Richard Dunmall speaks to Advertising Week: The Millennial Milestone
Did you know that voters in the age group of 18-34 years are most interested in social rights issues? Born between 1977 to 2000, the millennials, also popular as Gen Y or ‘generation me’ are a force to be reckoned with. They’re not only going to revamp the economy and how businesses run, but they’re also going to define how brands need to position and market themselves to a digitally inclined generation.
The ‘millennials’ have evolved at a time when the only constant is change and technology is reshaping lives everywhere. Affinity for tech and innovation has been fundamentally ingrained in this generation. Immersed in an ‘always-on’ culture they’re spending more time on social media than ever before. The ‘Netflix and chill’ generation are defined by their status updates. This has given ‘word of mouth’ marketing a whole new meaning, making millennials the most powerful tool for influencer marketing.
So, what does this mean for marketers? Why do they need to pay attention to millennials, differently? From fashion to sports and banking to housing, millennials are making informed purchases and in turn future-proofing their lives like never before. Access to a galore of information on the internet, such as product reviews and testimonials, has made this generation extremely brand aware, making it harder for marketers to crack the marketing ‘formula’. The days of the hard-sell and ‘cookie-cutter’ approach are over, and marketers need to come up with extensive campaigns to reach out to a generation that will be creating a new world and influence generations to come.
So how do marketers target this complex set of consumers, the biggest generation in US history? We’ve already established that targeting millennials require a complex and customized approach and there’s no one-size-fits-all method. Brands need to adopt niche and contextual targeting strategies to drive their digital campaigns to success. This means, profiling the characteristics of existing users and reaching out to lookalike audiences with similar interests that align with that of the brand’s. Moreover, brands must look at delivering impactful messages during significant ‘social moments’. This can be achieved through a more sophisticated level of targeting which utilizes both micro data (what consumers are searching for, where they’ve been etc.) and macro data (social sentiment, event, TV viewing pattern, location, weather etc.). For example, brands can now target consumers with ads on mobile devices during opportune game moments, or deliver the right advertising messages, optimized to a consumers’ location.
Influencer marketing in the present context is more than just ‘spreading the word’. It’s about trying to make a mark and instill brand loyalty in a generation that’s obsessed with instant gratification. To do this, brands need to capture the ‘here and now’ sentiment during key social moments. And to do this they need to be with the user throughout the purchase journey rather than just prodding them towards a destination. By understanding that every consumer is unique, marketers can work towards a custom approach. In the end, the goal is to turn buyers and consumers into brand advocates. For brands, this means embracing the power of technology and refocusing their digital strategies to win over this generation.