October 2, 2017
The purchasing power of the Millennial generation is increasing year after year, which is why marketers are so eager to reach these consumers. However, Millennials are incredibly savvy consumers, and they aren’t affected by traditional forms of marketing. In fact, Millennials are so used to seeing TV commercials, print advertisements, and billboards that they hardly even pay attention to them. This leaves marketers with a problem. How can they tap into this market if none of the traditional marketing methods seem to be effective? By turning to experiential marketing. Why has experiential marketing become the key to reaching Millennials? Here are some of the reasons why this generation responds to this marketing strategy:
Millennials Prefer Experiences
Numerous studies have shown that Millennials are always looking for new experiences. In fact, one recent study found that 72% of Millennials would rather spend their money on an experience than on a tangible product. Therefore, in order to make your product more appealing to Millennials, you need to be able to incorporate it into a memorable experience. Millennials are known to enjoy festivals, concerts, outdoor shopping malls, and sporting events, so these are the perfect venues to host your experiential marketing event. Then, you will have the opportunity to interact face-to-face with this valuable audience so you can introduce them to your products in a memorable way.
Transparency & Authenticity
Millennials tend to gravitate towards brands that are seen as authentic and transparent. As a matter of fact, one study found that Millennials value authenticity more than product uniqueness, product utility, and popularity. But unfortunately, it’s very difficult for a brand to give off this image when they are using traditional forms of advertising. In order to appear authentic and transparent, brands have to make an effort to engage in two-way conversations with customers, which is impossible to do with a TV commercial or billboard. Luckily, communicating directly with Millennials is much easier at experiential marketing events.
Hire brand ambassadors that won’t be afraid to engage with Millennial attendees at your event. Having one-on-one conversations with Millennials will help your brand come off as genuine and transparent. This strategy has worked for a number of brands, including Adidas, which hosted an experiential marketing event to promote their newest athletic shoe designs. Instead of announcing the new designs using a social media ad or e-mail campaign, Adidas launched an event where Millennials could talk to brand ambassadors about the new products. The brand ambassadors at this event spoke with Millennial attendees about the thought process behind each new design and how the design changes impacted the performance of the shoes. Millennials responded well to this approach because it was seen as less of a sales pitch and more of a one-on-one conversation. Adidas’s event was a success, and you can see the same results by focusing on creating a genuine connection with Millennial consumers.
Millennials are known for their social media addiction, but they still appreciate face-to-face networking with other people in their communities. Don’t believe it? According to a recent study conducted by AdWeek, 56% of Millennials attend brand-sponsored events in order to network and meet new, interesting people. Other marketing methods do not give Millennials the opportunity to get off their smartphones or computers and get out into the community.
How can you take advantage of Millennials’ desire to network? Make sure that you choose friendly brand ambassadors that know how to speak and relate to this generation. Then, these brand ambassadors can initiate conversations with Millennial attendees and teach them about your brand. This is a much more effective way to reach Millennials than advertising on TV or in magazines. It’s also more effective than ads on social media, since it satisfies Millennials’ desire to network.
It’s no secret that Millennials love social media, but did you know that they also love talking about their favorite brands on social media? The AdWeek study mentioned above also found that 71% of Millennials that attended a brand-sponsored event used the event’s hashtag on social media, and 81% of Millennials shared a photo of the event on social media. These numbers prove that if you create a memorable experience for Millennials, they will return the favor and promote you on their social media channels.
Why does this matter to brands? If a Millennial shares a photo or a hashtag on social media, he is helping you promote your brand to other Millennials in his network. This is one of the reasons why experiential marketing is so effective in reaching this generation—even if you don’t have a large Millennial turnout at your event, they will continue to spread the word about your products to others who didn’t attend.
FOMO is an acronym that stands for “fear of missing out.” Many Millennials suffer from FOMO when they see that some of their peers are at an event or talking about an event that they are missing out on. For example, if a Millennial sees a friend post about an upcoming pop-up shop, she will want to go to this pop-up shop so she doesn’t miss out on anything exciting. This is another reason why the social aspect of experiential marketing is so effective—if you can get Millennials talking prior to an event, you can create buzz around your brand that could lead to a larger Millennial turnout.
If you’re trying to reach Millennials, make sure that you incorporate experiential marketing into your plans. When you’re ready to launch an experiential marketing event to reach your Millennial customers, give us a call so we can help. Contact our experienced team of experiential marketing experts today to discuss your needs. We can help you strategize, plan, and host the perfect event to reach your Millennial audience!