Get In Touch 020 7060 3121


How To Really Market For Millennials in 2016
Emily Theodore | 31 Mar

Brand and marketing experts consistently seek to understand ‘The Millennial’, yet it’s an evidently broad categorisation to follow. As with any other cohort, there are misconceptions, assumptions and sometimes simply poor insight in identifying what this mass market really wants.

In a nutshell, gearing a brand towards ‘all Millennials’ is just not good enough anymore. The pushy, paid-for marketing methods of last year won’t be as effective in 2016. With a whole list of changes predicted to transform future user experience, marketing will need to prioritise genuine, meaningful strategies over grabbing at empty numbers.

Here’s what you really need to know about targeting your marketing strategy to Millennials (and everything in between) in 2016.


Quality, Not Quantity

With Instagram’s recently updated algorithm this past week, we can predict that social media platforms in 2016 will collectively continue to prioritise relevant, valuable and ‘worthy’ content for their users. This means the death of heavily targeted marketing and, with ad-blocking software on the rise, this really does require a more custom and personal approach to your marketing strategy. Goodbye to buying your Facebook likes, hello to connecting with genuine followers. Even if this means losing out on a few of them, it means holding on to the right ones.

Experience Beats Digital

Brands will need to create innovative opportunities for consumers to directly engage with their service or product. Maybe it’s a street pop-up to tap into a teenage phenomenon, or maybe it’s an exclusive, private function for a high-end market. The ideal reaction would not only push immediate sales and generate awareness of your offering, but also communicate a powerful message that can be viewed and shared online.

Millennials, in particular, prefer the excitement of partaking in or sharing an experience versus the possession of a product. Lifestyle brands can especially play on this, as they connect people to a certain culture and mindset that is beneficial. In an expanding digital world, brands will look to offer quality experiences for their target market that are memorable and meaningful.

Virtual Reality Will Be Big

If anything, VR is an add-on to the Millennial lust for the ultimate experience. Mostly used now in the gaming and entertainment industry, brands across other sectors will utilise VR technology around their own product, service or message to excite and surprise their market. This can work wonders for venues – imagine an interactive tour on Google of a restaurant interior, or a hotel room.

We especially loved this recent example from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of using VR technology effectively. Through a collaboration of a surfer, a dancer and a 360-degree camera, VR was used to give people living with dehabilitating diseases the possibility to physically achieve what they otherwise couldn’t – surfing on the ocean. The campaign, supported by the hashtag #WeAreStrongerThanMS, not only encouraged others to share their personal experiences of diseases but raised awareness with the wider public.

Real-Time Looks More Genuine

Scheduling planned content won’t feel as convincing compared to real-time content. Other than faster response times on Twitter, this is likely to play out in live streaming video, which in 2015 began heating up with apps Periscope and Meerkat. Given the higher demand for this medium, we may even see a rise of competing video platforms that offer informal video capture and sharing.

Why is live streaming seen as more genuine than an instantly-uploaded selfie? Because it’s ultimately the most authentic visual content available. Forget editing and filtering – sharing raw footage of ‘now’ makes it spontaneously genuine and, if done correctly, can bang out viral results. The US Presidential elections this year are expected to heavily feature this medium, so alongside this example we will be watching how brands will tap into the same level of transparency to promote themselves.

Consumer-Friendly Websites

Appealing web design that scores high with user experience is an increasingly big fat must this year, for two important reasons. Firstly, a well-designed website, particularly one that prioritises mobile devices, is far likelier to engage and win back users. If linked well to successful social media pages, this could have a positive impact on both social media and SEO analytics.

Secondly, many smaller brands will have to increasingly compete with larger e-commerce websites, such as Amazon or Group-On. At the end of the day, you want users to be sitting on your own company website instead. What can you add to your content that would outshine the biggest commerce sharks of the Internet? Think quirky, engaging and shareable – something unique to your brand

Sharing Knowledge Through Marketing

Why share your expertise, product or even service for free? This year, it’s all about giving back to customers with your love and care. It’s predicted that providing some kind of free service as part of your marketing campaign can properly win over customers who are interested in and who want to benefit from your brand.

Think bigger than sketchy blog posts on your website. It could mean a free consultation or starter session. Starbucks, for example, recently released over fifteen years’ worth of coffee tasting notes through a free web-based app that until now had only been revealed to employees. Now that’s really useful content.

Keep brand love real and relevant.

By Emily Theodore