Gen Y or Millennials: Marketing Tips

by Claudia “Havi” Goffan

Most of us, marketers, are trying to engage the Millennials or Gen Y. Also, most marketers are still leery of Gen Y marketing techniques. Therefore, we need to keep understanding who they are, what they do, what they like and what they dislike.

Gen Y or Millennials: Marketing Tips: brief overview of the Millennials or Gen Y

  • Listen to them online 24/7 using Multicultural Market Intelligence Tools

    Listen to them online 24/7 using Multicultural Market Intelligence Tools

    Gen Y believes in the power of WE and is all-inclusive.

  • Gen Y is multicultural and 34% of Millennials are Hispanics.
  • Gen Y believes that customized options help define personal style.
  • Gen Y is hyper-connected.
  • Gen Y is married to mass media and goes online more than any other generation.
  • Gen Y uses cellphones as an extension of their own body.
  • The average Gen Y’er spends an average of 33 hours on social networks, 31 hours on email, and sends over 700 texts, every month.
  • Their status updates or messages to friends reach hundreds, and because of its instant repetition, they reach greater audiences almost instantly.
  • Gen Y loves communication tools – especially instant messages.
  • Gen Y is interested in social popularity or social status and most of them have not met many of their friends in person – ever.
  • Gen Y is the first generation that can actually measure its popularity.

Gen Y or Millennials: Marketing Tips – What can brands do?

  • Gen Y is hyper-connected

    Gen Y is hyper-connected

    Use their willingness to collaborate and include them in your efforts to build your brand. Once they are a part of it, they will help you share your message.

  • Talk to the Millennials that work for your company and include them on your advertising and PR efforts – they will help you deliver your message for free using their extensive networks.
  • Be mindful of their likes and dislikes when it comes to your brand because they can also share negative messages about it.
  • Remember that online video offers them immediacy, emotion, and interaction.
  • Listen to them online and engage them online 24/7 using Multicultural Market Intelligence Tools.
  • Use these insights to create great products.
  • Market to communities, but emphasize individuality.
  • Generate Word of Mouth: Let them discover your brand.
  • Be real and authentic to your audience in everything you do.

Now, the question becomes, are you truly listening to the Gen Y?

People still prefer real-life recommendations to online

Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing

Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing: real-life recommendations preferred?

Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing: real-life recommendations preferred?

Referring a product or service is not a new idea, it’s been around as long as people have—but is the way people make recommendations changing with the times? Despite increased online activity, new research from Mintel shows real-life recommendations are still more influential to consumers than those received online.
Mintel’s exclusive consumer survey showed most people who bought a product or service based off a recommendation did so on a referral from a friend/relative or husband/wife/partner (34% and 25%, respectively). Only 5% of respondents bought based on the recommendation of a blogger, the same for a chat room.

“It’s interesting to find that as much time as we spend online, we still prefer a personal recommendation from someone we know and trust,” states Chris Haack, senior analyst at Mintel. “Young adults are somewhat more likely to turn to the Internet for advice and referrals, but even they listen to their peers first.”

Most people base a recommendation on price and convenience, according to Mintel. Especially in the current economic climate, where shoppers are compelled to find the lowest price, it’s not surprising that more than 64% of respondents state that price drove them to recommend a product or service, while quality (55%) and convenience (33%) follow behind.

Mintel reports that Asian and Hispanic respondents are considerably more likely to recommend a product they saw advertised. Asians (14%) and Hispanics (10%) are also more likely to report being influenced by bloggers to purchase a specific product or service.

“The sheer number of people that purchase based on recommendations proves marketers need to pay attention to word of mouth,” states Chris Haack. “It’s becoming easier for businesses to lose control of their marketing messages, so companies need to carefully monitor and respond to consumer conversations about their brands.”


Consumer purchases are influenced by Product Placement, Sampling, and Word-of-Mouth

Consumer purchases are influenced by Product Placement, Sampling, and Word-of-Mouth Collectively and this varies by product category and consumer group.

Product Placement, Sampling, and Word-of-Mouth Collectively Influence Consumer Purchases

According to BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM12), the effectiveness of product placements* varies by product category and consumer group. Consumers indicate product placements have the most influence on their grocery purchases with 14.8% saying so, up from 13.0% one year ago. Electronics and apparel round out the top three categories most influenced by product placements.

