ADVERTISING TO GENERATION Y:
Members of Generation Y : the demographic loosely defined as those born between 1980 on the early end and 2000 on the high end are truly the product of the turbulent times in which they were reared, and present a challenge for marketers who dare target this shrewd and, yes, narcissistic generation.
You’ve heard that they don’t watch TV, and you’ve probably been told that they don’t read that much. Your research tells you that you can’t target them through MTV anymore, and you certainly can’t tell Gen Y what is cool. So how do you reach these 71 million “Millennials” that spend over 200 billion dollars annually and will soon replace the baby boomer generation as the largest percentage of the workforce? The answer is simple—you STOP marketing to them. First, let’s look at who they are. As a baby boomer, I can tell you that this generation—sometimes called the “Connecteds”—are our own invention. We raised Gen Y to believe that they can do anything and be anything. We made their lives easy enough that they now believe they deserve to live first and work second. (How dare them!) So the first thing we have to do is stop being pissed off at our own creation and embrace the brilliance of this Gen Y community. This is the most optimistic generation to ever walk the face of the planet. They absolutely believe that miracles are possible. They refuse to work a job that does not bring them a sense of joy. They care about the earth and servicing their community. In Gen Y, we have created the possibility for everything that we wanted for the world. So we must stop whining about them being entitled and embrace the power of this generation. Once we do that, we can then begin to take a closer look at who they are, what makes them tick, and what they want from our businesses. Five Ways to Gain their Attention
1. Make it participatory: I still see TV, print and even online campaigns that simply shout a message without inviting participation. In this hands-on world, you can’t afford to miss that opportunity, especially not with the active and tech-savvy Generation Y. 2. Make it easy: We have media ADD. If we don’t get it right away, or at least see how to get it, we’ll lose interest and move on to something we do know how to use. 3. Make it shareable: And not just for Facebook and Twitter, but anywhere and everywhere, especially new trending sites like Pinterest. If you don’t know what that site is yet, Generation Y does, and they are there waiting for you.
4. Take a risk: Gen Y likes daring brands. We’re looking for something that stands out from the crowd in a real way, which rarely happens when you play it safe. Find a great idea, and instead of testing it to death, go with your gut, take a risk, and see how we respond to it in a real-world “test.” 5. Give it meaning: With a reputation for being entitled and spoiled, it’s easy to think we care only about ourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’re altruistic, optimistic, passionate, and want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Give your message a relevant, meaningful focus, and we could become your most loyal evangelists. Levi’s Go Forth campaign did a pretty good job of capturing that feeling, and Tom’s Shoes wrote it into their business model. You can too.
5 tips for marketing to millennials
For millennials, there's nothing worth saying that can't be said in 140 characters or less. It's not that they can't handle long-form pitches, they just know you can do better. So do better. Be clever
: As Nick Shore, head of research for MTV, said, "Smart and funny is the new rock 'n' roll." Millennials are set to be the most-educated generation on record, with the largest social-media platform (Facebook) having been famously born on a college campus. "With their roots in college culture, it's no wonder eloquence and timing are more prized than ever for this generation. Err on the side of overestimating...
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