Three Steps to Better Marketing to Millennials

Marketing Innovation

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Three Steps to Better Marketing to Millennials

Marketing Innovation

There are a lot of misconceptions about marketing to millennials today. The biggest one discussed in our RampUp panel, What Millennials Expect From Marketing, was that they are a monolithic group.

While millennials may be anything but homogenous, they share some expectations from marketers today. So if your goal is marketing to millennials then here’s three steps you can take to leverage those expectations.

1. Be entertaining
The first rule of marketing to millennials is that your marketing must be entertaining. “It’s not so much what does the millennial think about this content, it’s if it’s entertaining,” said Marc Battaglia, executive creative director of global creative & content marketing at Marriott.

“If it’s not offering value in the first three seconds, you’re out of luck. You’re going to lose the person.”

What’s important here is to make a lot of content, and don’t be afraid of taking risks. “Don’t be afraid to fail. We put out a lot of content that doesn’t do well, we put out content that people don’t even like,” said Tom Montgomery, cofounder of Chubbies.

This kind of risk can pay off, as it did with the L.A. Kings tweeting in 2012: https://twitter.com/lakings/status/190309931210113025?lang=en

That tweet was one of the most retweeted sports tweets at the time. It tapped into hockey’s culture of trash talking, and fans reacted positively.

“We adopted that personality a lot earlier on, but people were just starting to notice it. A lot of teams weren’t willing to make fun of themselves. So sometimes you have to take a couple lumps to get that buzz, that energy behind it,” said Jon Lowe, SVP of business development & brand strategy at AEG Sports/L.A. Kings.

2. Be authentic
When marketing to millennials on social and mobile channels don’t lose sight of your brand—or your humanity. Millennials expect not only an entertaining content experience, but an authentic one.

One way to do this is to remember the main reason why consumers engage on social and mobile channels in the first place: to keep in touch with their friends.

“How we think of it is, ‘how would a friend interact?’ If we’re getting too salesy, too promotional then we’ve really struck the wrong cord,” said Montgomery.

Obviously, building a brand voice is important, but don’t be afraid to switch it up. “What’s right at one time within a brand might not be right at even another time. You have to be willing and able to adopt and change your voice,” said Lowe.

3. Build a community
If you’re marketing to millennials right, they will rally around you, creating a community that identifies themselves through their affiliation with your brand.

“[We] empower our fans to be our marketers, because their passion and love for our team is stronger when they promote it,” said Lowe.

Community-building on social is often channel-specific, so keep in mind the channel you’re in. “Everything is custom. Understand the medium you’re using and customize your content for that,” said Montgomery.

You can show your customers and community members you care in the online world by sharing their videos and photos as Chubbies does. They receive over 1,500 pieces of user generated content every week, and use that for their social content.

Or you can take it offline. Lowe says that one of the biggest engagement points for Kings fans is on the jumbotron at the games. “Your customers love to see themselves up there, but also other customers love to see who’s a part of the community.”

If done right, your consumers will take your campaigns and multiply them, creating not only better marketing opportunities, but stronger relationships between brand and consumer.

For more about how you can talk to your customers like people, read our LiveRamp IdeaBook: 200 ways to do people-based marketing. Or watch the session for yourself below.

For the rest of the #RampUp17 sessions, click here.