Guerrilla Marketing to Millennials
By Ella Wilson
Millennials are bombarded by advertising every waking hour, and have been since they were infants. As such, they’ve learned to tune out the advertising “noise” that used to work wonders on previous generations. Guerrilla marketing (using innovative, unconventional marketing methods) is THE choice for marketing to millennials because it’s attention-grabbing, interactive and plays to millennials’ sense of playfulness.
Why you need to market to millennials
If you’re not marketing to millennials (those born between approximately the late 1980s to the early 2000s), you’re missing out on more than $1 billion in U.S. consumer spending every year (Cone Communications Social Impact Study of 1,200+ U.S. adults, October 2013).
These kids have got money to burn – or rather, they’re burning money whether they have it or not. Millennials are notoriously unemployed and over-educated, living with their parents and drowning in student loan debt. However, millennials continue to spend, and spend they do – mostly on purchases that pander to their now-famous need for “instant gratification” rather than what their parents invested in when they were that age – like a house, a car or retirement planning.
Guerilla marketing: The choice of a new generation
Before the Internet (and the birth of the first millennials), marketers relied on strategies that appealed to their largest audience – Baby Boomers (those born from 1946 to 1964). Marketing to Baby Boomers was rather formulaic – appeal to the most popular character traits that defined that generation: individuality, strong sense of self, admiration of knowledge, and aversion to authority – and hope for the best.
But Baby Boomers came of age before the Internet, 9-11, the recession, big bailouts, and, most importantly, the Internet. Millennials grew up watching their parents lose their jobs, fight for gas, and struggle with the skyrocketing cost of living … while at the same time living under the threat of global terrorism and political scandals every time they turned on their 24-hour news networks (which their parents also did not have).
Experts believe this high-stress upbringing lead to some of millennials’ most recognizable traits, such as:
– Less trust and more skepticism
– Great involvement with their families
– Incredible savvy with technology
– Reliance on social media for research and social connection
– Preference for instant gratification over long-term planning
– Greater ability to “tune out” unwanted messages, such as ineffective advertising
Get millennials’ attention with Guerrilla Marketing
To get the attention of the jaded Gen Y, you’ve got to get creative. Bold. Unexpected. Guerrilla tactics are the best way to engage your millennial leads and turn them into lifetime customers.
Guerrilla email marketing
Millennials value social connection, and email marketing panders greatly into their desire to connect with the companies they do business with. Using systems like Infusionsoft, which can track clicks and activity within an email campaign, marketers can send their customers messages like, “I see that clicked that last video. Here’s another one you might like.” This makes customers feel valued and piques their interest, a great tactic especially with millennials – who are very unaccustomed to boredom.
Viral videos, of course, are a huge hit these days, many times getting actual news coverage. But beware. Make sure your viral video actually sells your product. It’s great to get laughs and build name recognition, but if you’re not selling your service, viral videos have little bottom-line effect.
Respect the reviews
Millennials have had access to the Internet, smartphones, and social media since they were in diapers. They are the best informed generation of shoppers of all time. You can bet that they have researched your products and company thoroughly before making a large purchase. If you have bad reviews, that’s going to instantly eliminate a large portion of your potential millennial leads. Take care of bad reviews ASAP with reputation management.
Most millennials are at the perfect age to live with roommates or spouses. If you create an ad that millennials will talk about, they most certainly will! Word of mouth exposure is the best free advertising you’ll ever buy.
Please them and win
Millennials are known for their tech savvy and social media addictions. If you satisfy millennial customers, they are more likely to hop on your website, Yelp, social media, or other review sites and leave a review. They understand how important it is in their own shopping experience to look at reviews, and their desire to be socially conscious drives them to “help” other customers by providing feedback. But cross them, and you WILL be sorry.
Need guerrilla marketing tailored just to your business?
GetUWired provides custom guerilla marketing solutions to clients all over the globe. To discuss guerrilla marketing solutions to your business’ advertising woes, give GetUWired a call at 877-236-9094 or visit our website at www.GetUWired.us.