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Millennials – the White Whales of Advertising

According to the most recent Census Bureau estimates, 2015 is officially the year that Millennials have passed Boomers as the largest generation, representing more than 80 million people in the country.

Matt Mauriello  |  August 4, 2015
Millennials – the White Whales of Advertising

According to the most recent Census Bureau estimates, 2015 is officially the year that Millennials have passed Boomers as the largest generation, representing more than 80 million people in the country. It’s also the most diverse generation, with more than 44% of them identifying as a minority race or ethnic group. But, even with so much information and research readily available to marketers, this group remains elusive.

Millennials - the White Whales of AdvertisingAfter the economy tumbled into recession in 2007, Millennials saw the effect that big business and financial institutions had on their world. Though they had wanted to enter the workforce to start their lives after college, what they found was a job market without openings or security. And to make matters worse, many Millennials were starting in the red with sky-high student loans. It’s no wonder their trust of brands typically starts with skepticism. Given these experiences, brands need to show their authenticity and transparency in order to gain the trust of Millennials. This generation sees through the BS marketing tactics that have worked in the past. They want real, on-the-level brands that talk with them – not at them.

It’s also made them extremely price conscious. Millennials are constantly using technology to find the best value. But, this means that brand loyalty and interest only last until the next best deal comes along. What this also means is that it is absolutely vital for marketers to stay on top of their competition. If this generation feels like a brand ‘gets them,’ they will remain loyal, but only up to a point. Marketers need to make sure Millennials see the value in their brand, both from a price and an interest standpoint, or loyalty will never have a chance to form. Marketers need to make sure Millennials see ‘what’s in it for them.’

The beauty of this time in advertising is that brands can try a host of tactics to see what’s working best with this target. We live in the ultimate ‘test and learn’ period. With a multitude of platforms, devices, the ability to customize and personalize, and the availability of real-time results attached to everything, marketers are constantly learning from this generation. And while the formula that defines success in this space has yet to be discovered, brands will inevitably find a way to be relevant to this audience and unlock the power that goes along with them. The generation of Millennials is here to stay, so how will you join them?

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