Targeting Millennials Online
Posted: February 14, 2012 | 15:14 ET by Tessa Wegert

You're a master at targeting Generation X. You know Baby Boomers inside and out. But are you ready to take on the Millennials?

Right off the bat this demographic group is difficult to pin down. Not only does it go by many different names (Generation Y, Generation Next, Next Generation, and Echo Boomers among them), but it spans three decades, generally encompassing consumers born in the early 80s right up to 2000. A Millennial can be a young teen or just have turned thirty. How's that for a muddled audience profile?

While I think we're all in agreement that digital marketers should reach beyond the Millennial title when devising their campaign strategies, those who bear it do demonstrate some common traits. A new study from comScore endeavors to identify these among American Millennials, which are relevant to Canadian audiences as well. Here are three features that stand out.

1. Millennials are comfortable with technology. That not only means you can be more experimental with the channels you use to reach them (try a mobile app instead of an SMS campaign, a Facebook game to accompany your branded page), it means you can expect multi-tasking and the simultaneous usage of multiple channels. To capitalize on this behavior, create continuity among your online and offline messages and drive consumers from one medium to the next.

2. Millennials can be difficult to entertain. They've grown up with technology, they think they've seen it all, and it's made them just a little jaded. Grab their attention with innovative ad formats they can't ignore just don't do it at the expense of their content experience (the rules of consumer respect are always applicable, regardless of user age).

3. Millennials are price-sensitive. Most are students still establishing themselves or have just started out on their career path. They're likely to be on a budget. Stand out to them by highlighting product pricing in your ads. Better still reward their loyalty (whether they follow you on Facebook or Twitter or have signed up for your opt-in list) with specials and exclusive offers they're sure to value.

They might be young, but their future purchasing power is enormous. Recruit a Millennial now and you could have a loyal customer for life.






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Tessa Wegert is a veteran media strategist with a background in media planning and buying, content development, ad copywriting, and campaign management. As a prominent industry writer she has been covering digital marketing and technology for leading newspapers and trade publications for over a decade. Connect with her on Twitter (@tessawegert) and LinkedIn.
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