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How to Market to Millennials Without Pandering

by AJ Reardon  |  
September 16, 2016

People like to be catered to, but they tend not to like being pandered to. That's doubly so when they're being marketed to. A campaign that leaves people feeling like they're being talked down to or patronized is not going to inspire a lot of brand loyalty.

We Millennials are especially quick to notice when advertisers are pandering to us. We've grown up surrounded by advertising, and we've seen the dozens (hundreds?) of think pieces written about us and our buying habits.

So this Millennial is here to give some advice on how to actually reach the young customers you want to attract.


The first and most important step is to remember your market segmentation. Millennials are no more a monolithic group than any past generation of 18-34-year-old consumers has been. What appeals to one group of us may outright offend others.

Let's look at two segments of Millennials. We'll call them "Trendy" and "Eco-Conscious."

Trendy Millennials...

  • Are looking for what's new and hot
  • Love fast fashion and shopping
  • Have to have the newest phone with the best camera for taking selfies
  • Follow their favorite celebrities on social media
  • Enjoy trying out new social media platforms for chatting with friends
  • Have fast-evolving slang
  • Want to try the newest food crazes

Eco-Conscious Millennials...

  • Are always looking for ways to reduce their ecological footprint
  • Love clothes that are timeless and will last for years.
  • Upgrade their phone only when it finally stops working
  • Follow their favorite activists on social media (OK, and probably celebs too!)
  • Use social media as a platform for their preferred causes
  • Are steeped in the latest social-justice terminology
  • Are often locavores or vegans, or eat organic

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AJ Reardon is a content creator and project manager at Ani Marketing Service.

LinkedIn: AJ Reardon

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  • by Ashlye Etgen Fri Sep 16, 2016 via web

    I like this article... I work on projects where we use audience targeting on mobile devices. By targeting your buyer and putting a relevant message to that specific demographic your going to generate more interest in your brand. Although, it doesn't just apply to a Millennial.... Mobile display advertising and audience segmentation is definitely going to be a huge component to many marketing campaigns and will only continue to rise. [This comment edited by MarketingProfs]

  • by Randy Byrne Fri Sep 16, 2016 via web

    Excellent advice, especially for a non-millenial like me.

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