Determining the Right Marketing Method in a Millennial World

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It’s no wonder marketers are spending a great deal of time trying to figure out the millennial mind as they put together their next campaign plan.  Millennials are an intriguing group with a fresh eye and taste for new exciting things.  They’re not just tech savvy, they can teach us a thing or two when it comes to the digital world.  If you win them over with a product they’ll tell everyone they know on social media and what’s better than free marketing? 

Having millennials behind a brand is one of the biggest goals for marketers.  They’re easy to attract being on a computer or mobile most of the day.  They shop, pay bills, get directions, look for the next best recipe, all digitally.  With email, display and retargeting techniques it’s simple to reach millennials with a variety of platforms.

However, with all the time spent targeting millennials, it seems we have lost touch with other important generation groups such as the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and even Generation X.  Whichever generation group we are a part of, we all have one thing in common:  we like to get information easily.  With that said, what’s easy and the norm for shopping, researching and hearing about new brands for one generation, is not for another.  This can often be overlooked with today’s marketing focus.  Marketers are losing connections with older generations while they spend time figuring out the next best digital move to reach millennials. 

Make sure to keep these points in mind when engaging all generations with the right marketing method on their path to purchase:

Attracting a Silent Generation:

  • Direct mail:  a basic marketing method that should not be forgotten with this generation.  They might check email but if you want to get their attention most effectively and assure they get the message in time for a sale for example, send something in the mail or have a catchy ad in the Sunday paper.  While this is not the only way to reach the “Lucky Few” as they are also called, it tends to be a reliable one. 
  • Email marketing is still an option to reach this group but make sure to keep it simple.  Focus on getting the message about your brand out there rather than acquiring new leads for a future campaign.   
  • Have a basic call to action button and avoid embedded URLs in the images.  You’ll miss the people who actually want to learn more on your website if it isn’t clear how to get there.

Keeping the Baby Boomers tuned-in:

  • For so long this group paved the way for marketing trends and what the best methods were for reaching consumers.  They are loyal buyers and believe in products that have been around for ages.  It’s difficult to win them over once they’ve found their tried and true brand but it is easy to target them with dynamic recommendations and with the right enticing offer, maybe they’ll give a new product a try.
  • Fortunately for marketers, Baby Boomers are connected with their email on a regular basis whether it is from their smartphone or checking it on a desktop.  They also are reachable on social networks but it is important to focus on the traditional methods.  You’re not going to find a Baby Boomer on Snapchat; Facebook is much more likely so they can stay connected with their children and grandchildren.  While some may use Twitter and Instagram for example, Facebook is a great avenue to target this generation and also use display/retargeting ads.

Remembering Generation X:

  • With this group consisting of ages 35-50, they can be tough to approach since they share characteristics of both the Baby Boomer and millennial generations, but they shouldn’t be forgotten when setting marketing goals because they are their own kind of “unique.”   
  • Consumers within the Gen X generation have money and are willing to spend it. They’re perfect for large purchase offers such as end of year car purchases or a remodeling of a home.  They’re still loyal buyers but they are easier to sway.
  • While they are a mix of brick and mortar and online shoppers, according to a recent study by eMarketer, seven in ten Gen X’s will make a digital purchase this year with that number expecting to rise to eight in ten before the decade is over.  As you can see by the below breakout of ages, this age group consists of over 70% of online buyers, so don’t overlook their market when setting demographics for your next offer. 

Staying up to date with Millennials:

  • Millennials although younger than the others, still bring much purchasing power to the table.  They are going to go for new products that everyone is talking about.  They’re perfect to bounce test offers off of because they’ll most likely try anything once since they have nothing to lose. 
  • Video marketing is proving to be one of the most effective ways to market to millennials and a new article by Mashable confirms this by reporting that this group is 85% more likely than Baby Boomers to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.  Marketers should help move millennials through the purchase process with the help of videos on their “About Us” page and on social media.  Another interesting statistic from the article states that two-thirds of millennials said they would rather watch a company’s video instead of reading text.
  • With all the social platforms available today, millennials definitely have an advantage in the marketplace.  Marketers should incorporate as many social platforms as possible in their marketing plan to create the buzz with this group.  From Facebook to Instagram to Timehop, this generation will keep us on our toes with new digital marketing methods. 

When it comes down to it, in order to have a strong marketing plan, marketers should focus on the consumer traits and interests from all of these generation groups and by doing so they will set up their brand for the utmost success.  

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Author Bio

Erica Lievens

Erica has worked in Account Management for seven years, most recently joining the team in 2013 in Client Services. Erica has a passion for digital marketing and the ever-changing day to day projects it entails. She loves to express her creative side by providing creative consulting to clients. What excites her most about marketing is that the industry is always evolving, forming new products and trends to learn about. Originally from Southeastern Michigan, she now resides in downtown Chicago. Erica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Michigan State University.