Marketing Blog

Marketing to a millennial

Marketing to a millennial audience and the effectiveness of personalisation

To the Millennial, there has never been the world without the internet. Most won’t know how to cope without it and are unable to imagine using a book to find information when the internet has it just one click away. They grew up with technology and according to Millennials-So-Mobile”>Comscore1 are the most tech savvy group of any generation.

Born between 1980 and 2000 (some say 1995), millennials are considered the most connected group of all time. More than 70 percent of millennials reported being fully connected when they were away from home. Not only are the millennials highly connected, but there is also a vast number of them, making up more than 25 percent of the current population. They also wield more than a trillion dollars’ worth of buying power every year according to a Futurecast2estimate in 2012.

With such a huge, well-connected and affluent group of people, you’d think the millennials would be a marketer’s dream group—but they aren’t. In some cases, marketers and marketing have failed at approaching and selling to the millennial group.

Millennials thrive on online content but not just any content. They are quite discerning, and while willing to engage, they don’t engage with just anything. Instead, they prefer to engage with content that is more reflective of their values and that are personalised.

The average millennial spends about 14-20 hours per week on their phone. In a study done by Zogby3 in late 2014, 90 percent of millennials said that they never leave home without their phone and that they rely very heavily on the phone for researching purchases and even places to go.

• How are they researching and buying online?
• How can you most effectively market to the millennials?

Research shows that the millennial is the heaviest viewer of mobile video content (Business Insider4). They are also active on both image and video rich sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

The millennial generation spends most of their time on social media on mobile phones which are why using social media sources, and personalised email campaigns can be very effective if approached and utilised correctly. Just as with any other target group, if you want to catch the proverbial millennial fish, you need to “fish where the fish are.”5

For the Millennial, that means marketing personalised, engaging and reflective content through multiple channels such as email, social media, video sites, and groups of like-minded people found on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Forbes6 recommends targeting Millennials carefully as they do not appreciate a less than personal experience. Another thing that they don’t like is advertising. Millennials as a whole (84%) do not trust blatant advertising7 and simply allow it to wash over them. Most do not like or buy what they see on television, but if the same product is seen embedded in a mobile video on a social media site, may well purchase and use it.

Another way to advertise to the millennial group is the insertion of a product in a video or image. Product placement techniques can be highly effective. According to AdSpruce8 “adopting a marketing strategy that involves video content via the mobile may be the method in which marketers can efficiently and successfully reach millennials.”

Oddly, with mobile use exceeding that of the PC today9, still many millennials say that they research on the phone but do not purchase from the smartphone, waiting until they arrive at home to buy a product on a laptop or PC. Executives particularly use this method, but even so, the decisions are still being made on mobile devices. That means marketing should be tailored to those who are using smartphones when making buying decisions.

What are the top ways to engage and to market to millennials today?

According to the experts, the consensus seems to be:
1. Keep it all mobile friendly
2. Offer solutions to day to day problems.
3. Suggest, don’t market
4. Give quality social proof
5. Showcase your social values. Millennials appreciate companies with good ethics.

If millennials are your target audience, approach them using these methods, and you will engage them. Millennials take longer to build trust but in the long run, the time spent developing this trusting relationship can be well worth it. However, be mindful never state or even intimate that you are targeting Millennials alone as that can be the surest way to lose your audience completely.
• What do you think?
• What marketing channels do you believe are most effective at engaging a millennial audience?

With thanks to the following sources:


This article was written by Chris Hall, Senior Consultant of JGA Recruitment – the leading Marketing Recruitment Specialists.

If you are looking for expert talent in the field of marketing or digital, then please reach out for a 15-minute ignition call, and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
Chris Hall
Marketing Specialist Recruiter
T: +44 (0)1727 800 377
W: JGA Website