Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tips For Reaching Millennials

Since we are on a roll with celebrating the news that the Millennial Generation or Gen Y will pass the Boomers in  population figures when the Census is published in the U.S. in a few months I ran across an article by Thomas Pardee in Ad Age.   Mr. Pardee is one of Ad Age's regular writers and you can read his analysis of the generation here

The real key to the article is his wrap up

5 tips for marketing to millennials

Be fast
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 the millennial -- as the Old Spice campaign shows -- and sometimes they'll surprise you.
Be transparent
Millennials may be arrogant and entitled, but they're not stupid, and they know media exists to sell them things. So rather than pretending your branded beverage isn't conspicuously placed in a TV character's hand to entice them, look for new ways to make it funny. It will ring true with them, and they'll appreciate the honesty. (Need a cue? Look no further than the deliciously self-referential "30 Rock.")
Don't "technologize" everything
By their own definition, millennials are in part defined by their use of and reliance on technology. But marketers should resist the urge to attempt to "speak their language" -- Gen Yers can smell those ploys a mile away. Remember, millennials are digital natives -- they don't use technology; they live it, and they do so subconsciously.
Give them a reason to talk about you
Millennials don't like ads, but they don't mind marketing that's non-invasive, non-interruptive and that adds something to their experience, either online or off. Whether it's a fun and timely iPhone app, a targeted high-profile event or a personalized viral-video campaign, if you want your message to resonate with millennials, give them something to talk about. And if we know the first thing about millennials, talk they will.

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