Marketing is defined as the process of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service. When we reflect on the history of marketing, techniques have certainly changed based on changing trends. The core goal of marketing has not changed even though consumer demands and new technology alter the process. When enough time goes by, it’s easy to see that being nimble and flexible with your marketing strategies pays off. To be relevant consistently, brands must capture the interest of the current market. The 2000s market requires being innovative and doing multiplication rather than addition. Let’s take a closer look at what millennial marketing shows us about marketing in general.
The Rise of Millennials
Since the early 2000s, brands around the world have considered Generation Y a primary target audience. This trend has evolved and grown amid conversation that millennials now have more purchasing power than ever before. They are an on-the-go generation with countless options who seek instant gratification. Current millennial marketing tactics reflect that. Let’s take a moment to analyze them so we glean insight about the enduring goal of marketing.
The Rise of Connectivity
The internet changed all our lives; the mobile internet changed them twice as much. Most of the planet is “connected” all the time, everywhere. We contain the ocean of internet power in the palm of our hands. A lot of the connectivity is people constantly using social media. Social media marketing took off in the past 5 years because networks excel at providing an engaged audience. Millennials have a lot to say and want everyone to hear it. They value brands that enable them to express themselves. Lastly, pictures speak louder than words to this generation. Instagram built a unique platform to satisfy these desires. Brands that want to target millennials flock to spend ad money on this network. The core goal of promoting and selling is achieved. This is the same marketing as ever, just with new clothes and gadgets.
The Rise of Information
Bank of America’s 2016 Trends in Consumer Mobility Report showed millennials even feel anxious without their smartphones. Some of this is attributed to the fear of missing out: if you’re not on social media all the time, a lot of amazing moments can happen without you. The other side of this is users publicize a lot about their personal lives. There’s more sharing now than ever before, a major shift from previous generations when it comes to the concept of privacy. Instead of feeling that sharing online is risky, millennials are focused on the potential benefits of doing so. Millennials’ favorite stores, foods, events and more are out there in the open for marketers to learn from. It’s up to marketers to make those benefits irresistible with exceptional products or services. Again, this has been the case throughout the history of marketing, it’s just a new era for the process of millennial marketing.
The Rise of Personalization
The massive amount of freely given information enables marketers to personalize ads, offers and user experiences. Online activity is traceable and because millennials are the most active, they give marketers the most to work with. Now that strategies can be fully data-driven, this vastly improves the process. Marketers can be hyper relevant, super timely and pivot faster when a strategy is not working. This is crucial for millennial marketing where it was not necessary for previous generations. One catch is that the two way street of social media means brands don’t dominate or control the conversation. Online reviews, comments and even angry rants can have a louder voice than the brand. Even though this situation is new, when handled correctly, the brand-consumer exchange can help companies succeed with their marketing. Creating and investing in a smart marketing process can turn a disgruntled customer into a brand ambassador. For example, take Twitter complaints seriously, choose the right words to show sincerity and resolve the matter quickly. This approach makes it highly likely your distribution of products or services will increase. The methods are brand new, but the goal remains tried and true.
A Note on Gen Z
There’s a lot of discussion about getting it right with Gen Z (anyone born after 1993-94, who would be 22/23 years old or younger at the time of this post). Yes, they will be different from millennials, but every generation diverges from the generation before them. The takeaway here is that if you continually learn and refine, the enduring goal of marketing will carry you through finding the right process.