Last week, we focused on Baby Boomers and Gen X (need a recap? Click here!). Today, we’re breaking down some generational marketing facts and tips for Millennials and Gen Z.
We all know these two generations have been the topic of conversation for the past several years (especially when it comes to marketing), so let’s jump right in and start with…
5 things you should know about marketing to Millennials:
To start, Millennials (aka Gen Y) have been told they’re “special” their entire lives (I feel okay joking about this, seeing as I am one).
To add, they’re known for being technology-obsessed, entitled, receivers of participation trophies, and industry killers.
While this generation bears the brunt of harsh generational criticism, they’re also the largest and most prominent opportunity for marketers today.
For today’s purposes, we’re defining Millenials as those born between 1981-1996. In case you’re taking notes, there are 72.1 million Millennials in the USA.
To market well this specific generation, it’s important to:
- Sell your purpose, not your products
Millennials enjoy a good buy, but they enjoy a moving mission statement even more. Sure, that statement doesn’t roll off the tongue exactly, but the sentiment remains the same. Millennials are all about your “why” and less about “what” you’re selling.
Much like the brand Toms, it’s important to promote a great product, but an even better mission. Millennials think with their brain, but buy from the heart—be sure to highlight your brand’s personality and meaningful intentions when marketing to this specific generation.
- Make it Insta-worthy
Millennials love a good mission statement and they love sharing their purchases and experiences on social media. Selling a product, a mission, a brand, or an experience that’s attractive and “worthy” of a social media post is remarkably important these days.
As a bonus, this “insta-worthy” quality acts as free “word-of-mouth” marketing, which is a huge factor for Millennial buyers (see #4).
In summary, amplify the attractive aspects of your product or brand and be sure to market its social media-cred whenever possible.
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- Appeal to their (understandable) frugality
Millennials were pretty young when the 2008 recession hit, but they haven’t forgotten. They’re also dealing with crippling student loan debt, an insurmountable housing market, and out-of-this-world inflation.
As a result, they’re careful with their money.
If your product comes at a fantastic price, be sure to highlight that ASAP. Millennials love a bang for their buck, so if the price is right, make it known!
- Gain favor in the eyes of their network
Millennials have been inundated with ads and emails for years (it’s all they’ve really known!). What’s the key to unlocking their frugal, skeptical hearts?
Winning favor in the hearts of their close circle!
As mentioned in point #2, it’s all about word-of-mouth marketing for this specific generation. If their friends and family love it, they’re sure to hear about it.
And who do Millennials trust (far more) than companies? Their peers. Appeal to those close to them, and reap the benefits.
Need a refresher on marketing to Baby Boomers and Gen X? We’ve got ya covered.
- Market an experience rather than an item
In line with point #3, Millennials firmly believe that spending money on an experience (memory-making activity) is far more valuable than a material object.
Keep this in mind during your next marketing campaign. Does your brand offer an experience (or even a product that deepens an experience) like no other? Emphasize that!
Millennials are realizing, with each passing day, just how unnecessary “stuff” is—they want to know that what they’re buying, and who they’re buying it from, impacts their world, and their lives, in a beneficial way.
5 things you should know about Marketing to Gen Z:
You may consider them kids (many still are!), but Gen Z has arrived in the marketing space.
They may be the newest generation, but they’re making waves with how (and why) we do business. Check out this article for more info—seriously, they’re fascinating.
Gen Z-ers were born between 1997-2015 (I know what you’re thinking—that seems like a HUGE gap compared to others). They’re currently between 6 and 24-years-old, but for this article, we’ll be focusing on those ages 18+.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to marketing for Gen Z:
- Drop traditional marketing methods
Email, schmee-mail. Just kidding, but you get the idea.
Gen Z is changing how we do marketing, and that means dropping traditional tools and practices. Companies geared toward a Gen Z audience aren’t emphasizing TV spots or billboards—they’re focusing on Gen Z’s social media platforms:
If you and your brand have Gen Z in mind, ditch the old tactics. Market to Gen Z where they live—social media.
- Focus on your brand’s personality
Gen Z is busy—they don’t have time for high-brow, technical copy. They crave personality from brands and they simply will not engage with anything deemed “boring” or “tone-deaf.”
Spice up your copy, your social media platforms, and your marketing efforts. Inject a hefty dose of “cool” and “fun,” but don’t forget to remain informative and “woke” to social issues (see points #4 & #5).
- They don’t trust larger institutions
This one’s a double whammy—Millennials and Gen Z share this generational characteristic.
These generations grew up in a time where several institutions (higher education, the entertainment industry, the housing market, the government, etc.) came under heavy scrutiny. As a result, both generations struggle to trust those in power, especially when it comes to large corporations and decision-makers.
It’s important to remember that even if your company is at an enterprise level, it’s important to speak like a small business. Stay grounded, remain humble, and market from a place of transparency.
This will gain a Gen Z-ers trust and work in your favor in the long run.
- Share your beliefs and values
In regard to transparency, focus on voicing your brand’s beliefs and values. Like Millennials, a company’s beliefs and their “why” often mean more than their product.
When in doubt, rely on transparency and humility to market your brand and product. Gen Z is a lot like Gen X in this way—they have a low tolerance for BS. If you’re being inauthentic with your message and campaigns, it’ll show and Gen Z will not engage favorably.
Forbes recently posted a fantastic article on this matter—check it out here.
- One word: “Edutain”
I know, it’s a new word for me too, but it makes a lot of sense. Based on the past four points, they can be summarized in one word: Edutain (a combo of “educate” and “entertain”).
Gen Z wants marketing that will edutain them.
They want brands and marketing campaigns to make them feel something, all while enhancing or expanding their understanding of the world around them.
This wonderful article speaks to the importance of “edutainment” and Gen Z marketing—like the generation itself, this info is fascinating!
New generations always spice up the marketing industry and it’s important to stay up-to-date on best practices. From Boomers to Gen X, Millennials to Gen Z—each generation needs that extra special touch when it comes to marketing.
Here at Net-Results, we’re dedicated to bringing you, our loyal audience, information that will help you and your digital marketing efforts.
Be sure to take a look at our ever-expanding list of blog posts and free downloadable resources for all of your current (and future) marketing needs. You can also subscribe to the blog below to get all that marketing-goodness directly to your inbox!
Ciao for now!
Digital Marketing Specialist