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TUNING IN

A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Keys to Targeting Millennials Using Traditional and Nontraditional Media

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In the last blog post, we explored and confirmed that the Millennial Generation is still reachable through traditional media, but strategizing how to target this specific demographic can be tricky. It needs to be understood that while Millennials are primary buying prospects for many companies, the same, old and recycled marketing strategies that have been used for older demographics most often will not be applicable to Millennials.

So, what psychographic characteristics set Millennials apart? This younger generation is power hungry. They are business pioneers and up-and-coming management. They look for instant gratification, are motivated by new technologies, and prefer flexible or non-traditional work schedules, because frankly, they are always connected anyways.

The core of Millennial marketing strategy derives from interactive engagement. Social media has gifted companies with a flood of feedback and communal communication. Whether a product or service is good or bad, Millennials look for any outlet to share their thoughts. Because of this, they are much more likely to explore brands that attempt to Social Media Marketingauthentically interact with, and appear interested in, their experiences. Interacting with younger generations can be daunting to more traditional management, but even if it is not one’s personal marketing strength, take the time to find the right social media “ambassador” to listen to and meaningfully engage with this important audience.   In the last thirty days, Scarborough Research has observed fifty-two percent of Millennials commenting on a social media post, and seventeen percent becoming a fan or a follower.

With social media sites growing by the thousands each day, professionals may be beginning to wonder what it means for the use of email and whether it’s relevant to this audience. AWeber Communications reviewed essays written by college students commenting on the way communication tools have impacted society. “My peers and I use Facebook a whole lot more than email,” one student wrote, “While email has served to connect people electronically, I think that newer technology and social networking sites are the way of the future,” said another.  The common consensus from these essays was that email is stale and used for business while social networks are cool and effortless.

Now, just because email is perceived as business only communication by some in this audience, it warrants a closer look at ways in which it is deemed valuable.  Many students revealed that coupons and store offers were a huge reason for checking their emails, some creating multiple accounts for different purposes. For companies, this is a green light. Millennials aren’t frugal shoppers like they are perceived to be, they are strategic shoppers. They are still influenced by advertisements and choose to receive them straight to their email inbox, and not a social media site. Remember, this target is motivated by instant gratification and coupons accessed easily deliver that experience.

Radio has long been a traditional, hard-working media resource for marketers and Millennials still look to it as a large media industry. A National Survey from Arbitron Inc. and Edison ResearchThe Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms, shows that radio is the strongest medium in the half hour before consumers arrive to shop. It also showed that seventy-eight percent who say keeping up with the latest music use AM/FM radio as their top resource. As long as Millennials continue tasks such driving and looking for the newest music, traditional radio will continue to be an appropriate  media tactic for reaching younger generations.

Within the last five years, television has effectively worn two hats as both traditional and nontraditional media. From cable to online streaming, television has arguably seen one of the largest media transitions. Millennials want to view their favorite programming through on-demand technologies, and are using different types of media simultaneously while they view it.  The challenge for marketers is to continue producing engaging content Millennials want to view, but do so quickly, cost effectively and make it interactive and readily available. The upside to Millennials seeking out content is that markers can directly target the distinct content locations. Instead of buying advertising time on traditional television networks, consider creating ads targeting specific generations on streaming sites, such as Hulu. Particularly for companies with smaller budgets, this strategy is far more cost efficient as there’s little “waste” in reach as there is with larger, traditional networks.

With many different media platforms available to target younger generations, both traditional and nontraditional, the main area to focus on is brand presentation. Millennials have low recall rates, so consistent marketing is key. Unlike older generations, they are not brand loyal and a bad experience can ruin a brand reputation in an instant as feedback these days spreads like wildfire. Millennials want whatever is favored by their peers. By becoming thoughtfully interactive brand and strategically targeting a mix of traditional and nontraditional media outlets, it can increase Millennial interest and usage of your company.

This is second in a series, click here to read the first.

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