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Steve Isenberg

Marketing to Millennials – Part 1: Do You Speak Millennial?

Posted on: June 12, 2019

By: Steve Isenberg

Is that even a thing?

If you have to ask that question, you are woefully uninformed about the world in which we live today.

Yes, this huge demographic of our society has its own language and a uniquely diverse perspective about, hmm, basically everything.

The folks born between 1981 and 1997 amount to roughly 80 million people in the U.S. alone who spend close to $600 billion each year. They are educated—almost 50 percent have either attended or are now attending an institute of higher education. Having grown up in the age of household computers and internet access, they are uber tech-savvy.

They are a force to be reckoned with to be sure. And an audience that every marketer should be reaching, which brings us back to the language issue. How does one speak to Millennials?

In 2018, Merriam-Webster released the 6th edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary which included more than 300 new words, many coined-by or considered mainstays of millennial speak. Examples: “twerk,” “emoji,” and “listicle.”

“For a living language, the only constant is change,” says Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster.

The folks at Merriam-Webster get it; how important it is to take the time to understand the everyday lingo of this considerable audience if you want to be in the communication game.

A Millennial herself, Sara Behrendt says, “Millennials have thrown marketers for a loop because we don’t respond to traditional advertising like previous generations did. We simply don’t trust it.”

If tradition is out, what is “in” with Millennials? Behrendt makes these observations:

·         We’re loyal.

60% of millennials said that they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase.

  • We share what we love.

90% of millennials will share their brand preferences online.

  • We’ll see you on social.

38% of millennials said brands are more accessible and trustworthy when they use social rather than traditional advertising.

  • We listen to peers.

93% of millennials have purchased a product after hearing about it from a family member or friend.

Mills have been dubbed as the “me generation,” branded as lazy, temperamental, and discontented. Stereotyped as cheap, fickle customers who only make purchases online.

Thankfully some of these negative labels have been debunked as the world becomes more accustomed to these fun-loving, socially-aware, and entrepreneurially-minded young people. As who they are and what drives them becomes more evident, Mills are becoming linked with terms of a more positive nature. Descriptors such as authentic and engaged, passionate and driven, purposeful, and mission-minded – traits that have a staggering impact on how they receive and perceive marketing messages.

Stop by next time as we delve further into the specific strategies that create marketing campaigns that effectively reach millennials. In the meantime, check out ASJ Partners’ comprehensive, customized marketing strategies that will help you to target cream-of-the-crop millennials and entice them to join your team. Ring us up today!


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