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Today, if you are going to ask numerous business-to-consumer companies about their target market, most likely, “women” and “millennials” will come up several times. That is why it is not surprising that most marketers are targeting these two groups. The purchasing power of these two groups, most especially, those who belong to the intersection, is continuously growing since Generation Y have grown up and joined the workforce. However, reaching female millennials successfully is not always an easy task to accomplish.
Unfortunately, a lot of marketers are getting it wrong. They are making extensive assumptions about these individuals. According to two Advertising Week 2014 panels, using marketing strategies that rely too much on stereotypes and women are proven to be less effective. The executive vice president of marketing at Sage, Gabie Boko, confirmed that these strategies must be eliminated from your playbook.
Boko revealed to Business News Daily that when you are marketing to millennial women, you need to consider that one size does not fit all. This is because not all women are executives, not all women like pink, or not all women are moms. When you are stereotyping your marketing, you are also alienating your potential buyers. The best thing to do is to discover their genuine buying needs and preferences.
The managing partner of Match Drive, Michael Dill, added that marketers often gather all millennials into one big target group and make the presumption that they act and behave the same, however, this is not actually true. Millennials can be compared to colours, they have different shades, and marketers must be able to understand what specific shade are they targeting and why.
The millennials represent a significant part in the market force particularly when it comes to its purchasing power. In fact, they have overall spending of $200 billion each year. 85% of this spending which is equivalent to $170 billion comes from women. This is a lot of money and a lot of marketers are already past behind since 84% of the millennials acknowledge that they do not trust advertising. The following ideas can help in building relationships with these valuable consumers.
If you want to market to this fast-growing, most coveted group, then here are some things that you have to keep in mind.
Research, research, research.
One of the best ways to think beyond the stereotypes of millennial women is to do a lot of research. You need to talk to them directly so you will understand what they want and figure out if this aligns with what your company offers.
Boko further added that you should narrow your focus to the women who are more suitable to your product as well as those who are considered as early adopters. You have to go deeper so you can understand their community. As much as possible, you have to view your brand through their perspective. The time and effort you spent in understanding and learning the women in your market will be revealed in your marketing.
According to the marketing representative of People Pattern, Leslie Canter, it is important that you have to listen to social media conversations since this can help you in learning more about your target group and knowing what motivates these people.
You have to find out what these people are talking about. Canter further added that when it comes to shopping habits, you have to discover what actually resonates these people and what is important to them.
Consider the screen and context.
One of the hardest challenges that brands have to face when reaching the millennial generation is the dramatic change in communication practices brought about by the digital age. Dill further added that marketers need to rethink when it comes to their retail standards and traditional advertising and make sure that they conform to the multiscreen world of Gen Y.
Dill explained that when millennials are watching TV, they are not just there to sit and stare at the screen. Most often, they watch two or more different screens or perhaps they are connecting with their friends while watching. Usually, they stop, go off, and after a while, they come back.
According to the founder of Weddington Way, Ilana Stern, the context of brand connections, for instance, when they are browsing on their smartphone on the subway vs shopping on their desktop while working, makes a great difference when deciding to reach out to millennial women.
Stern also added that millennials are absorbing content in different ways, as a result, their objectives and mindset changed based on this context. Brands have to meet the millennials wherever they are by using simple and sincere messaging as well as experiences that are related to these contexts.
Make a connection.
It is a fact that nowadays millennials have turned to online and mobile shopping, hence, it is important that we should ensure them of a seamless experience in different devices. However, it is also important that you should find ways to connect with millennials through your marketing endeavours.
You need to understand that millennials react to brands differently compared to the previous generations. According to Stern, this is not about brand endorsement or force marketing. The ones that they value the most are the views of their peers and community. Millennials like to get involved and feel informed. This means that they are not just somebody whom you want to market to. You need to connect with them using the values that can motivate them including passion, sharing, happiness, diversity, and discovery.
Millennials give more importance to what the brand stands for rather than the product that the brand makes, according to Dill. For the millennials, they give more importance to the company’s integrity as well as the brand story. Simply put, you have to think about the millennials instead of considering how you want to sell.
Where can millennial women be found?
If you want to market to millennial women then you should find them online. 90% of millennial women are using Facebook each week. At the same time, they also frequently use Pinterest and Instagram. This means that these three social channels offer great opportunities to build a relationship with these consumers. At the same time, it can help in growing awareness for your brand.
