Stop selling Millennials

Fresh on the heels of a website project “targeting” this group, I did a lot of research on “Millennials”—people born between 1977 and 1995, which, if your math skills are as good as mine, I’ll spell out for you: people who are 20 to 38 years old.

Therestop-selling-millennials-says-writer’s a load of stuff written about these guys, most of it designed to teach us marketers how to take their money as they enter their “prime spending years.”

Quite frankly, a lot of what I read about marketing to these people is what I find appalling about marketing in general.

Most tips are a list of do’s that let you tick off boxes on the way to making a sale, rather than a way to give a damn about the person you’re attempting to reach.

I call bullshit. Here’s why.

Millennials are people, just like everyone else. You can’t just tick off a list. “Market with them not at them” doesn’t mean anything. Hearing they’re “more Internet savvy and social” and putting an Instagram icon on everything doesn’t cut it either.

Find common ground. Find the stuff they tend to like that YOU ALSO LIKE so you have a reason to have a conversation.

Listen to new music and find the artists and songs you also like that they tend to like. For example, I’m a huge instrumental electronica fan, and it happens that Flying Lotus, Deadmau5 and Beats Antique are some of the artists I like. I have a Spotify playlist called Curated Instrumental Electronica. It’s not a box tick to reference this stuff or let it influence my creativity because I’m into it.

Maybe you’re a gamer. So play games that Millennials tend to like and see which ones you like too.

Or binge-watch Fargo, The Walking Dead or Pretty Little Liars. Can’t wait for the next episodes? Great. If not, move on.

Stop ticking boxes. Find common ground. Respect your audience.

One thought

  1. Just wanted to say that I absolutely loved your article on selling to Millennials. I am one of them myself, and I work in a start-up where my position has me writing a lot of copy and I have been so frustrated at trying to explain to my co-workers that no matter how hard they try to follow these guidelines that exist, the content is only effective if the millennial connects with it in a genuine way.

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