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Six Tactics for Successfully Marketing to Millennials

by Dave Hawley  |  
September 17, 2014

As Millennials—the generation born in the US between 1980 and 2000—gain greater buying power and increasingly influence commerce, marketers and brand managers are looking for new ways to engage them.

Developing a Millennials-focused marketing strategy is a must: They are, after all, the largest generation by number, comprising 79 million people, and they already have enormous purchasing power—$170 billion per year.

Like the generations that came before them, Millennials have unique generational characteristics; successfully marketing to Millennials therefore involves a shift in tactics and strategy. It requires an understanding of what works with this generation—and what doesn't.

Here are six ways you can develop a more effective approach with Millennials.

1. Redirect your online advertising budget

Many marketers assume that because Millennials are frequently online, online ads are the best way to reach them. But a 2013 survey by SocialChorus (my company) found that just 6% of Millennials trust traditional online ads. In fact, Millennials are incredibly adept at ignoring online ads, with many reporting that the ads have become completely invisible to them.

To reach Millennials, redirect the portion of your marketing budget invested in traditional online ads to something that works.

2. Understand—and harness—Millennials' social media sharing tendencies

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Dave Hawley is VP of marketing at advocate marketing solution SocialChorus.

LinkedIn: Dave Hawley

Twitter: @DaveHawley33

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  • by Daniel Cole Wed Sep 17, 2014 via web

    This is a great article! Thank you. I have a loaded question for you, Dave, or anyone else who may know the answer: In direct sales, if my product doesn't necessarily target the Millennials' market but the opportunity behind my company is targeting them by offering special , should I expect the number of Millennials on my team to grow after I have one because their peers will trust what they are saying over myself? Or do you think that if I adapt the above six tactics that I'll be just as effective as it would be coming from their mouths? Do you have any studies regarding their trust in other generations? Thanks so much for a response! And once again, great article! Daniel

  • by Vaughn Wed Sep 17, 2014 via web

    In our experience, an effective way to capture Milliennial mindshare is to create an outlet to discuss, review, and interact directly with a brand in an authentic way.

    If interested, here is another, similiar POV on Millennials:

  • by Dave Hawley Wed Sep 17, 2014 via web


    I am glad you enjoyed the article.. Typically, if a person can self-identify with the brand representative, the message it is better received, so yes, if you can hire millennials to market to millennials, I suspect you would be better off. I hope that helps.

  • by Eddie de Jong Thu Sep 18, 2014 via web

    Great article!

    I have recently identified my target market as Millennials and am now researching how best to engage with them. This certainly helps.

  • by Meredith Thu Apr 2, 2015 via web

    Great article, Dave. What brands, in your opinion, are doing a great job marketing to Millennials?

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