Marketing Your Small Business to the “Me” Generation: Millennials

marketing to millennials

Millennials — the generation born between 1980 and 2000 — often get a bad rap. The media portrays them as a self-centered, entitled bunch, obsessed with whatever trend comes their way and as eager to spend money as their baby boomer and Generation X predecessors are to save it.

While there’s no denying that their love for Unicorn Frappuccinos and annoying reality TV stars makes them an easy generation to mock, there’s more to millennials than their trends. They’re highly educated, with 27% of women and 21% of men ages 18-33 having at least a bachelor’s degree. Although that education comes with a fair share of student debt, the average millennial isn’t doing too badly: The median incomefor this age group is $69,000, which makes them a prime target for retailers.

So how do you market to the “me” generation? We have the scoop!

Improve Your Online Offerings

When the whole world can be had at the push of a button, why would millennials — often (and unfairly) known as “lazy” — leave their lofts for a brick-and-mortar store? This is very much an online-oriented generation, with 32% ordering their products and services from their laptop or PC, 25% from their tablets and 24% from their mobile devices. Only 11% will make their next purchase from a physical store.

For online retailers, this is great news — but brick and mortars who want to capitalize on millennial cash will need to meet them on their own turf. Remember: If you’re not selling it online, someone else is, and that person is the one who will get this generation’s moola.

Fight Alongside Them

To again debunk the “lazy” trope, it’s important to remember that millennials are a generation of fighters. Most of them watched the Twin Towers fall; they saw the resultant wars in Iraq and Afghanistan live and in color on their television sets. They are very politically motivated and not afraid to speak up for what they believe in.

While we advise against getting too political in your marketing strategy, millennials value solidarity in their causes. Don’t be afraid to address difficult issues. Give to the causes that matter to you and your target audience. Engage in (civil) debate on your social media pages. You’re not necessarily taking sides; you’re just telling the millennials, “We see you, we support you and we want to work together with you to make the world a better place.”

Partner With Influencers

In a generation where social media is king and everything from their morning coffee to their Egyptian cotton sheets is immediately posted to Instagram, influencer marketing is huge. If you partner with a well-known figurehead who will help you promote your products and services, you may get a millennial’s attention where traditional advertising won’t.

As always, be sure you’re partnering with the rightinfluencer. Choosing someone who doesn’t mesh well with your brand or your followers is a recipe for disaster.

Don’t Fall for Millennial Misconceptions!

Millennials are much more than the media makes them out to be, and when you gain their loyalty, you have a customer for life. If you make it easy for them to buy what they need online, support their causes and get their attention with a familiar face, you’ll have captured a unique generation that will support your small business for years to come!

Age is nothing but a number! Give Mischa Communications your digits and we’ll help you find a marketing strategy that caters to all of your small business patrons!

Are you behind on your reading list? It’s time to catch up! We’ve already talked about how to market to baby boomers and the good folks of Generation X — check back next week when we round out the series with the newest shoppers on the block, Generation Z!