By Published On: November 11, 2011

Every marketer today is facing the challenge of how to engage & activate the Millennial consumer base in brand preference and product choice. The group can be tricky to reach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t target them with a smart mix of traditional and non-traditional marketing channels.

1.  Use Non-Traditional Messages in Traditional Channels

Millennials watch television and read newspapers, but maybe not in the same ways as previous generations did.

42% of Millennials watch television programs online or timeshift with DVRs, which presents some challenges to reach them traditionally. This also provides great opportunities to tailor your message directly to them. Go after them where they are getting their content. Consider creating a generationally targeted ad on Hulu or on the networks streaming video website. This is a more cost-effective way to reach Millennials and they can’t skip over your advertising like on a DVR.

With newspapers and print media, the news is not as bleak as some have predicted.  29% of 18 – 20 year olds read a daily newspaper. That still means the majority of Millennials get their news content from websites and mobile applications. Consider putting your budget to effective use in advertising in the online versions of publications. Again, a targeted Millennial message in a digital publication can be a cheaper, more effective way to reach this audience and build brand loyalty.

2. Embrace Social & Non-Traditional Media

Millennials are the most digitally wired generation in history. They share their lives freely and openly on multiple platforms. They receive twice the number of text messages as Generation X (ages 31 – 44). Take advantage of these habits to promote your brand or product.

Blogs are great for long form content, but as this generation is bombarded with information they prefer a headline on Twitter with a link. If it something relevant to them, they will click on it. Twitter is also provides the unique option to work as a focus group for your product or brand. Find out what this generation thinks of your product and make tweaks if this a key audience for your brand.

Millennials are using mobile platforms and this an emerging non-traditional channel for marketing.  The modes of communication here contain everything from mobile websites and applications to text-message marketing.  Be careful of over messaging in this arena. Even if they opted in by following your Twitter feed, newsletter or text message marketing, they don’t want to hear from your company every hour or even every day.

3. Check Out Your Feedback

Word of mouth (WOM) and peer opinions are important factors when purchasing a product or selecting a brand to Millennials. One dissatisfied Millennial can spread word of poor customer service or product complaints on multiple digital platforms. It is important that your team monitor all the major social channels and feedback sites (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Yelp) and respond to negative feedback.  This generation expects a response to a complaint. When you try to resolve their issue, even if you don’t succeed,  you will be seen as proactive and willing to take feedback – something Millennials value.

For more information on Millenials and strategies on how to communicate with them, please contact

About the Author: Megan Devine

Megan Devine
Megan taps into her left-brain logic and right brain creativity—steering the business, bantering with her team, and strategizing on client work. She says it’s her dream job and we believe her. Using her passion and knack for understanding complex connections in business and marketing, she collaborates to create love between brands and customers. She possesses expertise and experience that only comes from persevering in the ever-changing marketing agency world. Megan co-founded d.trio marketing group, now cat&tonic, in January of 2000 and took sole ownership in 2019. Her vision, support, and sheer stubbornness got us through 9/11, the great recession, and a pandemic. She has judged the International ECHO Awards since 2005, has consulted for several organizations, and serves on several boards. Educated at Carleton College, she learned the importance of critical thinking for success. At home she learned the value of a good story.
The Business-to-Business Channel Challenge
Online Retail Marketing - Holiday 2011 Review