As marketers search for ways to increase marketing ROI, product placements are a viable option, says the report, particularly when targeting specific ethnic groups. African American, Hispanic and Asian consumers are more likely to be influenced to buy electronics, grocery and apparel from product placements*.

Influence of Product Placement On Purchases by Product Category & Ethnic Group (% of Respondents)

  • All
  • Grocery
  • Electronics
  • Apparel
  • Home Improvement
  • Eating Out
  • All
  • 14.8%
  • 13.2%
  • 11.5%
  • 7.9%
  • 7.6%
  • White / Caucasian
  • 14.6%
  • 11.5%
  • 10.4%
  • 7.1%
  • 6.8%
  • African American
  • 16.9%
  • 20.2%
  • 15.0%
  • 11.2%
  • 10.3%
  • Asian
  • 15.3%
  • 18.0%
  • 17.0%
  • 10.2%
  • 10.0%
  • Hispanic
  • 16.7%
  • 18.3%
  • 16.9%
  • 9.9%
  • 10.3%

Source: BIGresearch, October 2008

Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGreserch, concludes “Though the use of product placements is growing… today’s savvy consumers… recognize when advertisers are trying to manipulate them… when executed effectively, product placements can… create highly influential word of mouth among specific consumer groups.”

45.8% of Caucasian, and 44.0% of Asian consumers, indicate their purchases are influenced by word of mouth**. 41.1% of African American consumers say the same when it comes to grocery. Dining out purchases appear to be most affected by word of mouth**.

Influence of Word of Mouth On Purchases by Product Category & Ethnic Group (% of Respondents)

  • All
  • Eating Out
  • Electronics
  • Grocery
  • Home Improvement
  • Apparel
  • All
  • 52.9%
  • 44.4%
  • 40.7%
  • 35.2%
  • 34.3%
  • White /Caucasian
  • 56.2%
  • 45.8%
  • 41.5%
  • 37.2%
  • 33.3%
  • African American
  • 45.8%
  • 42.2%
  • 41.1%
  • 29.3%
  • 38.6%
  • Asian
  • 43.5%
  • 44.0%
  • 37.0%
  • 31.8%
  • 37.2%
  • Hispanic
  • 44.1%
  • 40.6%
  • 39.1%
  • 31.6%
  • 37.5%

Source: BIGresearch SIMM12, October 2008

And, while placement and word of mouth** impact future purchases, sampling*** can create an almost immediate impulse purchase. According to the Product Sampling Study by Arbitron, sampling successfully reaches 70 million consumers every quarter, and one-third of customers who try a sample will buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip, and 58% of those surveyed reported that they would buy the product again.

In the study, consumers were grouped into three categories:

  • “Acquisitions” are those who were new to the sampled product
  • “Conversions” are those who had heard of the product but had never bought it
  • “Retentions” are those who had previously purchased the product

Consumer Purchases are Influenced by Key Factors

While 85% of the Retentions and 60% of the Conversions said they would purchase the sampled product in the future, sampled products encouraged 47% of the Acquisitions, those who had never heard of the product before, to purchase the product again.

Carol Edwards, Senior Vice President, Sales, Out-of-Home Media, says “… this study enforced that the sampling approach is both effective in making new customers aware of products, while also establishing a firmer identity with those consumers who have considered the product before.”

Highlights of the study:

  • 28% of those surveyed reported that they have been offered product samples within the past three months
  • 64% of those surveyed claimed they had accepted product samples. 66% of the customers characterized as Acquisitions accepted samples, as well as 63% of the Conversions, and 63% of the Retentions
  • 35% of those surveyed claimed they purchased the sampled product on the same day. 26% of the Acquisitions bought the product right away, as well as 19% of the Conversions, and 31% of the Retentions
  • 24% of those surveyed claimed that a sampled product had specifically replaced an item that they had planned on buying. 20% of the Acquisitions were planning to make the switch, as well as 33% of the Conversions, and 18% of the Retentions.

* Product placement, or embedded marketing, is a form of advertisement, where branded goods or services are placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, the story line of television shows, or news programs. The product placement is often not disclosed at the time that the good or service is featured. Product placement became common in the 1980s.

** Word of mouth is a reference to the passing of information from person to person. Originally the term referred specifically to oral communication (literally words from the mouth), but now includes any type of human communication, such as face to face, telephone, email, and text messaging.

*** Sampling isa method of encouraging product trial where consumers are offered samples, typically free-of-charge. See also:Accidental Sample, Convenience Sampling.
Source: Wikipedia & Jack Loechner