Marketing to Millennials: Be prepared to be voted off the Island
It is hard for any of us to face harsh reality. I realize that I will never be one of the 80 million Millennials who control more than 1.3 trillion of direct spending power. I wish I was born between 1977 and 2000. There are days I act like a Millennial when I am predictably unpredictable according to my staff.
The Millennial generation marks the end of the passive consumer. The path to purchase from this Generation is no longer a linear model. They have all been raised in the paradox of choice and their voices will be heard.
Millennial Rules of Engagement:
- Do not tell me you and your brands are the best. I will decide for myself.
- We are in this together with you for now.
- We want truth and transparency.
- We live in the real world. We choose content and relationships only with Brands we want to spend time with.
- We are the Innovation Generation.
As Marketers, we need to recognize how Millennials view the world. They are a generation that was raised with Reality TV. From American Idol, the Real World, and Survivor, they are open and honest as well as dismissive. They demand Real Time participation and instant gratification. This selfie Generation believes like the Kardashians every day is picture day.
They live in the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. Marketers need to address this generations needs for participative benefits that are both financial and emotional. Millennials want to do business with people and Brands who want to change the world. Brand behavior is the new Brand positioning. Companies that challenge conventional wisdom and create disruptive innovation will meet the needs of the Millennial Consumer. Like Survivor, you don’t want to find yourselves voted off the Island. Will your company and brand receive immunity and be voted as the winner? The Millennial tribe has spoken.