Getting Ready 4: Marketing to Millennials For the Festive Season in 2021

Updated: Jan 11

Millennials are a very large and diverse group, one that cut their teeth on technology, making them one of the tech-savviest around. Millennials make up the first generation of people to grow up with the internet.

These are some common characteristics of millennials compiled by market research:

  • Almost 90% of millennials own smartphones.

  • 84% of millennials are not a fan of traditional advertising.

  • 90% of millennials are social media savvy and have a Facebook profile.

  • 30% of millennial consumers are loyal to brands.

  • 91% of millennials buy a product if it is recommended by a friend.

  • 80% of millennials are aware that ads are important to brands

Millennial attributes that matter to marketers

Millennials also love to travel and tend to spend more money on food items and clothes. They have been living a highly digital and somewhat self-focused existence, which has been a focus of marketers in promoting services and products to this generation.

Millennials are typically less trusting of age-old marketing tactics and tend to see through tall claims in ads. They are more likely to trust a peer’s review of a product over a celebrity endorsement of the same. But once they convert to a brand, they have the potential to be loyal and talk about it. Social media is a major factor in how millennials consume brand information and a big contributor to their buying journey. How to market to such a smart and savvy market segment is a much-discussed question. The consensus is to be genuine and original in your marketing content.

Why are millennials important to marketers?

Millennials are a large and significant chunk of the global workforce, in fact, by 2025, it is understood that 75% will comprise millennials. The millennial market is reported to consist of around 73 million individuals between the ages of 25 and 40. Millennial consumers are very likely to do a price comparison between products in physical stores and eCommerce websites. 68% of millennials prefer shopping online. Many social media influencers are young, aged between 18-24, and are willing to take to social media to promote products or services on social media for payment or rewards. Their following, too, is largely millennial: 70% of millennials go for YouTubers’ endorsements compared to those of more conventional celebrities.

Marketing to millennials in 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone globally, and millennials are no exception. Being a major chunk of the global workforce, they have dealt with reduced work hours and pay cuts, furloughed or required to take unpaid leave in 2020. Concerns over job security, finances, and mental health in this second recession in recent years have affected millennials, forcing them to rethink their priorities and careers, to focus more on stability and personal growth. Marketers will have to take this changed dynamic into account while trying to build brand value with millennials in 2021. There is a shift from passive consumption to active involvement in more community-centric initiatives, therefore, millennials will have an eye on brands’ ecosocial initiatives. Brand expectations of millennials will mirror this shift during the upcoming holiday season and they will look for more warmth and personal connection before aligning themselves with a brand. According to some industry experts, the 4Ps of marketing really matter to millennials: Purpose, Positioning, Personalization, and Partnerships, and these should form the pillars of marketing to millennials in 2021.

Marketing to millennials in the holiday season 2021

Marketers will have to focus on brand values as well as their choice of advertising medium while marketing to millennials in 2021’s upcoming holiday season and work hard to reconnect with this segment. From a purely tactical perspective, these are the best ways to advertise to millennials:

1. Connect and build relationships with the right influencers, ones that reflect your brand values. Influencer marketing is still big among millennials, therefore honest reviews from a credible source such as a trusted influencer will go a long way in drawing attention and conversions. Influencers often work for rewards, and will promote brands they themselves believe in. Millennials willingly spend more on a product with a cause that resonates with them personally.

2. Optimize your website for every possible device your target segment uses to shop on. If you have a shopping app, make sure the visuals, speed, and payment parameters are up to scratch. Getting the background and infrastructure prepped for rapid sales is an indispensable part of millennial marketing strategy. Millennials will simply lose patience with sluggishly loading pages on mobiles, laptops, or tablets.

3. Create strong and engaging content for social media like Instagram and other social media channels. Use social listening tools to follow and figure out trends.

4. Focus on word of mouth by building a strong brand presence that customers will care about. Ask for reviews from existing customers and prominently display testimonials on your webpage or social media channels. Work on ironing out any customer complaints or preexisting issues before you put the word out for reviews, to minimize the chances of getting negative reviews. Good, authentic reviews go a long way in building your company’s reputation.

5. Involve them in your process. For instance, you can set up polls for choosing the color or look of a new product, or a new foodstuff, and so on. Tap into user-generated content, such as pictures of customers wearing your styles or products, and cross-tag them on social media platforms for maximum visibility.

6. Try to create a sense of urgency or FOMO through timed sales. Millennials thrive on new and exciting experiences and hate to miss out on the action.

7. Don’t ignore the fun factor! Work in some adventure or gamification to keep things interesting. Digital marketing to millennials also works with contests, giveaways, quizzes.

8. Be as original as possible. Get creative with advertising that appeals specifically to millennials. Run focus groups, actively seek feedback and run data and analytics. It is vital to feel the pulse of the millennial market segment and then devise campaigns according to all the data you collect.

If there is one major takeaway in all this, it is this: Stay in tune with the times when coming up with your strategies for marketing to millennials in 2021 and you won’t go wrong!