consuming products has increased. Between smartphones, tablets, TVs and video games, more time is spent looking at a screen than ever before.

How can businesses cash in on the elusive millennial? How can they leverage marketing to garner attention in a world lived in five-second increments? These four simple tips will allow businesses to cut through the clutter and make their messages stick.

1. Create a customer avatar.

Many businesses miss the mark when it comes to truly understanding their customers. To successfully target the millennial market, you will need to identify the traits of millennials, and then create a customer “avatar” that is the prototypical millennial.

Some traits to know about millennials:

  • Millennials are not passive; they interact with brands on a daily, sometimes even on an hourly basis.
  • Millennials seek out products and services that make them feel unique; companies should tap into that need for individuality.
  • Millennials look for acceptance from their peers; companies should engage their inherent desire for acceptance.
  • Millennials earn less than previous generations and are frugal with their money.

2. Capture the attention of millennials through social responsibility.

Socially-responsible companies almost always get screen time with millennials; brands with strong corporate identities and responsibility plans are a huge hit with the 18-32 year old demographic.

For example, TOMS footwear is a rapidly growing, organic footwear company that donates a pair of shoes to a person in need with every purchase. Eyewear company Warby Parker not only provides stylish frames at reasonable prices, but also donates a pair of glasses to individuals who cannot afford them, also with every purchase.

And you can make a big impact, even with a small budget. Donating time to local charities and events is just as beneficial as donating goods, without your finances taking a huge hit.

3. Be online, all the time.

Millennials have never known a world without the internet, cell phones, or email. In order to successfully target this demographic, you need to be online, all the time. This includes engaging customers on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest — as well as learning how to successfully engage via other online channels such as video.

Millennials also are not necessarily brand loyal, but they want things immediately, with little to no wait times. In a world where everything is available at the click of a button, you will need to engage these customers that desire near-immediate gratification by being available 24/7.

4. One campaign does not fit all.

The old saying “one size fits all” does not refer to marketing. Planning a marketing campaign takes patience and a fair amount of trial and error. This is especially true for marketing directed at millennials. An idea that resonates with one person may fall flat with another, so it’s important to thoroughly know the demographic before launching a campaign.

Everything is about diversity. Magazines, movies, and television feature individuals of all races, sexual orientation, and gender. Companies that embrace diversity are successful because their practices resonate with their audience; sticking to the same ideas that have been in practice for decades will not leave a lasting impression. Longtime brands like Coke or brand families under Proctor & Gamble are masters at discerning segmented desires and marketing successfully to those segments.

In order to survive and prosper, it’s important to know your customer. These tips can position your company for success with millennials so you aren’t perceived as outdated as a flip phone.

About the Author

Melissa Butler heads up digital marketing at LendVantage. LendVantage helps good businesses become great by simplifying the way they access working capital. LendVantage has been covered in Business Week, Yahoo! Small Business, and other media. The company includes Larry King as its brand ambassador.

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