Marketing to millennials is shifting from traditional marketing strategies to marketing in a digital world.
Every week day leading up to Friday night, Drake Pierre, marketing director of a popular University of Arizona bar, has one thought on his mind — how can he market to millennials? From food and drink deals to bottle service, he continues to push the boundaries of the University of Arizona bar scene to bring an even bigger crowd than the week before. But, what’s his secret and why are millennials important to market to?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials are between the ages of 18 and 34. They make up about one-fourth of the current population at around 73 million.
Mike Iaco, employee at Power Marketing Digital, a San Diego marketing agency, said, “Millennials are an important generation to market to because they are the biggest consumers right now. You need to relate to them by targeting lifestyle marketing with entertainment and alcohol related products to get a big response.”
Emily Conway, employee at Earth web Technologies, a marketing agency in Tucson that focuses on online marketing strategies, explained that the most important aspects of marketing to millennials is being aware of what they want and showing how a product could fulfill their needs.
Conway recommends using Facebook to do this because there are ads based on age groups and interests, so it can be set to a specific demographic, like the millennial demographic.
Both Iaco and Conway’s advice is helpful, but how do you exactly market to millennials today? Here is a step by step guide, gathered from marketing professionals, to help you get started.
- Understand what millennials want. Millennials hate being “sold to.” They want to feel like it is their choice to purchase something.
- Show the product being used. Millennials want to see the product. Seeing a celebrity or blogger using a product will influence them to buy it. Influencers raise brand awareness.
- Be active on social media: You must be relevant on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to target the most millennials.
- Lifestyle marketing attracts the most millenials. Food marketing attracts the least amount because millenials do not like that they can’t taste the product.
- Entertain millennials. 80 percent of millennials want to be entertained by their purchase, according to The Millennial Marketing Firm.
- Millennials want to connect with a brand on a personal level. Millennials are more likely to buy a product if they connect with the background story or people behind the brand. They want to buy into something that is bigger than themselves and relates to them.
- Millennials want their life to be easier. Use market strategies to show how this product with benefit them in their daily life by making their life easier.
- Millennials love themselves. Make your marketing seem personal. Add photos of your customers to your social media and website. Millennials want to see that other people similar to them are using the product as well.
Here’s an example. The University of Arizona is known for its bars on University Blvd, such as No Anchovies. Pierre created No Anchovies Fridays because he knew he had a market for millennials on Friday night. No other bar had deals or events on Friday. Getting creative, Pierre turned No Anchovies into more than just a place to grab a slice of pizza, a beer, and watch sports games.
“We always wanted to get into nightlife and so we came up with the idea to start Friday’s on campus,” said Pierre. “I chose Friday because I am a student and I know the typical U of A drinking schedule. At the time, students would go out Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I saw an opportunity to start Friday night and become the Friday night spot on campus.”
Pierre said that no other bar on University focused on Fridays, so there was no other place to go with drink or food specials directed toward college students on that night. Today, Fridays at No Anchovies are thriving with food and drink deals for students, live dj’s, and table and bottle service. “You would have no idea it is a pizza place on Friday nights,” said Sarah Vrotny, a UA student. “It feels like a Vegas club and that is something that University and us students have never seen before. No other bar on University has the same club vibe.”
No Anchovies has a huge online presence. In the last year, No Anchovies has accumulated over 2,600 followers on Instagram and over 5,000 followers on Facebook. “I take pictures and video for No Anchovies every Friday and we post them on Facebook and Instagram a few days later,” said No Anchovies photographer Tucker Hamilton. “People get so excited to be in the pictures and the videos and see themselves on the No Anchovies social media.”
Angela Vera and Paige Carpenter are reporters for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.