Four Myths About Marketing to Millennials

Last year, Millennials overtook Baby Boomers as the largest generation. But if you’d like to persuade them to do business with you, these four myths could be undermining your efforts.

Myth #1: They Don’t Watch TV

While they’re not sitting in the recliner with the remote, millennials are watching plenty of television. In fact, they’re consuming more total video than anyone. And a ton of it is TV programming. They’re just watching what they want, when and where they want, on the screens they want.  

Of course, that changes the way you have to reach them, from the traditional 30-second TV spot to pre-roll to OTT. What it doesn’t change is that you have to get their attention fast, then keep it. That’s where most advertisers fail.

Myth #2: They Don’t Read Mail

Some stats:
84% of Millennials take the time to look through their mail.
90% think direct mail is reliable.
57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers.
87% like getting direct mail.
64% prefer it to email.

Again, they just don’t like boring, bland messages. So don’t waste your money if you’re not going to make it worth opening.

Myth #3: They Aren’t Brand Loyal

This is just nonsense. Every single study that measures actual buying habits shows that Millennials are as brand loyal as anyone (although people in general aren’t as brand loyal as you might think). And here’s a bonus — they tend to advocate for brands they love on social platforms.

Myth #4: They Ignore Ads

No, they don’t. They ignore annoying or clichéd or just plain mediocre ads, which sadly means the majority of them. But they click, call and otherwise respond to compelling ads just as previous generations have.

The Takeaways

Millennials don’t all behave the same, any more than members of any other generation do. But they do respond in a positive way to the same things that motivate anyone — humor, clarity, candor and ingenuity, for example.  

Like everyone else, you can’t bore them into buying something. And because they’re occupying more and more management positions, this applies to all you B2B marketers out there, too. If you can’t excite and engage them, you’ll never have a shot at getting them to buy from you.

And while diversity is your friend, maybe stop being so…bad at it. Quit using the stock photo or video that shows every single kind of human being. Pander less. Be more genuine. Let empathy drive your marketing. And you might be surprised at the number of Millennials — and others — who take your brand more seriously.