The advertising industry has evolved a lot since the days of characters like Don Draper from MadMen. Gone with them is the time when television and the daily newspaper were the main sources of content. For the new generations of consumers—millennials in particular—television ads with big slogans and catchy tunes are not enough.
Such an audience is interested in a meaningful and stable flow of information. It, therefore, relies heavily on recommendations on the Internet: Andrey Kravchenko, business development manager with advertisers at the Taboola native advertising platform.
In 2019, millennials overtook baby boomers in terms of demographics. Millennials in 2021 are more willing to shop online than ever before, so we have the pandemic to thank.
They are willing to pay higher prices for premium items and experiences. The budget for “luxury” in this case is more often distributed between the categories “fashion” and “technology”.
Millennials are highly concerned about their social responsibility: they are ready to refuse to support their favorite brand if it does not demonstrate a commitment to similar values (for example, it is not a supporter of renewable resources). However, millennials are also fairly loyal and usually find a brand in every product category that they consistently shop from.
Here are six factors to keep in mind when working with millennials in 2021.
Factor 1. Brand Authenticity
Since millennials prefer consistent and authentic brands, one of the key marketing challenges is to align a brand’s core message with its values. The values themselves must be defined and expressed in principles that brand representatives genuinely believe in. You shouldn’t formulate a message based only on the desire to please a specific audience – the audience will notice the inconsistency and react immediately.
When the values are authentic, they will be displayed organically. For example, the commitment to inclusion is often reflected in product photos, which will feature models of all shapes, genders, and backgrounds. If the brand stands for sustainability, its contribution to reducing the carbon footprint will be expressed, as an option, using sustainable packaging.
Values are not only talked about: if you have to develop an entire advertising campaign to prove that you are for A or B, chances are your values do not match either. Your millennial audience will not hesitate to switch from one inconsistent brand to another without seeing commitment in action.
Factor 2: Comfort and convenience (UX)
Millennials are often willing to pay extra for conveniences, such as fast shipping or high-quality packaging. Most major brands have already adapted to such requests.
A case in point is Walmart. Not wanting to fall behind Amazon’s 24-hour delivery service, the company has increased the number of stores offering similar delivery to more than 3,000. Such an expansion, although costly, has only benefited.
If millennials find it difficult to interact with a brand, they will turn to another.
Convenience also matters in digital: the user interface should strive for an unattainable ideal at each stage of interaction.
Factor 3: Personalization
Personalized marketing is no longer a new concept; it is the norm of current realities. One way to improve and scale your ad campaigns is to rely on the data you collect to create personalized ads.
Building creatives based on customer imaginings won’t help, especially since your customer demographics constantly evolve. In a creative rush, what you come up with may attract fewer potential customers than you expect: be prepared to dive into cold numbers to understand the reason.
You need to create every advertisement and commercial message with data about your end-user in mind, offering optimal solutions to real people.
Factor 4: Long-term work
Focus on building long-term relationships with your customers. A quick conversion can lead to a one-time sale, but once a millennial converts into a loyal customer and develops brand loyalty, they are likely to remain faithful for a long time. Since existing customers are more valuable than new ones, it makes sense to focus on them.
Factor 5. Diversity and Inclusion
Most millennials demand equality and change, and your brand should reflect those values. Even if you deliberately single out a specific group of people, you are unlikely to realize the potential of your target audience if you exclude a number of customers in the process.
In 2020, for example, many beauty and skincare brands had been lauded by their audiences for their lack of inclusivity and limited range of shades. Brands like Dove and Aerie, who have always embraced inclusion, have maintained their appeal and even increased it.
Factor 6. Nativity
Most millennials prefer native advertising because they prefer a non-aggressive form of marketing. They have less confidence in traditional formats, which are often overly straightforward or biased.
Millennials are less likely to succumb to pushy and persistent sales offers – the so-called hard sell. This means that native ads are more appropriate for this generation as they fit in organically with recommendations from websites that the audience interacts with.
The medium in which your ad is placed needs to be contextually relevant to the ad itself, so choose your visuals and text carefully. The audience is aware that there is an ad and sees its purpose, so try to design your ads to display them as organically as possible.
Nadezhda Marueva, CEO of Getintent
A data-driven strategy is not only useful; it is in demand by the advertiser. All advertisers want to know more about their active audience, be able to segment it, and address a personal offer to each user.
In addition, even against the background of the growth of data types and their sources, an understanding is gradually coming of which cases and how to use the data. This is due to experiments on different kinds of tasks.