A recent Goldman Sachs infographic defines the Millennial Generation as individuals born between 1980 and 2000. People in this generation have grown up in a world of immense change technologically, economically, and globally. This makes them what Goldman Sachs calls “digital natives;” they were born into technology, so they expect it and thrive better with it. With that said, it can be difficult to obtain and maintain Millennials’ attention. Forty-eight percent of Millennials say that word of mouth is their biggest purchasing motivator; only 17 percent say an ad has compelled them to purchase something. This year’s Inc.com Women’s Summit provided some solutions to get the attention you want and need to engage and motivate Millennials.
- Throw away your traditional marketing techniques.
This may seem confusing or rash, but it’s better in the long run when attracting Millennials. Millennials are not drawn to ads that feel artificial—in fact, they dislike them. This generation is inclined to authenticity, and a cheesy, pushy, over-the-top ad doesn’t fit in that definition. “If you have a product and it’s good, at the end of the day, that’s the company that will stand out, not the company that’s doing the marketing,” says Rodney Williams, panelist for the Inc.com Women’s Summit.
- Strive for authenticity.
As stated before, Millennials respond positively to authenticity. Stacey Ferreira, another panelist, suggests making sure you know what they really want. “It’s about reaching those Millennials where they are.” This can and should be extended to the workplace as well—“Give them a project and let them feel like it is their own,” adds Rodney Williams. A sense of ownership is what motivates millennial employees go the extra mile.
- Provide a way for Millennials to connect.
Connecting is vital for Millennials. With social media and all the other forms of technology at their fingertips, Millennials respond better when they are able to connect with the world. The common misconception is that they are self-absorbed in their smartphones; although it may appear this way, they are actually just trying to stay connected with the world.
Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation, with the highest correlation to and understanding of technology. They appreciate authenticity, more direct advertising methods, and a stable connection to the world at all times. Know how to provide for your Millennials to motivate the talent from this generation to perform for your organization.