Marketing With Millennials – The Sleeping Giant

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Marketing to Millennials Takes Savvy and Understanding

Millennials get blamed for everything these days, from the economy to being lazy. But take a look past those initial stereotypes and you’ll discover a generation that is willing to get behind brands – if those brands understand how to unlock them.

But first, let’s take a step back and define a millennial. Millennials, or Generation Y, were born between 1977 and 1995. This is a generation that grew up with Game Boys, Power Rangers, WWF wrestling and Britney Spears.

Millennials are the savviest marketing generation. After all, they grew up being marketed to their entire lives. But that doesn’t millennials won’t respond, or are desensitized, to marketing. You just have to know what you’re doing.


Why is this generation important? According to a study done by Goldman Sachs, millennials represent a third of retail spending within 5 years. 50% of the workforce will be of the millennial generation in the same time.

But the key terms you need to understand to have success marketing to millennials is technology. From smartphones, to apps, to social media, to streaming movies, millennials see the world in terms of technology and the internet.

Remember our post about how important it is to meet your audience where they are? Millennials are online, and on their smartphones.


Millennials will make less money than the previous generation. But they will continue to spend. How do you, as an entrepreneur, reconcile those facts?

First, it shows the importance of value, both monetary, quality, and service-wise. It also shows an overall lack of loyalty to brands. Sure, millennials will flock to Apple iPhones and Nike sneakers. But beyond that, if your company isn’t constantly innovating (another technology term), millennials will be even quicker to leave.


Millennials are a participation generation. They don’t see the customer and company, but rather, an evolving relationship. This explains the success of crowdfunding campaigns from Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Millennials want an active voice in developing a brand or product.

Millennials want to define and personalize products on their own terms. From Nike to Adidas, to Motorola smartphones, millennials want to create their own unique take on your products. From a marketing standpoint, this generation doesn’t mind giving up their data for personalized advertisements – but only if they trust your brand.


Millennials are on social media, and that’s no surprise. But what should surprise you is the intensity in which millennials rely on social media.

Armed with more than two devices connected to the internet, the average millennial checks their smartphone more than 43 times per day. 25% share their shopping content through social media, with 68% saying they were “somewhat” influenced by their peers recommendations.

Simply put, their peers influence their decision making. This is a generation that speaks through “likes” and retweets. If you can convince one customer, you may end up convincing two, three, or four more.

Millennials are a complex generation, but their mediums of smartphones and social media are clear. Ultimately, they want to find meaning beyond a price or value. Speak to this generation at this level, through a smartphone, through a social network.

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