While attending an emergency preparedness workshop last week, there was a robust discussion regarding the role of social media in an emergency. There were two groups of people that discounted social media.
- First, there were those people that reside in rural areas. They argued that cellular coverage was spotty, 3G and 4G networks virtually non-existent. They needed a more reliable communication method in an emergency.
- Second, was a distinct generational gap – the Baby Boomers in the room (born before 1964) were unanimous in denouncing the importance of social media.
Interestingly, there was a group of Millennials (born after 1984) in the workshop who were unanimous in stating the power of social media. Full disclosure: I am in Generation X (1965-1984), and in this workshop the Gen Xers were divided about the importance of social media.
The generational gap became an interesting discussion among the small group of marketing professionals. The following are the differences I see in marketing to Boomers v. Millennials.
|Advertising Method||Unwelcomed Interruption||Engagement|
|Advertising Content||Features and Benefits||Sincere Authenticity|
|Desired Result||Repeat Users||Engaged Participants|
|Expectations||Big Promises||Personal Gestures|
|Never Return||Broken Promise||Corporate Shill|
Marketers have figured out how to position their products and services to the Baby Boomers. However, for many, it is a new frontier in marketing to Millennials. Here are a few tips:
- Companies must develop a participation strategy in order to engage Millennials. This is not a quick fix; patience, consistency and long-term commitment are key factors to success.
- Companies must provide a way to make Millennials look good to their peers. All you need to do is look at the way Apple markets products. The white earbuds of an iPod became an iconic symbol. If you had the earbuds, you were identified as part of the inner circle.
- Millennials strongly desire to be part of the solution supporting a greater cause. They favor employers who actively support charitable organizations and they purchase products and services from companies that are active with altruistic endeavors.
- Mobile presence is no longer negotiable if you are targeting Millennials. It is not just access by smartphone; they are also using tablets and gaining knowledge about your company through mobile apps.
All in all, if you want success in marketing to Millennials, you should seriously consider utilizing these four tips. Even better, when combining these tips with a reward program that provides genuine value as compensation for loyalty, you have a winning formula. Because what Millennial doesn’t like ‘free’ compensation.