July 6, 2017

A Post-Millennial explains how to market to the New Generations

Scott Fransen - Digital Media Intern

According to my dad, my generation is difficult with everything because we choose to be, and he reminds my brother and me of this regularly. Not that we mean to be, he adds, you just all are. I wonder if his parents thought the same about him? Either way, those of us of the new generations, the Generation Y’ers (aka Millennials) and Z’ers (aka Post-Millennials), seem very focussed on breaking the norms constructed by our parents in all walks of life, from the jobs we choose, to the places we travel, to the things we invest our time in.

It seems just as well that we are also difficult when it comes to marketing. The marketing ploys that worked until now are boring. We want something new and improved! As a member of Generation Z (born in 1996), on the cusp of Generation Y, I feel well(ish) equipped to give a few clues as to what types of advertising are effective on us. So, here are my top 5 tips for marketing to the new generations that will make your campaign stand out from the crowd and grab our attention.


1. Keep it light

Generation Y’ers and Z’ers have lived their entire lives with the Internet. If we get bored or simply can’t be bothered to read something that looks excessive then we won’t! In fact, 30% of users only give content 5 seconds of their time before moving on because of the sheer volume of content that we encounter each day. When I see adverts with a lot of text, I ignore them; as lazy as it sounds, I’m sure many of us are culprits of this. The takeaway: simple, and if possible, amusing adverts will always have a longer lasting effect on us.

One of my favourite examples is this tube ad for Match:

Marketing to Millennials ad1

Clearly, this is quite a bizarre statement, but it’s simple, to some amusing, and to all eye catching. This is something that we will look at and then discuss with our friends. Making a strong and unique first impression is the perfect way to reach us newer generations.


2. Non-traditional techniques are the most effective

What I find most effective in advertising is the use of marketing techniques that stand out from the norm. A simple yet clear-cut message will attract us rather than bore us. Although the example I gave above is a billboard, this is an exception. I don’t usually find traditional print ads particularly effective, and don’t get me started on TV adverts. The problem with TV ads is they are always on, so even if you like the advert at first, after seeing it 100 times it is just annoying, and by that point, you’ve stopped listening. There are exceptions, adverts that are striking, or true, or funny, however, these are rare.

Non-traditional advertising can include advertising through apps or on blogs where there will be a large group of people talking or discussing a theme relevant to a product or brand. But it can also include reimagined versions of traditional ads. I think this billboard is a brilliant example of that:

This billboard is different from what we are used to. It has a creative shape that adds even more to the marketing message and provides a maximum effect on the viewer by catching our attention straight away with its irregularity.


3. Go mobile

“Did you live in black and white back then?” is my brother’s common response when my dad reminds us of the days before all information was just a quick Google away. These days it’s essential to make your ads optimised for mobile screens with a good user interface. After all, we are the first generations to grow up entirely with the Internet and going a day without it is an outrageous statement to some of us. 85% of us own smartphones and mobile Internet usage exceeded desktop usage back in 2015. On top of that, 93% of us download apps for our smartphones monthly, so if you can get some user-friendly and fun marketing in through an app then you’re automatically ahead of your competitors who haven’t latched on to mobile yet.

Mobile Millennials


4. Easy access online for purchasing

Us lot do almost all of our shopping online, more than any other age group. Let’s be honest, it’s easier! I understand my mother’s point that I can’t feel the shirt and try it on like I could if it was in my hands in the shop, but being able to sit in bed while ordering, and often buy it for a lower price than in the shop… is too tempting to resist. If you are selling a product, whether tangible or digital, or a service, then you simply have to tap into the virtual marketplace. You would be mad not to!

Online shopping Millennials

There are a few key points to remember when creating a good online shopping platform. Firstly, you have to make sure to include some nice pictures showing off the qualities of the product and make sure to include a nice description so that the consumer knows as much about the product as possible. This way you will get the shop feel that mum is looking for. Keep the purchasing process simple and ask the customer to fill in as few details as possible. For example, you could provide a time-saving option for customers to purchase your products as a guest rather than having to create an account, thus leading to more purchases. We also love coupons. 90% of Generation Y’ers use discount coupons, so take advantage of this!

The key point here: make your product easily accessible and well-defined online, with a simple purchasing process. Tap into the online purchasing market, which we use extensively, and expect some major success in your campaigns.


5. Latch onto trends!

The Internet moves at a fast pace and its trends are frequent and ever-changing. Rather than investing huge quantities of money on one “stagnant” advertising campaign, you will be better off if you can diversify and quickly adapt to current trends. It’s a lot of work, but the goal is to constantly refresh your ads. Obviously, it’s easier to make updates quickly to digital advertisements. 
I have included this as one of my top tips because we as Generations Y & Z’ers don’t like all the generic adverts that we see all the time, and we see through them quite quickly. So if someone makes an effort to create a different advert with language that we can relate to then it immediately makes us like that product or brand better.

Marketing to Millennial goldfish



We as Generation Y and Z’ers have the attention spans of goldfish, are too lazy to read, and require constant changes of advertising techniques that apparently worked fantastically on past generations. Gosh, we sound difficult! But we are here to stay, so figuring out how to get our attention is critical for your marketing strategy.

But let’s change our perspective for a minute. My generation’s preference for digital is actually a good thing for you because creating digital ads is cheaper than traditional ads. And if you happen to get lucky with an advert that goes viral then you could be a social success within hours.
 The challenge is on you to make an engaging, visual, funny, shareable ad, but when you do, we will make your job a lot easier by using social media to do the marketing for you. So maybe, just maybe, we’re not that difficult!

The five points I’ve mentioned are not the be all end all, but they are a great place to start if you’re trying to get your marketing message to me and my generation. The most important points: be striking, and get us talking and thinking, and you are on your way to success.

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