A recent Ad Age article, written by a “20-something,” explains that marketers aren’t communicating with Millennials early enough in the decision-making process beyond focus groups and monitoring social media. It goes as far as to say we shouldn’t even use the term “Millennials” because it isn’t a term they use themselves. This raises a critical question: Do we really know our customers?
Another recent piece written by a self-identified Millennial in Forbes details that to target this demographic, you need to meet them where they are—on social media and on multiple screens. Data show that of the 86.2 million Millennials, 49 million are smartphone users and 69.9 million are social media users. There is a more complex network of mobile and tablet apps, mobile websites, social networks, and other platforms to consider when targeting this demographic. By simply listening to their ideas and trusting their feedback, we as marketers can learn a lot about how to connect them with our products.
Far too often marketers create for themselves and forget their target audience, or we work with broad brushstrokes of what that audience wants and how they behave—we need to get more data-driven insight, more granular. And bringing consumers into the process earlier, regardless of age or demographic, is essential. We’re operating in consumer-empowered, multi-screen, multi-platform world with multiple ways to communicate. To succeed, we need to listen to our customer and get to know them on a more personal level from the start of building a campaign.