Brands- This Is What the Millennial Generation Wants from You

According to Wikipedia, millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y) “are the demographic cohort following Generation X.” While there is no consensus as to when the generation starts and ends, many official sources put it in the 18-32 age group.

For the last couple of years, companies have tried courting that market, often unsuccessfully. One of the biggest mistakes seems to be the tendency to lump all millennials together in the same group.

But in reality, no two Gen Y’ers are the same. They have very varied backgrounds, opinions, and specific needs and expectations. Oh, and let’s not forget that they are not afraid of telling the world about them. As a result, brands that use supported information to fuel their strategies are more likely to build a more solid advocacy than the rest.

In this week’s roundup, I share some tips to help you get started on the right track.

The Importance of Segmentation

Do you know that there are 82 million millennials in the U.S. alone? Marketers have caught up to that number’s importance. Millennials are bombarded with 5,000 marketing messages every day, a majority of which are interestingly never shared.

Those numbers come from one of NewsCred’s latest studies. The marketing company surveyed 501 millennials to understand the relationship of an audience that could be worth up to $1.4 trillion in 2020 with content.

The Millennial Mind: How Content Drives Brand Loyalty” reveals that there is no room for broad strokes anymore. Getting the attention of Gen Y’ers requires deep understanding of what they want. And what they want is simple: relevancy. Relevancy to their ages (54%), locations (55%), and cultural interests (63%).

`“While your over- arching target audience can be wide, you can’t serve content to a demographic of ‘20-35 y/o males in the US.’,” says the report “It needs to be served to ‘Women, between 23-25, who live off of the Bedford Ave. stop on the L train in NYC, love listening to St. Vincent, and shop at Beacon’s Closet’ or ‘Males between 28-30, who live in LA, listen to Tyler the Creator, and wear head-to-toe Supreme.’”‘

Segmentation gives you the ability to create useful, entertaining, and educational content; and deliver it where it matters the most to your audience. More than 3 in 10 millennials are likely to buy products when this happens.

Millennials have little patience for content that does not add value to their lives, especially if it is too long to read (41%). What rocks their boat, though, are emotions. If your content makes them laugh (70%) and/or is thought-provoking (60%), they will share it.

This may explain why companies like Netflix, Denny’s, or VICE have made a splash in the millennial market. For example, Netflix’s campaign to promote the second season of “Orange Is the New Black” (a Twitter event and hashtag, and a mobile app) attracted in one week more than 98,000 mentions, 98% of which were positive. The company also surpassed 50 million subscribers during that quarter.

Diving into the Millennial Mom Mind

Are you a brand targeting millennial mothers? If so, IAB’ and BabyCenter’s “2015 State of Modern Motherhood: Mobile and Media in the Lives of Moms” may be of interest to you. The study takes a look at the technology and media habits of moms in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, China, and Canada.

Millennial mothers are savvy consumers. Their purchasing decisions are influenced by safety (77%), convenience (65%), value (64%), online product reviews (60%), and recommendations from other parents (51%). They also value products that simplify their lives, especially in Brazil (75%) and Canada (59%). A quarter of moms do half of their shopping online.

Mobile devices are also a big part of their lives. When visiting physical stores, 81% of U.S.-based moms, 79% of Chinese moms, and 73% of Canadian moms will use their smartphones to compare prices, find deals, download coupons, and check reviews, among other things.

Mobile usage also extends beyond shopping. It now outpaces TV everywhere but in the U.K. And even when they watch the tube, moms multitask. They text others (85%), check emails (74%), interact on social media (70%), and research shows (44%).

Let’s talk about social networking for a moment. You will not really find millennial mothers on Twitter or Tumblr, but rather in parenting communities, especially in Canada and the U.K. The reason is that those forums offer tailored brand and product recommendations.

Other platforms of interest include Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. If you target the U.S. and Canadian markets, Pinterest and Instagram may be your safest bets. Youtube has a larger audience in Brazil (29%), while Facebook still works for a quarter of moms in Canada, the U.S. and U.K. 

Takeaway: To draw the attention of millennial mothers, create quality digital ads that are relevant to them and their children. If you can promote money-saving offers and funny content in the process, it’s even better!

In Other News

Facebook upped its fight against cyberbullying with the launch of a Bullying Prevention Center in Singapore. The company also unveiled ThreatExchange, “a platform that enables security professionals anywhere to share threat information more easily, learn from each other’s discoveries, and make their own systems safer.” 

After memorialized accounts, users can now choose a legacy contact to manage their profiles when they pass away. Also, if you have a Facebook page, did you notice the relevance scores that show in ad reporting tools? These scores are calculated based on the feedback received from target audiences.

Facebook’s For Sale Groups have improved features for buying and selling.

MediaPost reports that facial recognition is coming to the social network. In the meantime, check out Facebook’s updated policy. The company can now track your activity on and off the site via third-party partners. These include WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus. According to Search Engine Watch, it is possible to opt out in part via your privacy settings.

Flipboard is no longer a mobile-only service. Now, it is also available for the Web.

Google acquired Odysee, a photo-storage app, and announced the shuttering of Helpouts. Services providers have from April 20 to November 1, to download their history via Google Takeout.

Pinterest banned all affiliate links and changed its contest guidelines. From now on, businesses cannot suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses them or their promotions. They cannot demand that people comment on Pins, pin the rules or from a specific selection / website, or create a minimum number of Pins. Finally, Pins, boards, likes, or follows cannot represent entries.

Pinterest has also partnered with Apple to let users pin apps to their boards from their iPhone or iPad. The app Pins can be installed to your device directly from the platform.  And rumor has it that a Buy button could launch within the next few months.

Prezi has a new app. Nutshell turns pictures into mini-movies.

Twitter unveiled a new tool. Curator allows media outlets to pull together embeddable collections of Tweets and Vines. The company also acquired Niche, a startup that connects Internet celebrities with major brands and help the former monetize their influence.

Expect sponsored Tweets to make up 5% of your Timeline soon…

A voice calling feature is in the works for WhatsApp.

YouTube is testing YouTube Radio, a new feature that creates an automated, non-stop playlist of videos based on the one you are watching. “You can like, dislike and dismiss videos to tailor your Radio Station to your taste.”

According to Wired, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is creating on a new search engine for the Dark Web — websites promoting illegal activities like the weapons trade and sex trafficking. The goal of Memex would be to “help law enforcement and others track illegal activity.”

See you next week for another roundup of must-read news!

Cendrine Marrouat Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

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4 Responses to “Brands: This Is What the Millennials Want from You”

  1. Mailynne

    Great article! I happen to be a social media consultant (and a millennial!) And this is spot on. Although, Snapchat should have been included in this as well, especially for younger millennials.


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