About Reaching Millennials in Marketing

About Reaching Millennials in Marketing

Okay, so it’s been a couple of months since I wrote about the BLOOD BATTLE ROYALE I was engaged in to win the role of Young & Free Spokesperson for 2011-2012 with Vantage Credit Union…

Which I did, so thank you very much for that!

…and now, I am engaged in a new BLOOD BATTLE ROYALE…that of trying to market a wholesome and necessary product to my disinterested and anti-advertisable peers.

And the LAST thing they really want to hear about in their anti-advertising bubbles is something financial.

The only reason I am saying “they” in this context is because I’m a weird mutant that seriously LOVES LOVES LOVES advertising. I listen to live broadcast radio in part FOR the commercials and get pissed off at anyone who DVRs everything because they want to SKIP THEM ALL! I truly and completely advertising as an art, a strange, inexact dance that merges people and business by way of creative presentation. And it’s an art that my own career in marketing runs parallel to, I need it to be strong for what I do to stay strong as well.

But anyway, back to the task at hand which is that not all Millennials are like me. The friends I have had and kept over time in “real life” have a very sophisticated set of filters and an amazing appetite to get what they want without being obstructed by advertising they don’t care about. I’m going to make some broad strokes based on my own peers and experience, now so bear with me and correct me if I’m wrong…

Your average midwestern, suburban millennial approaching their mid to late twenties:

  1. Still may not have a smartphone, or have one that is very outdated.
  2. Use Facebook to post stuff that shows how awesome they are, spy on exes, see pictures from events, and to mindlessly kill some time–NOT to “engage with your brand,” build their network, or often, even to talk to their mom.
  3. May “get” Twitter, let alone use it, and even fewer have even heard of mobile apps like Foursquare, Glue, or QR code readers.
  4. Still listen to the radio and watch (and pay to have!) broadcast TV – Modern Family, Glee, Community, American Idol, Jersey Shore, Keeping up with the Kardashians…these are all some shows that my friends love and still watch ON A TELEVISION SET. Not online.
  5. If they DO have a smartphone, they may use niche apps and sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Words with Friends I’ve seen pick up some steam in recent months. One of my good friends who has deleted her Facebook and never sent a tweet in her life is ALL OVER Instagram, sending out vintage-effected pictures of her pets and her house and her pets and the store and her pets in sweaters over and over again…and I LOVE it, it’s an expressive side I hadn’t seen of her, before!
  6. Are not too concerned with fighting much with the world around them. Controversial ideas and different products and places float to the back of their minds as they are settling into deep patterns that will dictate probably the next 20-30 years of their adult lives. They are either fighting their own battles with student loans, car/home/rent payments, specific career goals or children and that either causes enough upheaval or is comfortably resolved enough that they can just float to a place where it just doesn’t fit to start any drama.
These are a few things that I’ve noticed here in St. Louis that may give a lot of marketers pause about just what will get through to this age group as they are marketing to their product. My job now is to figure this puzzle out and so far the only real “strategy” I’ve really arrived at is a dedication employing guerilla tactics. I’m blogging, Facebooking, Twittering, YouTube-ing, sharing photos and content, having contests, sending eNewsletters, going to events, handing out swag, and seeing what I can do to help Vantage’s own staff to engage and be a part of the fun.
Okay, your turn. What are your experiences with and thoughts on Millennials?

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