It’s always intriguing to see how and where businesses decide to spend their marketing budget. In order for your marketing strategy to be effective, the first question to ask is, ‘Who is your target audience?’ Next, ‘How are you most likely to reach them?’ Understanding the needs and wants of your target audience is important. But also knowing where they are is critical if you want to publish content they’ll see and respond favorably to.

Not Marketing to Millennials?

Are you old enough to remember when a cell phone was primarily used for making calls? When looking over the features of new cell phones as they hit the market, its as if there’s an asterisk in their description that reads, “Oh and by the way, you can also call people with this phone, if you’re into that type of thing.”

No demographic has embraced cell phone technology to the same extent as Millennials. Seeing a Millennial without a cell phone is like seeing Big Foot or the Lockness Monster; it’s a rare occurrence that should be documented for further behavioral study. If Millennials are not your target audience, feel free to keep advertising your company’s services using methods where they’re least likely to see you; direct mailers, door hangers, commercials, radio, print ads in magazines, and other non-internet based tactics. But if you do want to attract Millennials to your business, make sure they can see you on their cell phone.

Learning From Industry Giants

In most industries, business evolves. Things rarely remain the same, year after year, decade after decade. Being able to recognize upcoming trends, make the appropriate technological adjustments, followed by a focused digital marketing strategy is crucial for survival.

Marketing to MillennialsBlockbuster realized too late that streaming video would be the new norm, making it much more convenient for people to order the latest movies from the comfort of their living room. As it turns out, Millennials stream the most movies and TV shows.

More recently, Harley Davidson finds itself in a challenging revenue growth situation. Their annual revenue numbers (found using PDF FORM 10-k on a Google search) have been declining since 2014. Although being an industry leader in high-end motorcycles, Millennials at least here in the U.S., don’t seem to be adopting the “Born to ride” lifestyle as much as previous generations. Could it be that Harley Davidson’s digital marketing strategy needs to be more Millennial-centric?

Conversely, Lyft and Uber understand their target audience. Both companies clearly understand the importance of marketing to Millennials and are doing a great job of successfully getting their attention. Their efforts are paying off as there has been a 23% increase in usage between 2015 and 2018 among this particular group.

Lyft and Uber understand the wants, needs, and problems of Millennials when it comes to transportation. Both have crafted a solution that perfectly addresses the needs of this segment of their customer demographic. They both know that Millennials are willing to use a transportation service, potentially even over buying their own car. Obviously, the requirement for the service is that it must be readily available to them at a moments notice. Lyft and Uber’s ride-sharing services fit the bill perfectly.

Word to the Wise

As of this post (Jan. 2019), Millennials have become the largest living demographic. Millennials are quickly becoming the target audience for businesses in many industries. Eventually, they will become the largest audience for all industries. Finding new and innovative ways to attract their attention through content marketing is mission critical.

Effectively marketing to Millennials requires focusing your efforts on showing up where they are most likely to see you – on their cell phone. You need to show up when they search the internet looking for the products and services you offer. 

So, How Can You Start Marketing to Millennials Effectively?

If you see the writing on the wall and your goal is to grow this particular segment of your customer base, its imperative that you first understand them as a Buyer Persona. Understand how they want to live; what types of things they’re interested in; what they need and want to better their lives. Learn as much as you can about them. Also, understand what types of things do not concern them at all.

Is your company a good fit for Millennials? If not, what can you do about it? Can you adjust your company’s offerings to fit their lifestyle so they’ll become interested in your company? Attracting them will take time and maybe even additional R&D but what’s the alternative? (Remember Blockbuster?)

You need to create remarkable content regularly that captures their attention. That content should come primarily in four forms:

Blogs: Articles they can find and read online, and that brings them to your website.
Social Media: Ads and posts that pique their interests in learning more about your company.
Voice: Podcasts they can listen to while walking, jogging, or in Lyft and Uber ride shares.
Video: Clips they can watch to see your product or services in action.

This is the type of digital marketing evolution that’s critical to start engaging Millennials now. Employing this type of digital marketing strategy will stabilize your business and set you up for long term success.

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