They’re powerful, they’re individuals and they have massive buying power! Yes, marketers, I’m talking about the ‘Millennials’. As millennials enter their prime earning years, they’re cutting the cord. Millennials are rejecting traditional advertising and shifting over to more real-time and on-demand forms of social advertising and digital. It’s time to wake up and drink the ‘Millennial Gluten Free Premium Kool-Aid’!

From a psychological perspective as it relates to marketing and purchasing, it’s sad yet simple, but millennials believe they are entitled and individually influential (and they are). As marketers, we have to remove our lens, replace it and see through the eyes of the twenty-somethings.

Here’s the answer on how brands and agency marketers can communicate to the new breed:

  • We have to use tools like social, online media and focus on the halo effect that these young people use to connect

  • Millennials view brands as their friend, and view relevant connections to drive purchasing decisions

  • It’s about engagement over audience

  • It’s about education and awareness

So how do we strategize for targeting millennials?

It’s a matter of doing these three things:

  1. Align with the interest(s) of what your audience is watching;

  2. Differentiate yourself from others and;

  3. Show advantage, meaning how your audience promotes millennial buyer.

Think about it. Millennials are multi-channel communicators. They use high-growth technology apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Periscope. Unlike boomers, millennials engage and communicate differently than all other groups. Therefore, we need to think and act differently.

Experimenting will be crucial.

Test different ways to drive prospects to engage whether a sweepstakes or physically driving that prospect group to the store. For example, a car dealership would entice a potential buyer based on their lifestyle. Doing this will better capture interest from the customer versus promoting product reviews.

Another example: If millennials are using YouTube, that’s the place to be. If it’s Facebook, go there too. The answer is multi-layered, not by old-school tactics, but by this group’s interests, content they’re interacting with and most importantly SHARING on their social networks.

At the end of the day, we as marketers have to make them look good, make them feel good, and entertain them. Challenge accepted?