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  • Tracy Jones, MD

The Millennial Takeover



Millennials are the largest demographic to date. With over 2 billion people worldwide being born between 1981 and 1996, the market power of millennials is beyond that of almost any other generation. In 2016, there were 14 million people between 20 and 34, which was 27% of the South African market - making them the largest market segment in the country.


Understanding How Millennials See Themselves & the Ad Word


It’s important to not only know millennials, but to also understand how to market to them. It goes beyond the (often inaccurate) clichés you’ve heard: millennials can’t be put into a box and should be pandered to; you must cultivate a lasting relationship that makes them want to get involved with your brand.


Millennials want to feel like they are unique individuals, having a different perspective on the world. They identify as liberal, smart, hardworking, and open minded. They want to feel valued and heard, as opposed to talked down to by a company.


According to Adweek, 77% of millennials are turned off by advertisements that portray them as a cliché and 78% don’t like when ads try too hard.


Jason Miller of Fuse Media said “despite the myth that multicultural millennials are ad-averse, the fact is that they relate to brands and ads that are authentic, useful and entertaining.”


How to Better Market to Millennials

Today, 94% of consumers are more loyal to brands that are transparent. Millennials want to know everything about the products they choose to use (or not use), from how they’re made to what kind of people work at or own the company. Being honest about your process and products behind the scenes can go a long way - it not only attracts new clients, but helps build brand loyalty.


Beyond transparency, your brand needs to be more than just a corporation; it should be personified, honest, and authentic. When interactions with consumers are more real and personalized, it builds a stronger relationship. Jennifer Oleniczak Brown, from The Engaging Educator said, “Think individualized experiences on social media! [...] That authentic voice is what all people, millennials especially, are looking for”.


Amy Modglin of Modglin Leadership on Millenials said, “We need to remember that millennials communicate differently”. The world of one-way media is long gone. With the internet growing every day and platforms popping up to allow consumers to announce their own opinions, there is no time like the present to engage with consumers on an interpersonal level. Millennials love a meaningful social exchange over a simple sponsored post.


Millennials have changed the world, and will be around for a while longer. It’s time that we understand them and market to them in a way that’s tailored to how they think.

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