Millennials, most commonly defined as individuals born between 1980 and 2000, essentially aspire to be trendsetters, trailblazers and nonconformists.

However, there are a couple of things this generation of individualists has in common. As I am a millennial myself, I decided to write a post about the most common characteristics of this generation and about marketing to this segment.

Let’s first take a look at how many we are.

According to the Search Engine Journal, millennials currently make up a trillion-dollar demographic on a global level. Millennials make up approximately 25% of the population in the first world countries. By the year 2025, we will make up 75% of the global workforce, and our purchasing power will rise even more.

It is paramount to avoid targeting the “millennial” audience as a general segment in terms of marketing.

When attempting to reach out to this generation, it is best to try and target highly specific niche audiences.

In general terms, millennials do not trust traditional advertising and marketing – according to Forbes, this notion applies for well over 80% percent of millennials. And according to Ogilvy & Mather, around 60% of millennials would rather spend money on experiences than material items.

Also, concerns for the well-being of others and the environment heavily dominate the purchasing decisions of this generation. Millennials strongly prefer brands that demonstrate some level of corporate social responsibility. So showcasing the company values and encompassing these in marketing strategies becomes increasingly important – especially when it comes to being environmental-friendly.

In addition to this, most millennials seek peer affirmation, feedback and recommendations from others.

Personalization makes all the difference, when it comes to millennials. As a rule of thumb, any product or service will be more appealing to this group, if it has some customizable features, and if the related marketing messages are personalized. It should come as no surprise, then, that the favourite forms of advertising of millennials are online offers and personalized email marketing.

In an article in the Search Engine Journal, Mindy Weinstein, the founder of the digital marketing agency Market MindShift, offers 14 pro tips for marketing your product or service to millennials:

  • Create an experience in which Millennials can participate.
  • Develop content that encourages shares.
  • Provide Millennials with the opportunity to live the story with your brand.
  • Align your brand with a cause, so that Millennials will align with you.
  • Recognize the evolving lifestyles of Millennials and don’t be afraid to change with them.
  • Disrupt the market with an innovative approach to pricing and marketing.
  • Increase brand loyalty by embracing trends and joining in the fun.
  • Allow your customers to contribute to your marketing and be involved in the development of a new product line.
  • Create ads that speak directly to a personal moment in a Millennial’s life.
  • Go where the Millennials are (social and mobile).
  • Focus on a product or service that is convenient for Millennials.
  • Offer something that speaks to the Millennial’s desire for uniqueness.
  • Make your product personal and customizable.
  • Solve a need for Millennials and create a marketing message to back it up.

You can read the full article by Mindy Weinstein online here:

A presentation of the Nielsen Company report “Millennials – Breaking The Myths”: