Marketing And The Ad Age Of Millennials

A change in marketing for a new generation

The generation known as the Millennials, or Generation Y were born shortly before the millennium, and have now reached adulthood, being aged between 18 and 30. This is a large generation as population sizes increase, and they are very different from their predecessors in how they engage with brands.

This generation is very important. They are already reaching an age where their spending power has increased. They are a massive part of the market, and their spending power will grow in the next ten to twenty years. Gearing up your marketing techniques to take advantage of the desires and needs of the Millennials should be started sooner rather than later or you could get left behind.

In five years, Millennials will account for a third of all consumer spending. In a short time, the workforce will be made up of 50% Millennials.

This generation is ultra demanding and has a great influence on the popularity, or otherwise of brands. The world has changed a lot, and the Millennials have grown up in a world entirely different to that which other generations are familiar with. Anyone of a previous generation will think about brands and advertising in terms of paper and television. Adverts that you simply look at. The Millennials have grown up with the Internet. Social media is a huge part of their lives, and they expect companies to interact with them. A huge change from traditional marketing methods.

In the past, advertising was a passive thing, there was little feedback other than using market research techniques, and of course observing sales trends. These days younger people expect to be able to interact with brands. It’s important to make the most of this. There is nowhere to hide. The Millennials can make or break your business.

In the past, if someone had a bad experience with a company, there was little they could do. A written letter could be posted to the company, and the experience mentioned to a handful of friends and family. It would cause little impact. These days, hundred of thousands of people can be informed about a bad experience through online forums and social media. This could have a huge negative impact on a business. A genuine good reputation can be hard to build, but once achieved will serve you well with the Millennial generation.

However it’s not all bad, capture the imagination of this generation and they will pay you back ten-fold. With an interesting and unique advertising campaign that encourages interaction, this generation will be eager to spread your message. A positive message will go as far as a negative one. The Millennials take to brands more than previous generations, they make them their own and are proud to be associated with their favourite brands.

Other generations were watchers. Brands, celebrities, they were all out of reach. These days, we are used to reading tweets from our favourite actor, we can ask a question on the Facebook page of a brand or service and we’ll get a reply. The gap between advertisers and consumers has diminished. Opinion is public, we must be more accountable, as negativity cannot be swept under the rug.

The key point is to engage with the customers rather than trying to sell to them. Community and relationship building is more important these days than simply marketing your product by putting it in view of the customers and hoping they choose it.

The Millennials are changing the face of marketing, businesses need to change their marketing strategies, and not just once; Millennials live fast paced lives, they keep up with the latest technologies, always looking for the next step, the next innovation. It will be easy to be left behind unless you tap into the minds of the Millennials and predict the next advancement before they do! Change on a massive scale is upon us, and we must react now.

In Part Two we’ll look at the facts and figures gathered by researchers and how we can use this information to our own advantage.

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