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Why Gen Y Is Passing You By

by Kimberly Smith  |  
June 23, 2009
  |  565 views

Recent research by Scarborough, among others, confirms that consumers who make up Generation Y (aka Millennials, those born between early to mid-1980s and early to mid-1990s) are indeed still buying, but they are also more selective than other generations. Aside from deep discounts, what grab their attention are the tried-and-true and the status-saving must-haves.

So it's time to figure out how to become one or the other—either trusted staple or the next fly thizzle—because deep discounts, as you know, are only temporary.

Rather than attempt to propose the secret to the hearts and minds of Gen Y, let's look at why some of your efforts to reach this demographic might be going amiss.

We had a chat with Josh Shipp, aka Hey Josh, the youth speaker who has taken on a role that is part older brother, part "Dear Abby," and who is all abuzz among teens and young adults. He's figured out what it takes to really connect with this demographic and how to earn its attention and trust.

He shared with us a few tactics that could be killing your game.


1. You're speaking to them as if they're teenagers and not twenty-somethings

Nobody likes being spoken down to, but to really connect with this group, you need to take it a step further—actually talk above their age levels. If they're 15, think of them as 25, and if they're 25, make it 30.

"They don't get a lot of that, so when people do treat them as if they're older, there's usually a good response," Shipp explained. "I like to be sarcastic and play to subtleties, and it works well. It shows that I respect them and think they're intelligent enough to hang and get what I say."


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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via kims@marketingprofs.com.

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