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How to Effectively Market to Millennials

by | Nov 10, 2016 | Best Practice, ,

Over the years, brands have shifted their approach from traditional generalised advertising to direct marketing- a practice which completely makes sense when you’re aiming to appeal to an array of audiences varying in: age, culture and beliefs. After all, each generation differs vastly from the generation before, giving each a completely different outlook on anything from fashion to societal and political issues. A brand looking to reach multiple audiences must adapt their approach accordingly to each groups’ characteristics and traits. The most unique generation to date is considered to be the ‘Millennials’- which summed up, is anyone born within the region of 1976-1996;  brought up in a household where tech isn’t deemed a luxury, but rather a necessity- very contrasting to their parents’ generation of the ‘Baby Boomers’ and Generation X.
Millennials make up a quarter of the population and are already in or entering their prime earning years, highlighting a need for brands to rethink their marketing strategies. However, Millennials are notoriously difficult to reach; naturally rejecting traditional advertising. A McCarthy study found that 84 % of Millennials do not trust traditional advertising; perhaps because they’ve become accustomed to being surrounded by adverts on a daily basis. Brands need to understand exactly what Millennials care about and leverage this to their advantage.
Here are some facts, statistics and characteristics of Millennials and how brands can adapt their marketing efforts to accommodate this unique generation.



Millennials hold a natural scepticism towards brands, therefore  traditional advertising and branded content is not guaranteed to resonate and be effective. However, 84% of Millennials are influenced by User-Generated Content (UGC) and 73% say it’s important to read others’ opinions before purchasing. UGC can be anything from a blog post written by an influencer to a website product review written by consumers. Millennials want to feel as though the content has been written with their interest in mind and to be informative, rather than it being a platform to solely promote the brand. To break this statistic down further, 51% of Millennials say consumer opinions found on a company’s website have a greater impact on purchase decisions than recommendations from family and friends.

  1. Encourage and entice Millennials to share their experiences in the form of reviews, videos or blog posts.
  2. Ensure branded content is written for the consumer in an informative way, rather than being promotional.
  3. Base any adverts around real people with real life experiences of your product.product review



Millennials’ natural scepticism towards traditional advertising is also reflected in their preference for basing their decisions around experts’ opinions- they’re  44% more likely to trust experts, over their friends and family and content written by an influencer rather than a brand is more likely to resonate with Millennials. In order for a consumer to engage and get on board with a brand, there needs to be an element of trust. So, in order for a brand to market to Millennials they must not only know who their influencers are, but they must look to engage with them in an organic way as Millennials hold the ability to see through sponsored posts and paid for advertorial amongst influencers.

  1. Have a long term outlook; build genuine, organic relationships with the influencers relevant to your brand.
  2. Collaborate with influencers to create exciting, informative content that is going to interest your Millennial market, such as blog posts and videos.
  3. Maintain mutually beneficial relationships with influencers enabling them to naturally transition into brand advocates.

tech review with source


Millennials are more experiential than they are materialistic. They care just as much, if not more about the experiences, their image and company ethos, rather than owning the product itself. It is important that the brand they’re associating themselves with will contribute to their image, persona and beliefs they’re portraying to the outside world. With most having a presence on social channels such as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, they also seek to portray their lives in a fun and entertaining way to their followers. An astonishing 60% of Millennials (compared to 29% of non Millennials) upload their own content to the web- whether this be pictures, videos or blog posts. This can be put down to their love for having fun and getting involved, which overlaps into their purchasing decision process, as they seek to feel connected and involved, which traditional advertising does not accommodate for.

  1. Communicate to Millennials  in a creative way via the channels they love (e.g. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube).
  2. Host events as a medium for Millennials to get involved, have fun and meet new people- give them something to document on their social channels (e.g. exhibitions and day festivals).
  3. Host competitions with desirable prizes or opportunities to get involved (e.g. Facebook Live competitions- as performed by xBox and Lad Bible- as seen below).

lad bible facebook live

A huge 90 % of Millennials own a smart phone; updating their network while on the go about anything from what they had for lunch to a rant about public transport is a natural compulsion. They’re spending 25 hours a week online; a statistic which previous generations may find unfathomable. The social bubble is a familiar, safe and trusting territory for Millennials, in which they’re connected with like minded people.  With this said, when looking for opinions and advice around a brand or the latest must have product, Millennials are three times more likely than their parents’ generation of the Baby Boomers to turn to social channels (22 % vs. 7 %). Millennials are 247 % more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites. American Press Institue found that Millennials have a particularly strong presence on Snapchat, as 60 % of American Millennials owning a smart phone, are active on Snapchat.

  1. Ensure your brand has a presence on all of the channels Millennials take to (e.g. Twitter & Snapchat) This will also humanise your brand, evoking trust in the consumer.
  2. Create inspiring, humorous or informative content that Millennials will feel compelled to share across social media.
  3. Focus on customer service, particularly on social channels (Millennials will take to social media to share both positive & negative experiences).
    snapchat marketing
    If you’re looking to engage with influencers as a means to reach Millennials, but you need help on identifying or building relationships with influencers, why not get in touch to speak to one of our consultants here.