How to Design for the Millennial Generation Effectively to Get Results

December 14, 2022

Nothing in life ever stays the same, we know. What we take for granted today will be gone tomorrow. As we go through lives' ebbs and flows, one generation will be replaced by another. The way we work and interact have also changed with the times. Whatever used to work in the past may not necessarily work today. And this is the exact situation we found ourselves in when it comes to millennials and Gen Z because the invention of the internet changes how brands and customers interact.

Ask any brand and they will tell you that their main challenge is connecting with the younger generation. This was a response from companies to a study they observed on this generation of consumers. This should be reason enough for businesses to create new plans that include adjusting strategies, to gain that desired customer base.

While everyone feels that Generation Z is the hardest nut to crack, let's not jump the gun just yet. You must not ignore the market value of understanding Millennials first.

While there is a lot of division on what defines the Millennial generation, it is the general consensus that those born from 1981 to 1994 are the ones that are movers and shakers of this movement. They're the ones that can check most of the boxes for Millennial qualities and experiences. Likewise, there is some indication that Gen Z is born from 2000 and growing.

We have been living in the time of technological advancement and this wave of change has been growing rapidly through the years. Growing up as a millennial means to thread the line between the pre-internet age where being young means to play outside with endless exploration to the coming of dial-up and inevitably the explosive nature of new technology that is not embedded into our daily lives. Millennials are a breed of their own and all their experiences have been shaped by the mishmash of contradictions in their lives. This makes them truly a challenging market to corner.

In this blog, we discuss everything about Millennial marketing.

- Why are Millennial-specific marketing campaigns important? 

- Millennial Marketing Challenges 

- How to overcome generational marketing challenges?

Why Are Millennial-Specific Marketing Campaigns Important?

Why specifically to Millennials? What is so special and unique about this segment of the population?

Millions of Millennials play an important part in today’s economy. As millions of boomers are slowly leaving the workforce, this generation is taking over. Giving them influence not only at work, but at home, and in the community. This makes them formidable.

Marketers- pay attention. These consumers’ spending power is unmatched. Studies suggest that Millennials spent 1.4 trillion dollars globally in 2020. These consumers will also spend significant quantities in online and offline stores, so marketers should address them across their marketing channels.

The days of old where set and forget advertising campaigns are long gone. Marketing today requires more effort than ever before. Mind you it's not in the execution of the campaigns that requires the work though (as we're experiencing a surge of marketing automation and AI software in the market). It's in the need for personalization and a clear understanding of your buyer persona that makes all the difference.

To get a clearer understanding, brands must ask themselves what goes on in the mind of a Millennial. What are their concerns? What makes them tick?

Brand Marketing Challenges 

We know from studying millennials that the member of the Millennial generation have much diversity. They are people born from 1981 through the present. Estimated at 95 million, we know they are considered the largest demographic by age, although they represent only one quarter of the world's population. Their experiences are not identical. Some people who are considered young Millennials are still in their teenage years that had the internet their entire lives. While others, grew up with mobile phones, social media, and the Internet midway through their childhood.

With different experiences, you can expect the different types of Millennials to react differently to your content. Remember that this is the generation that have seen it all. They've seen the annoying pop-ups from days gone all the way up to cringey, over-the-top advertising that we can't imagine producing today. Discount sites, pyramid schemes, Nigerian princes hitting up their email inbox. They've seen it all.

This might be reason why they're a cynical bunch. That also makes them extra cautious when it comes to advertising. 

The bombardment of constant advertising anywhere and everywhere have also desensitized them to marketing. What then can marketers do in this situation?

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now that we have a broad understanding of the audience and our problems, you must be asking yourself: "What now?"

The Millennial generation is a group of consumers that are embracing a new way of communicating. They prefer using their mobile devices and have a mobile-first mindset. The advancement of the internet has created a new world order where everything is mobile. Apps are everywhere as smartphones are in the hands of most of the world's population. That's why brands need to adjust the way they communicate themselves, their intention and their offerings.

