Marketing to Millennials: Know the Tribes & Where to Find Them

Hate to break it to you, Boomers: after decades of demographic dominance, Millennials now outnumber you. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials represent 73 million American consumers, making them a coveted target for businesses, eager to cash in on their $600 billion in annual spending. Think that’s impressive? Some forecasters predict that figure will rise to $1.4 trillion in 2020 as millions of “Mills” marry, buy homes and raise children. 


 But before you can reach them, you’ve got to understand them. 



  • Born: 1981-2000
  • 25% of the U.S. population
  • 52% male, 48% female
  • The most ethnically diverse, educated generation in history
  • Top spending categories: socializing, food, clothing, services, transportation and education
  • 87% of them want products/services offering a social or environmental benefit

It’s not just your imagination. Study after study confirms Millennials virtually live online, consuming web-based content for up to 18 hours a day. More than 50% purchase goods and services online. 


Online – 89% use social media

On mobile devices – 85% own smartphones, 18% are mobile-only users

Top 5 social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat

Top 5 websites: Youtube, Spotify, BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, Amazon



Articles like this and this offer useful advice on Millennial myths and marketing. Short on time? Key takeaways: 

– Lower incomes, higher student debt means Millennials focus on saving. Your marketing messages should include copy that promotes financial benefits, value and prudent spending.

– Millennials research purchases before buying. Your landing pages must be informative, conversational and pack eye-catching visuals – no stock photos allowed. Millennials crave authentic brands and experiences. Build trust by using pics of real people they can relate to.

– Ditch the “Buy Now” pitch. A “Learn More” button sends Millennials to your site for the details they want, without the sales pressure they don’t. As LinkedIn’s Content Marketing Manager Alex Rynne puts it: “57% of Millennials block ad content because it is too pushy.” Don’t “be that guy.”

– Don’t just sell TO them, engage WITH them. Millennials shun traditional advertising. Develop an ongoing relationship with Millennials by finding ways to make your business all about them – not the other way around. 


– 91% of Millennials buy based on recommendations from people they know, so consider adding referral marketing to your social content (bonus points for rewarding the referring “friend” and the customer).


– Consider creating a Google Ads account. Research and use Millennials’ top keywords for your business to boost your chances of appearing at the top of search engine results.


Keep in mind: Millennials are not a single amorphous demographic group – experts often break them out by tribes, using distinctions like “Millennial Parent,” “Gadget Guru” or “Clean & Green.”  Forbes agrees:

“It’s a good idea to avoid targeting the Millennial audience as a general niche. Instead, narrow your engagement by targeting highly specific niche audiences, and interacting with your users on an individual level whenever possible.


 One more thing: Video consistently tops the lists of their favored info-delivery formats. Your web site and and social efforts demand that your provide more video content to reach these consumers. Not sure how to get started? We can help.


At Idea Decanter, we specialize in engaging prospects with high-quality video. Heck, we can even produce great content for you from hundreds of miles away. (Sound Star Trek-ky? Check out Idea Kit.)


But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s talk! Schedule a free, 15-minute call!

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