The marketing world is all a buzz as a group of nearly 80 million “Millennials” hit the marketplace with new ideas, new demands and new expectations. This group, born between 1980 and 1995, was raised according to the notion of individualism. As a whole, they are optimistic, diverse and digitally connected. But how do marketers grab the attention of this “plugged-in” generation?
Millennials are careful shoppers who expect products, services and information to be available on their schedule and on demand. What’s more, they know how to do their research and use it to their advantage.
Offering free services, customization and positive incentives are now a must for companies hoping to connect with Generation Y—which is forcing marketers to get creative. Brand loyalty is especially valuable (albeit hard to come by) with this group, as they are not afraid to go elsewhere to get what they want.
Reaching Millennials requires more than great giveaways and customized messaging. They attach themselves to companies that are environmentally and socially responsible. Millennials expect “their” companies to make substantial donations to the same causes that the Millennials themselves volunteer for and support. That’s why companies like Subaru are enticing younger buyers with the promise to donate $250 of every purchase to a charity of the buyer’s choice, deemed the “Share the Love” event.
The lesson? It’s time to think outside the box and reach out to these customers in a new way. Smart snack companies like Wheat Thins have been showing up on doorsteps armed with pallets of free food to Twitter followers whose status’ claim they’re hungry. Sounds silly, right? Maybe not, because doing something unconventional is one of the best ways to get the attention of this hard-to-impress generation.