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Still Fed Up With Millennials? Get Over It.

By Jordan Watkins, NAMA Blogger | 4.1.17

Gone are the days when a singular marketing approach was all that was needed.

Today’s marketing campaigns must be able to effectively target more than just a singular audience, generation, or demographic.

It’s true, a loyal customer is more valuable and affordable to target than a potential one. However, today’s marketers must not only take into consideration their current loyalties, but also audiences from which future brand loyal individuals can be gained.

Such audiences are largely made up of 18-34 year olds. You may know them better as millennials.

Unfortunately, the title often implies a rather negative stigma characterizing these youngsters as some of society’s rudest, most overly-opinionated, and annoyingly-entitled individuals.

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While this may be true to some degree, it is not an entirely accurate definition.

This generation was raised to believe they could become and do anything. As such, they are a generation of ambitious youngsters who harbor a plethoric sense of optimism. They are profusely motivated, overwhelmingly tech tech-savvy, and very well-educated.

Though they may be young, it can no longer be argued that millennials lack the spending power possessed by Baby Boomers and Generation X. Having been employed within the work force for some time now, such an argument is simply no longer true.

Based on information gathered from research done by the Center for Financial Services, Jim Higgins explains how millennials currently earn a collective total of roughly $214 billion annually and are expected to make roughly $3.4 trillion annually by 2018.

In his words, this means that millennial earnings will effectively, “eclipse the earnings of Baby Boomers, who are expected to have an annual income of $2.8 trillion at that time.”

Unfortunately, millennials are not nearly as brand loyal as their parents – and changing that is no easy task.

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Effectively marketing to these youngsters is an entirely different ballgame from days of old. They boast a rather inconvenient average attention span of roughly eight seconds or less. As such, your window for catching their attention and making a memorable impression is shorter than the average Snapchat story.

The only world millennials have ever known is one dependent on technology. A world in which a computer in the home, the school, and every family member’s hand (including their own) has always been the norm.

From day one, these youngsters have not only made personal connections with their closest friends and neighbors, but connections that span across the nation, and even globally.

Their very existence and entire way of communication depends greatly on social media – where popularity is not only dependent on the clothes worn on their first day of school, but also on the restaurants and stores where they check in, and the brands they review and mention in their posts.

With millennials as the target audience, traditional marketing strategies are a waste of time. Instead, millennials want to be impressed. They expect interactively-tailored advertisements boasting content that speaks to an individual’s personality, like “What do your jeans say about you? Everything! Take the quiz to find your perfect style and save 30%”.

As marketers we must befriend this younger demographic. Let’s engage them by getting personal and tell our brand’s story through a cleverly-built social media presence that speaks directly to millennials on a personal level.

You don’t have to like them. But you do need them. They are not only today’s largest and most diverse consumer demographic, they are also the key to the future success of your brand.

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