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Providing a meaningful experience to millennials is essential to running a successful marketing campaign today. However, a meaningful message can only serve its purpose when exposed to the right audience. Previously, we’ve discussed how the millennial experience is always evolving – millennials want their experiences to be efficient as well as special. If your company doesn’t fit the above criteria, it might be time to rethink your marketing strategy.

Know your audience

Before we share strategies over disseminating your message, we need to stress the importance of identifying your target audience.  Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to purchase your company’s products and services. Targeted marketing allows companies the opportunity to increase sales and brand awareness by using collected data to target primary audiences.

For targeted marketing to be successful, you must identify your audience’s core demographics. When narrowing down the pool of potential buyers, factors such as age, gender, location, income, education, etc. all play a role in the data companies are looking to collect. This is especially true when marketing to millennials, for the wide age gap leaves many at different stages in their lives. After identifying these core demographics, companies can cater to their audience’s wants and needs in an efficient and effective manner.

Before rolling out a new advertising campaign, companies spend countless hours sifting through marketing data to determine the most appropriate medium for conveying their message. For example, a target audience might be a group of women who utilize feminine hygiene products or contraceptives. Those type of commercials are far more likely to be broadcast on a television channel such as Bravo, where TV shows such as “The Real Housewives of Orange County” airs, which has a primary demographic of women between the ages of 18-49, rather than during the NFL’s Monday Night Football.

In an effort to draw viewers’ eyes on their product, companies spent over $200 billion on TV commercials in 2017. Although commercials are still an effective method, new research shows this may not always be true. In 2016, a study reported that millennials spend only about half as much time watching television as those aged 35+. With the emergence of DVR or online streaming services offering ad-free viewing, why wouldn’t someone choose to pay a couple of bucks for the add-on to avoid the annoyance?! Even platforms like YouTube are now only requiring a pain-filled 6 seconds of watching an ad before the glorious “skip this ad” button appears.

Keep it short and sweet

Studies show that the average attention span of a millennial is approximately 8 seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish, who clocks in at an astounding 9 seconds. With millennials losing their focus so quickly, it is important for brands to keep their message succinct.

Advertisements have not been as quick to adapt to the changing times and viewing preferences of the millennial generation. From the 60 second norm in the 70s, to the 15 second release in the 80s, commercial time spans have continued to decrease in length. With the rise of digital and mobile use for live streaming and entertainment platforms, companies needed a way to stay in front of their audience. This began the 6 second ad trend.

YouTube looked to change things up in 2017 and invited advertising brands to tell a story in 6 seconds. The challenge was accepted, and YouTube began selling more 6 second ads on their website soon after.  Companies need to be efficient in the 6 second time allotment, and focus on showcasing a clear, strong, and poignant message. Surprisingly, if a brand is trying to reach their audience for the first time, the shorter they keep their ad, the better. You might think a longer ad would give the company more of an opportunity to learn about the brand, but 6 seconds just might leave the viewer intrigued and wanting to know more. What started out on YouTube as “bumper ad” quickly gained traction and has continued to be embraced by other media outlets, such as Fox and Facebook.

Have a mobile presence

Establishing a mobile presence is critical to staying in front of your target audience. When I say mobile presence, we’re not referring to the decals on a city bus. In 2018, a mobile presence translates to something connected at your hip. Through text messaging, e-mails and push updates reaching your target audience is as simple as connecting to their cell phone or tablet. Each day, millennials spend over 3.5 hours on their phones, while 4 out of 10 report that they spend more time interacting with their smart phone than their significant other [gasp!]. With statistics like that, I’d say it is fair to believe that being available to them via mobile devices simplifies the user experience, which increases the likelihood they will encounter your brand at some point.

Last weekend, I decided I would indulge in a little spa day. As I logged on to the spa’s website to request an appointment, already, I was dreading a follow up phone call from the salon. As a millennial, it should come as no surprise, I wish I could complete all of my tasks and shopping online [loyal Amazon Prime member since 2010 right here]. To provide their availability, why does the spa feel the need to call me? Why isn’t their schedule posted to their website? As I was asking myself these questions, I was ecstatic to discover the salon recently made changes to their appointment scheduling process. To my delight, I was able to schedule the appointment through a few clicks on their website. Based solely on this user-friendly experience, it is safe to say that I will be visiting this salon again.

Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t where your strategy should end. Creating a cell phone application (“app”) is critical to increasing your mobile presence. Apps can deliver the same message as a company website, but apps are designed specifically for your cell phone. How does this benefit a company’s target audience? Using apps result in faster load times, fewer distorted images and a legible font size. By viewing order history or using single click purchase options, apps are revolutionizing the buying experience. Now you may find yourself asking, how can this benefit my business? Through their mobile website or app, companies issue e-newsletters, push notifications and e-coupons establishing a constant connection with their users.

When millennials will watch

With the Super Bowl airing this weekend, I think I can speak for a clear majority of millennials when I say this is the only time I look forward to watching commercials. As you watch each new commercial this year, ask yourself the following questions. Who was the target audience? Did the commercial hold your attention?  Did the ad showcase the brand’s meaningful experience?