Sunday, May 8, 2016

CMOs: Creating an Effective Strategy to Market to Millennials

The millennial age group is the most targeted market in the world today, but marketers are having trouble reaching them with more traditional methods. From my interest in marketing to millennials, I have found two articles that provide great insight into the best strategies to use to target this market.

In the publication Entrepreneur, in an article titled “3 Essential Tips for Marketing to Millennials,” Sujan Patel explains that while millennials are an extremely diverse market, it is possible to market to some of their shared characteristics. Patel suggests integrating advertising natively into mobile or digital experiences to reach the 85% of millennials in the U.S. who own smartphones. Additionally, because millennials are the most non-traditional generation so far, Patel proposes targeting social groups rather than life stages to appeal to specific groups within the millennials market. Finally, brand relevance is key to cutting through the noise of an ever-connected market; Patel posits that relevance can be attained when brands engage with consumers and build communities.

Source: Odyssey Online

Fred Porro discusses other strategies for marketers to meaningfully connect with millennials in his article titled “6 Tips for Marketers Who Want to Connect in a Meaningful Way with Millennials” in Adweek. Porro emphasizes the importance of a brand producing engaging content in order to entertain and captivate millennial consumers. He suggests focusing on quality over quantity, so brands should speak to fewer but more influential people. Finally, Porro highlights authenticity as a key element to successful millennial marketing, as this target doesn’t just want to be marketed to—they want to connect with brands on their own terms.

Based on my review of these 2 articles and my experience as a marketer in the Northwestern University Medill IMC program, I have found there are three action items you need to consider:

1.   Target Social Groups, Not Life Stages
a.     Millennials are less likely to identify with traditional life-stage advertising; rather, brands should target specific social identities that millennials identify strongly with.
2.    Use Multiple Channels
a.     Millennials use multiple devices at one time, so it is important for marketers to create a streamlined experience across channels.
3.    Connect Authentically
a.     Millennials are being inundated with brand messaging, and more than ever, brands should focus on engaging the consumer—through influencers, family, and friends—to let the brand’s personality and story shine through.

It is essential for brand managers and CMOs to determine a personalized, targeted brand strategy to market to millennials.


Stephanie Chang is a senior at Northwestern University in the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications Certificate program. She is looking for positions in marketing strategy upon graduation in June 2016. Contact her on Twitter @stephaniehchang.

1 comment:

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