1. Transparency

We know that Millennials are not particularly trusting of brands. And the last decade has been marked with political and social tension which has not helped the cause of brands at all. Therefore, if we want to build trust among the Millennial market, the advertisements mentioned in the text are not enough. We need a social presence and more experiential advertisements.

Millennials expect brands to be authentic and that is why they enjoy user-generated content and transparent packaging more than ever. Transparency is key here because it shows that brands have nothing to hide and all their cards are on the table.

2. Keep Communication Lines Open

Brands need to realize that advertising and marketing is no longer a one-way megaphone. Millennials hate being talked at and sold to. The best way to get their buy-in is  by allowing a form of communication that is two-way. That will be the best possible approach to selling to Millennials.

Make sure to stay a keen observer of the people trying to buy you something, and respond to their feedback. Some of the best marketing campaigns start by listening to customers and solving their problems.

 Social media has become very easy to use channel for client interactions. You can host AMAs on Instagram, Twitter and even TikTok with the use of a live chat feature. Imperatively, however, make sure that you represent your brand well and know what you're doing. Plan ahead for a successful live marketing campaign.

3. Organic Outreach vs Paid Ads

The last couple of years have been quite a struggle for marketers. The world is imploding with the effects of the pandemic, the insane swings of the stock market, and the equally volatile mindset of the humans. The savvy marketers’ strongest weapon – paid ads is no longer bringing in the expected results.

While the change has been coming for a few years now and it's to be expected. The reason Millennials do not like to engage with ads at all is because of their innate desire for authentic, thought-provoking, relationship-building content. As for interruption marketing, Millennial audiences are considering avoiding banner ads saying “Hit me up" with a hard sell approach.

If you want to teach your generation, learn their language of find and share. Discovery is all the rage and for good reason. Millennials are savvy shoppers and know what they want. They know how to Google the offerings they're after and will buy on their own. Brands that push themselves out too hard will only be quickly ignored as a distasteful memory that's meant to be forgotten.

5. Well-Established Online Presence

Millennials, like most people from a younger generation, are quite active with social media. While the majority of them are on Facebook; Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat are some other places they hang out. Brands that are actively engaged these channels strive towards perfection in order to engage and capture their attention.

Millennials spend more time on social media than any other generation. And because some Millennials are big on finding tribes, they're more attuned to other users like them, and are more motivated to buy from referrals. In turn making them more likely to share their experiences with other, unknowingly making a positive feedback loop for brands.

If you believe you can break this pattern without an online presence, think again. The internet is here to stay and Millennials are calling the shots.

6 Ideas To Take Your Millennial Marketing Campaigns to The Next Level

If you've ever read an article on marketing in today's world, you've definitely heard of scroll stopping design. While messaging is an important aspect of a successful marketing campaign, brands can't forget that design plays a big role too. What are attention grabbers and how can brands elevate their campaign designs to match the expectations of the Millennial generation?

Let's take a quick look at a few ideas that can make design language to your advantage.

1. User Interface and User Experience

Customers buy what they feel, and in many cases, what they like. Having this understand should help you recognize the way you position your brand. How is it you want to make them feel? Millennials love brands that tell them stories.

Millennials live in a digital world, so for many of them, it is all about the experience Although this is a much-debated topic, we believe that Millennials love brands that provide a unique experience. In today's social media landscape, feel and emotion are the catalysts of content going viral.

Your brand experience should be more than just a consistent branding language and messaging. Millennials love brands that give them something that makes them feel good.

2. Minimalistic Design

Overall, people in this generation tend to be drawn to minimalist and contemporary objects and styles.

Minimalism and contemporary design are key to ensuring your brand stands out from the crowd. Minimalism is often best in any situation, whether it be in the form of your overall visual design or even your logo. Minimalism is much easier to understand than a lot of other design styles. Minimalist design is a great way to promote simplicity and a sense of control. That's the key takeaway here. Sense of control.

