The youngest are only 10, so you’re going to be dealing with the Millennial generation for years to come. That means you should overcome your sense of Millennial overload and continue to welcome new insight into how to reach these “vocal, demanding, discerning, shrewd and, yes, narcissistic” prospective students.
Advertising Age’s Thomas Pardee has written another psychosocial look at those born between 1982 and 2000, and he concludes with five tips for marketing to them.
- Be fast. “For Millennials, there’s nothing worth saying that can’t be said in 140 characters or less. It’s not that they can’t handle long-form pitches, they just know you can do better. So do better.”
- Be clever. “Smart and funny is the new rock ‘n roll…. Eloquence and timing are more prized than ever for this generation. Err on the side of overestimating the Millennial.”
- Be transparent. “Millennials may be arrogant and entitled, but they’re not stupid, and they know media exists to sell them things.” So look for ways to make your most blatant marketing pitches funny. It will ring true with them, and they’ll appreciate the honesty.
- Don’t “technologize” everything. Resist the urge to adopt the technology used by Millennials in order to “speak their language.” They can smell those ploys a mile away, says Pardee. “Remember, Millennials are digital natives — they don’t use technology; they live it, and they do so subconsciously.”
- Give them a reason to talk about you. Millennials don’t mind marketing that’s non-invasive, non-interruptive and that adds something to their experience, either online or off. “Whether it’s a fun and timely iPhone app, a targeted high-profile event or a personalized viral-video campaign, if you want your message to resonate with Millennials, give them something to talk about.
“And if we know the first thing about Millennials, talk they will.”
Read more about our authors. Ray Ulmer, public relations director at TargetX, has been involved in higher education marketing for more than 25 years, including serving as executive director of communications at La Salle University and director of public relations at Drexel University. He has also worked in corporate marketing and advertising.