Marketers have great opportunities in connecting to these women openly by using hashtags, engaging in online conversations or creating giveaways. This group is likely more attracted to images and funny videos. As a marketer, you have to ensure that both of these can be found in your marketing strategies.
Although it is a fact that millennial women live and breathe online, yet they also trust in-person communications to persuade purchases. Almost 70% of this group is searching for in-person word-of-mouth recommendations from family, friends, and online communities.
The marketing language of millennial women.
If you really want to catch the attention of a millennial woman, then you must be able to speak her language. Most probably, they are looking for information which is more personalized and signifies that you actually understand them.
Millennial women would love to discuss beauty. In fact, almost 80% are saying that they are researching, talking, and thinking about beauty topics. While 75% of millennial women admit that they would like to try any product as long as it is recommended. They are more interested in topics about feeling comfortable with their skin as well as subjects about real beauty.
Aside from fitness and beauty, another popular topic is food. At least 82% admit that they do some research and talk about food regularly. Most often, they love sharing opinions about the hottest new restaurants and bars, posting online reviews and ratings, as well as content about popular new recipes.
How about the houses that they are planning to buy? It is predicted that by 2020, 2/3 of first-time homebuyers will be millennial women either as single or as a couple. The majority of these women or 79% of them would like their home to be a reflection of their personalities and are interested in decorating as a form of self-expression. In this sense, it is obvious that they will be having a constant association with Pinterest and Instagram when it comes to choosing the products and projects that are perfect their tastes by browsing these beautiful online images.
Content that relates.
Smart millennial women are not comfortable with broad, generic content. Typically, they are looking for content that is written specifically for them. It should be in bite-sized pieces so it will be easier for them to share.
Based on the findings of Women’s Marketing, 59% of these women are looking forward to seeing actual stories about families that contain images that are closely related to their daily lives. They are not interested in seeing “glam” moms or dads which they can’t relate to. Hence, it is important to keep it real, if you want to be a successful marketer.
It is important to understand that millennial women are not a one-size-fits-all group. Between the oldest and the youngest women, the age gap is 15 years. So, it is important that marketers should recognise which millennial group they are relating to. Brands must be able to generate unique, proper content using the appropriate platforms in order to have a successful engagement with the specific millennials that they want to target.
The new generation of women today is devoted to making the world a better place. They use their purchasing power so they can support the brands whose values match with their own.
Nowadays, you must be able to recognise the three bottom line that exists – planet, people, and profit. Smart brands must have a goal or movement that concurs with their own core values. They must exert effort in order to entice their millennial audience to become part of that movement.
Ultimately, influencer campaigns are extremely important with this group since they view this content as a trusted friend which provides them information or a recommendation that matches their own ideas and expectations. However, if you are considering a celebrity influencer then you have to think again. Unfortunately, only 10% of these women are enthusiastic in seeing celebrities in the content they absorb.
Understanding the millennial consumer profile.
Ongoing engagement is important to keep the millennials engaged and feel that the brand is adding essential values to their lives. According to studies, most millennials don’t like brands that obviously sell to them. On the other hand, brands that sell by offering new, strong, relevant information will be more successful and can possibly create repeat engagement.
Brands that provide content which can improve a product or service while penetrating into the millennial interests gives more relevance to the brand. For instance, when a brand joins a cause its audience will provide ways to enhance the experience by using a product. So, this brand has provided significant value for the millennial consumer.
Some food brands offer content that can help millennials in creating that perfect restaurant-quality meals or in hosting an event using the brand’s product. Those brands that embrace this strategy are considered as an asset to the millennials’ needs, permitting them to become more than their products and services. As a result, these brands were able to provide an experience that this generation wants.
Brands that offer more substance to their offerings and give more details on why they are relevant can give millennials more reasons for making them part of their lives. Additionally, the more likely that they will be sharing your brand to others, helping your brand build loyal followers. With this generation, the key to making a successful brand is to have an open, relevant, and ongoing conversation.
The biggest challenge of any brand is to figure out what is more relevant for the millennial audience. Most brands have a Facebook account, provides content, and posts on Twitter, however, they do this with limited success. Millennials have different desires, tastes, and goals. Some even believe that organic products can be beneficial to their health while others prefer grab-and-go solutions that won’t take so much of their time but still others appreciate both.
Eventually, reaching out to millennial women does not have to be difficult. What marketers need is to simply take the time to understand them and recognise what they want to hear.