With everything that is happening in the world today, minimalism cuts away all the clutter. Less is more in this instance and the focal point is all that really matters. No unnecessarily embellishments. No distracting graphics and patterns. Just what they want presented to them in a clear and focused way.

3. Scannable Content

If you live in today's world, you know that it's common knowledge that people are consuming content in a variety of different ways. Whether it's videos, podcasts or easily digestible short writeups. "That's the problem with technology. Kids these days have an attention of a goldfish. They're always so easily distracted." Now if that's what you're thinking, that "fact" isn't actually a fact at all. On the contrary, young people including Millennials just don't want to waste time on rubbish content.

In the world of instant gratification and life hacks, this generation is after scannable content. The information that can be found in the ether of the internet is so much more than anybody can ever possibly consume in their lifetime. That's why they need to grab the little nuggets of knowledge wherever they can.

Regardless of what content you're making, you need to provide the maximum value you can in the shortest amount of time. Leave elaborating further down the line. Attention is commerce and you want to make the most of it.

4. Create Informational Content

Millennials want to be informed. If they're not being informed, they want to be told. They like to be a part of the conversation and they're ready to take part in it. They don't want to just be spectators. Like the previous point, this point talks about the type of content you create. We are living in the world of DIY.

Millennials are curious and want to learn new things all the time. Provide them the value they seek and they'll stick around for longer.

This point is about your content and how it is built. You can't just throw a bunch of information out there. You need to create content that works. Millennials get bored and quickly lose interest if they don't see the value in what you're presenting.

Your content needs to be more than just a flat piece of content. You need to use the right imagery, the right content and the right copy to make your content work. Your content needs to be easy to consume and easy to share. That's what informational content is all about.

5. User Generated Content

Power to the people. Millennials are big on building tribes and communities. To be apart of a community, the buy-in works best when they get to contribute. People buy from people. Not companies and brands.

Shouting about your brand and how good it is isn't going to work anymore. This isn't the Madmen era of marketing. Brands that understand this win the game. They know that their customers are their biggest resource. By tapping into their loyalty and keen interest, brands can put their customers in the limelight through the content they generate.

Millennials want to be a part of the community. They don't want to just be passive consumers of content. They want to be a part of the content creation. They want to give their input. They want to be part of the story.

Give them what they want and they'll reward you with their trust.

6. Interactive Content

Video is not the only way you can hold the attention of your Millennial customers. Yes ,if you are on a budget or need to make a change in your content schedule, mix up your learning resources e.g. games and quizzes for a change to keep them actively engaged.

Interactive experiences allow customers to interact with your brand. It can be a simple puzzle game, a storytelling carousel post, an Instagram story feature, and more. As long as that interactive experience encourages customers to tap, scroll, or play, it will pull them in. Millennials are looking for the next thing to come along. They're quick learners, so they don't want to be bored. They're impatient and they want to do it now. If you're not offering them something new, they'll move on. If you're not getting new content out there, you'll lose their attention.

Millennials are always looking out for the next thing. They're drawn to brands that are constantly innovating. That's the kind of brand they will want to engage with. Don't be a brand that sits still.

To Sum It Up

Millennials are the most influential generation in the history of our planet. They have a unique perspective on the world, and they're defining trends that every brand and business needs to adapt to.

Millennials are the largest consumer base in the world today. This means brands that can adapt to their unique needs will reap huge rewards.

Millennials live in the digital world, and it's all about the experience. Whether it's a YouTube video, an Instagram story, or a Snapchat filter, Millennials love brands that give them something that makes them feel good. How are you making the most of this information? The only way for you to survive and thrive in this market is by innovating and adapting your brand to the need of the times.

If you're not focusing on Millennials today, you are definitely missing out. Need help designing specific graphics and marketing collateral for Millennials by Millennials? You are in luck because that's what Mad Creative Beanstalk is -your professional Millennial design partner.

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