Honing in on Young Consumers: 3 Tips for Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to young consumersThanks to guest blogger, Mariana Ashley.

Millennials — those ranging from 18-to-29 years of age – are by far some of the most stubborn consumers in the market. They’re picky, unfazed by normal marketing techniques, and get annoyed so frequently that every Facebook status you post puts you at risk of getting an “unlike” on your fan page.

So why target this fickle group of college-aged students? Well, the truth is that they’re highly valuable and have some of the most expendable cash floating around. This means they can afford to purchase your products and or services more easily than a married couple with kids could.

However, just because they’re more difficult to attract doesn’t mean they can’t be won over. Here are three tips to help boost your marketing efforts when targeting young consumers:

1. Offer ‘Exclusive’ Coupons

Offer them an incentive for “liking” your Facebook page, following you on Twitter, or subscribing to your website or blog.

As with all consumers, younger generations want to know “what’s in it for me?” Some marketers like to offer consumers free trials or samples to products and services, but an easier way to do this is to offer exclusive coupons and promotional codes via each social media channel—whether that’s Facebook, Twitter or your blog.

Research shows that millennials like to think they’re receiving a deal not just a discount. Two tips to help you achieve that goal include offering them:

Different coupons on each social media platform; they cannot be the same otherwise consumers will think you’re not really offering them anything of value. This also prompts them to add you on all social media platforms.
• Coupons that are for a limited time only. Millennials are more likely to redeem coupons and make purchases when they have a short time frame to respond. Think of the success of the coupon site Groupon. It has been extremely successful with young consumers looking for deals.

2. Hire a Student Ambassador

In short, student ambassadors are unpaid students who, in a way, act as interns. They help pass out fliers to students attending their respected colleges in the exchange for experience (something to put on their resume) as well as the occasional free swag.

As students marketing to other students, these ambassadors seem more approachable and can earn the trust of many young consumers – which translates into more sales for you. Therefore, when you’re looking for a student ambassador, find an individual who has a lot of friends and the power to influence.

In addition, student ambassadors can:

• Help you monitor social media pages.
• Give you better insight to what young consumers like/don’t like.

3. Be a Philanthropist

Last but not least, it’s important for you to show that you’re a philanthropist. This particular generation of young consumers is extremely concerned with living green and giving back to the community. Thus, it’s natural for them to gravitate more towards businesses that demonstrate they too care about the environment and the human race.

Your mission statement doesn’t have to necessarily be like the ever-popular TOMS shoes line (i.e. “With every item purchased, you save a child in need”), but having a semi-annual campaign to bring awareness to issues like poverty or self-esteem can be extremely beneficial.

While young consumers can be a hard target audience to break through to, if you find their soft spot you’ll reap the benefits – converting them from prospects to enthusiastic customers.

About guest blogger Mariana Ashley: Mariana frequently writes about educational topics for www.onlinecolleges.net. She is also interested in writing about online businesses and marketing and may be reached at mariana.ashley031[at]gmail[dot]com.

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