Generation Y, or the millennial generation, is the first generation that grew up with the internet. Those from this generation do not know what it is like to NOT have information at their fingertips. While marketing has changed in general, marketing to this group is especially challenging. One-way communication is no longer the norm. When you begin creating a marketing plan for any type of company, consider these five tips to help you connect with the internet-savvy millennials.
- Be Honest – Because the end consumer you are dealing with has Google at their fingertips by way of smartphones and tablets, it is more important than ever that you are honest about any product or service you market. The millennial generation will find any hole in your story and expose it, so it is vitally important that you be up front with everything you say.
- Be Where They Are – What’s popular right now? The TV show that is a must-watch trend this month may be completely uncool next month. The new upstart social media website could become the next Facebook. Those memes that were spreading like viral wildfire last week could be making eyes roll today. Keep an eye on the trends and try to be an early adopter, but pull out when you need to, and avoid appearing “out of it.”
- Two-Way Communication – Social media has made it where internet users expect to be able to communicate with not just their friends, but with anyone in the public eye. Make it easy for customers to communicate with the parent business. Encourage this through posting on social networks or through various contact forms on a website. If you do not have natural communication skills, consider looking at freelance writers for hire and utilizing their services in this way.
- Encourage Loyalty – Even though they may be young, this generation wants to be loyal. Social media has made it where you can wear a brand like a badge. Liking a company is a major thing for these younger internet users. If you can help build strong relationships between businesses and their customers, the customers will become loyal—making marketing even easier in the future. Reward customers for their loyalty and the business will reap the benefits.
- Be Daring – Create a viral video, advertise in an unexpected way and push the envelope. The youngest customers of the businesses you work with will appreciate your willingness to be bold. Remember that marketing is an adventure, and don’t be afraid to have fun with it.
As you can see, there are aspects of marketing that will be a bit different when you are trying to connect with the “Facebook generation” rather than, say, the baby boomers. The most important tip is to keep a finger on the pulse of the internet and make sure you understand what works and what does not. The best thing about this generation is that they are not afraid to speak up and tell you what you are doing wrong—or right!
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.