How to Market to Millennials With Online Advertising

Thomas Raybell
, Marketing Director

Man walking

As technology grows, advertising has to adapt.

We have to adapt.

Remember the days, you’d get off work, and just sitting down, and watch whatever was on TV at the time? Probably not, we just don’t live that way anymore. No one just watches whatever happens to be on TV at the time. We have subscriptions to everything.

Plus, without commercials.

Hulu Plus: $7.99

Netflix: $8.99

Amazon: $8.99

HBO: $14.99

How are commercials still a thing? How is advertising still making money?

Well advertising isn’t dying, it's just changing.

TV is still a trusted medium, even though it has been getting less views with all these companies competing for people's attention. The style of advertising is still similar, TV commercials with the same cheap projects and the same urgent call to action. But with the internet now, often times commercials have less information, and don't feel the need to explain their project to the audience.

Advertising has become more about impressing the audience rather than informing them. I think we can all remember a TV commercial that made no sense, or that barely even mention the brand. After the commercial ends, you're just wondering what they were even trying to communicate. Fewer ads are being seen on TV, however, it's still a trusted medium that does well. As technology continues to grow, our industry must grow as well.

For example, look at BMW.

How people view cars is changing. Most of us won’t even have cars in 15-20 years. Lyft and Uber have seen this change coming and have based their entire business models off of it. So, BMW created ReachNow. A car sharing program where there are cars parked all over the city and you can find them with their app.

It’s cheaper than taking a taxi and many times it’s a better car. This is an excellent example of a company adapting through the waves of technology changing. Millennials are the biggest group of individuals in the U.S. with a $200 billion in annual buying power.

This leaves us with one main question.

What's the best way for brands to reach millennials? On average, we touch our phone 2,617 times a day. This translates to at least 150 minutes a day. If this isn’t an opportunity, I don't know what is. However, millennials aren’t influenced by traditional advertising. 84% of millennials don't even trust traditional ads. Often times, for them, the methods are just too “pushy”.This is why digital experiences matter more than ever.The biggest hurdle when it comes to creating digital experiences is maintaining your brand's voice. The trick is to ensure this without just adding to the noise.A brand needs to continue to be a human even if it's merely an app or a website.

A great example of this is Squarespace.

There are quite a few of different platforms to create a website, but Squarespace from the start came in with a strong voice which was communicated across social medias as well as YouTube and various podcasts. They understood their target audience and have become very successful because of it.  You can’t be a faceless company if you want to survive, but on top of this it’s vital to have a strong position and not necessarily strong “positioning”. The idea being most millennials are actively involved in social, economic and political issues of the day. Millennials need to know their brands are courageous and take stances on the big issues of the day.

Without this, you will be another faceless company.

An example of this, would be Disney. In 2017, they were ranked #1 for The Brand Intimacy Report. Disney resonates with millennials because it's the age group they grew up with, but what Disney did so well was keeping up with the changing interests and popular franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. So here, we have it again, as technology changes there is opportunity for growth. And the deciding factor in whether or not we will be successful or not is dependent on our ability to respond to the market.

Advertising is changing.


The question then, are you?

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