Mentor, Michael Halligan

Is there any particular trick to advertising to Gen Ys?

Michael Halligan /

Is there any particular trick to advertising to Gen Ys? I need to target this group in my marketing, but I have no real idea what works and what doesn’t.

 

Generation Y (commonly defined as those born between 1981 and 2000) are perhaps the trickiest of all generations to market to.

 

Gen Y interacts with the world, products and brands in an entirely different manner to older generations. They are much more involved with a brand and try to experience it like never before, getting to know the story, your people, what you stand for and what entertaining content you can offer them.

 

While they are more experiential and involved with brands, they are less loyal than other generations.

 

The biggest mistake that anyone can make in marketing to Gen Ys is marketing to them without their permission.

 

Gen Ys like to take complete ownership of what brands they interact with and who they buy from.

 

For this reason we see brands like Red Bull invest hundreds of millions of dollars sponsoring events and more recently, producing a plethora of video and music content that Gen Ys can view and experience on their phone or computer.

 

Other businesses with Gen Y success like Boost Juice get away with traditional tactics by branding cleverly.

 

They use traditional marketing channels but in more interesting and entertaining ways. With a carefully developed brand personality and identity, you can appeal to Gen Ys enough to let them into your brand.

 

Once you have their attention, use social media and events participation to speak with them, not at them.

 

You can complement this with traditional things like SEO and advertising but use this to complement your other, more two-way marketing communication channels.

 

Social media is the current buzz point for Gen Y-focused brands and rightly so. Generation Y will pay you a lot more respect and attention if you have their friends’ endorsement.

 

Facebook and Twitter in particular allow easy communication of this endorsement and with creative campaigns, you can bring this out and create a viral spread of friends hearing about a friends liking for a brand.

 

If you treat Gen Y with respect, talk to them openly and with authenticity, you’re half way to winning the battle for their sale.

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