Hi everyone, it’s Jennifer from Insight Creative. In today’s world, it appears nearly every brand is trying to target a specific group of people: millennials. Well, here’s my advice … don’t target millennials. Yup, I said it. I’m going against status quo. I’m disagreeing with millions of brands across the globe. But seriously, don’t do it.
Here’s the issue with targeting millennials. Brands strive to cater their marketing to the “next big influencer” and right now these influencers are millennials. What many brands don’t realize is they have no idea what millennials want or need—they just assume they know.
This quote from AdWeek sums it up: “If your company hopes to attract the millennial demographic, you will do well to specify your target market in a more niche group first and foremost. The label ‘millennial’ leads brands to rely on using exhausted stereotypes in an attempt to relate to everyone as if all 75 million people belong to one exclusive club.”
The more brands focus on targeting a specific generation, the further away they get from truly understanding their audience. And this holds true for any generation. You shouldn’t market to just “Baby Boomers” or “Generation X.” Instead, research and use statistics from credible sources to help define your target audience.
For instance, per Content Science Review, 74 percent of millennials spend at least five hours per week engaged with online content. Brands can use this information to determine that digital campaigns for people ages 18-34 are more successful than print campaigns. But not every millennial is a Snapchat-using, selfie-obsessed, matcha-drinking, job-hopping, gluten-free, bae-loving fanatic. Don’t let stereotypes dictate your marketing strategy or the tactics you use.
Larry Light, co-author of “Six Rules for Brand Revitalization” says the biggest mistake is marketers making an either/or decision. It’s important to remember that brands shouldn’t pick between generations—their target audience is more than likely comprised with people from multiple generations.
Categorizing people into groups simply based on what year they are born isn’t the most effective way to find your target market. Brands need to dig deeper, do more research and discover who these people are instead of just assuming. It’s time to stop relying on generation stereotypes to identify target audiences … focus on the people, not the labels.