Fit for the Future: Marketing to Millennials

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The world is changing. People who were children not long ago are now adults, and the next generation is steadily on the rise. If you want to make your business successful for the future, then you need to adapt and adjust to the new generation. In this article, you'll learn all about the uniqueness of the Millennial generation and how you can reach them.
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Whether you’re a business owner, a marketing professional, or an employee in the marketing field, you certainly won’t be unfamiliar with the topic of Millennials. But what exactly is a Millennial, and why should we take a closer look at this target group? In this article, you’ll learn all about Generation Y, their traits and characteristics, and why Millennials are so interesting to companies. We’ll also give you specific tips on how to adapt your marketing strategy to Millennials in order to be successful.

Millennials definition and why marketing to millennials is important

Source: Unsplash

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the subsequent generation of baby boomers. Most Millennials were born in the early 1980s through the late 1990s. While the exact definition of “Millennial” varies, it is generally accepted that the Millennial Age Group captures all those individuals who reach young adulthood in the early 21st century. This puts the age range of Millennials in 2022 at 25-40. The core characteristics of the Millennial generation are diversity, affinity for technology and a global perspective. Many Millennials are growing up in multicultural households and have access to new technologies and social media. These experiences shape their attitudes and values.

It’s often the case that the importance of marketing to Millennials is underestimated. Yet it is precisely this generation that will increasingly come into focus in the coming years. Already today, many Millennials are employed and have purchasing power. In a few years, they will make up the largest share of consumers. In addition, they are very tech-savvy and can therefore be addressed well with digital marketing measures. So if you want to get your business ready for the future, you need to focus on marketing to Millennials. This is the only way you can be successful in the long run.

Why Millennials are a unique generation 

Source: OpenAI (image generated with AI)

Millennials are considered a unique generation. Most of them are baby boomers and grew up in a time when there were many technological advances and social movements. This has helped make them very optimistic, multicultural and tech-savvy. The Millennial Generation is the first generation to grow up with the advent of the Internet and the digital revolution. The aspect of globalization also played a major role in the Millennials’ coming of age. That’s why Millennials have a very different perspective on the world and society compared to previous generations. Some of the characteristics that set Millennials apart are:

Affinity for technology

Millennials have grown up with a lot of new types of technology and are therefore familiar with the Internet and technological advances. Unlike older generations like baby boomers, who first had to learn how to use the Internet and new digital devices, millennials take it for granted. The Millennial Generation is flexible and adaptable. They are used to being online anytime and anywhere and adapt new technologies quickly and with great enthusiasm.

World View

The Millennial Generation is globally oriented. With the advent of the Internet and the ability to communicate and learn online, the world has become a much smaller place for Millennials. They are used to interacting with people from all over the world and have a more global perspective than the generations before them. In 2020, the Pew Research Center proved in a study that Millennials have more positive outlooks toward other countries and international organizations. For example, Millennials in the USA are at least 10% more positive about the UN (United Nations) than Generation X or Baby Boomers.

Culture and education

Due to globalization, Millennials are very open to other cultures. Many Millennials also come from multicultural families themselves and grew up in households where different cultures were actively practiced and lived. Today's 25- to 40-year-olds also differ significantly from their parents and grandparents in terms of education and career paths. According to a study by Statista, around 20.5% of Millennials already had a university degree by 2020. This makes the Millennial generation a very educated and cosmopolitan demographic.

Media usage

4. media use: Millennials are extremely connected. Through the use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Millennials are constantly interacting with each other and the Internet. They share their lives online with friends and acquaintances and thus stay in constant contact. Again, a 2020 study by Statista shows that up to 83% of Millennials surveyed use social media several times a week.

How can you adapt your business to the new generation? 

Source: Unsplash

Now that you know what makes up the Millennial generation, you can focus on targeting them according to their characteristics and peculiarities. We have some concrete tips on how you should go about it:

  • Use social media effectively. One of the most important characteristics of the Millennial generation is their affinity for technology. Many Millennials are constantly online and mainly find out about products and services on social media. It is therefore essential for companies to have a strong presence on social media. However, simply creating a profile on Facebook or Twitter is not enough. You need to be active and post regularly to capture the attention of your target audience. Posts should be informative and entertaining while always representing your brand. If you deliver relevant and interesting content, you’ll soon build a loyal following ready to buy your products or services. You can find out more about social media marketing on our blog.
  • Create personalized advertising. Personalized advertising is an effective way to grab Millennials’ attention and get them to buy your products or services. Personalized advertising allows you to target those most likely to be interested in your offers. There are several ways to serve personalized ads. One of them is retargeting. This is a type of advertising where users are bombarded with ads after seeing or buying certain products or services. Email marketing and newsletters can also pay dividends.
  • Be sure to make your advertising diverse and varied. The Millennial Generation is cosmopolitan and diverse. They are big on diversity and want as many people as possible to find representation and inclusion. So don’t be afraid to actively reach out to and engage minority groups. However, be sure to treat the topic of diversity respectfully and not fall into old stereotypes or reinforce prejudices.
  • It’s best to be honest and transparent. Millennials are a very critical generation and have high expectations of companies. This generation is intelligent, socially engaged, and knows when they’re being made fun of. Millennials expect companies to be honest, transparent and behave responsibly. So don’t try to deceive or manipulate your customers – it won’t do you any good.
  • Develop a solid environmental and social awareness. Millennials place a high value on social responsibility and environmental stewardship. They prefer to buy from companies that support social and/or ecological projects or have initiated them themselves. Make sure your company is socially conscious and operates as carbon neutral as possible. Attempts to make a positive contribution to society and nature.

What does the future look like: Gen z vs Millennials

Source: OpenAI (image generated with AI)

Millennials are also getting older with time and this means that the next generation is already waiting in the wings. Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, is the population group born after the Millennials. Gen Z is thus also the first generation to have grown up completely with the Internet and been fully integrated into a digital world. These so-called “digital natives” are highly networked, technologically savvy and have a completely different view of brands and consumption than baby boomers.

Gen Z is a very demanding customer group that does not make it easy for companies. They are critical, independent and constantly looking for the best deal. At the same time, they are extremely loyal to the brands they like and trust. To reach this customer group, companies need to adapt their marketing to the needs of Gen Z.

In general, the same tips apply as with Millennials, but with Generation Z, it’s also especially important to stay relevant in a fast-paced social media culture. While marketing for Millennials was still based on attention, marketing for Generation Z now needs to focus on engagement. This means that companies must produce content that not only attracts the attention of the target group, but also arouses their interest and moves them to action. Only openness and flexibility of companies and brands can guarantee long-term marketing success!

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