Those in business seem to believe that millennials are an alien group of people. A group like we’ve Millennial Shoppers infographicnever seen before. That thinking is getting in their way when it comes to figuring out how to market to them. If you’re not yet aware, millennials have now become the biggest economic buying force, over-taking that tittle from Boomers recently. I’m receiving more inquiries from clients about how to reach millennials and, even more importantly, how to keep this group as clients.

I often talk about targeting your marketing to your audience. It’s good to know as much as you can about those the prospects you’re trying to reach. Dan Kennedy does a great job of this with his book, “No B.S. Guide to Marketing To Leading-Edge Boomers & Seniors”; you can find it at and Barnes and Noble.

In this book, he gives a lot of insight into what are hot buttons for this group of people, where they hang out, what they like and what you can do to absolutely turn them off. The book is a must read if that is your target market. I’m expecting a book from him soon; I’m guessing the title might be “No B.S. Guide to Marketing to Millennials”.

If you don’t want to wait, you might get his book on marketing to Boomers and replace their hot buttons with millennials’ hot buttons and then follow the instructions.

How Millennials Are The Same – And Different – From Boomers

They really aren’t that much different, it’s just they’re bringing things to the table we aren’t used to. Like using technology to help them make buying decisions and to insulate themselves from the normal marketing efforts.

If you pay attention, different groups will gravitate to different things. They always want to be different than their parents’ group, thus a generation gap will always be around. That was a huge topic in the sixties and seventies, like it was something new. It wasn’t, it was just different. Remember all the talk about how Rock-n-Roll would ruin American teenagers? That’s how we humans are.

Apple is finding out that the popularity of some of their products are waning among the younger, tech-oriented customers and the biggest reason being sited is that too many of their parents now have iPhones and iPads.

If their parents have them it’s not so “cool.”  They want to have something that their parents don’t or can’t have. It’s part of them growing up, just like it was the thing to do to let your hair grow longer to be different than those in your parents age group who wore crew cuts for the guys and foo-foo hair for the women. For a long while their parents didn’t have an iPhone or iPad because it was leading edge technology that they felt intimidated by, until they realized otherwise.  Just like in the fifties and sixties, the “younger” generation wanted to have muscle cars that their parents didn’t or wouldn’t.

Reaching And Keeping Millennials As Clients

I’m receiving more inquiries from clients about how to reach millennials and, even more importantly, how to keep this group as clients.

Some of what we know about the millennial generation is they prefer to do business with companies they feel are involved in the community, that are doing the right thing. They want to know that the companies they are doing business with are actively involved in charities of some sort, and that they are genuine about their concern. This is what this group is currently all about and how they want to be identified.  It doesn’t matter that much of this if fueled by the class warfare promoted by politicians and many of the Hollywood crowd.

An important point: if the company is trying to fake it, they’ll know it and will view the company in even a harsher light.  Find a charity/cause that means something to you and find a way to work with them and to benefit them.  Here’s the thing that many small business people miss – it’s okay for you to make money while doing this!!  In fact, it’s imperative that you do it for your benefit and the charity’s benefit.

I have clients who have had a lot of success promoting charities/causes in their local communities. When I say having success, I mean raising good sums of money at the same time growing their business, thus leading to even more money for the charity.

I once had a client tell me he drove 10 miles and passed at least a dozen of my competitors to come to my business. The reason why – “I know where some of my money is going”, referring to the fact that I supported the local Rotary Club.

The Millennial Generation wants to spend their money with companies they feel are genuine about giving back.

They don’t mind if you make money doing it, but they want to feel that the company is not just all about “the money.”

If you can find a cause that has some relevance to you and/or your family and are able to relate that story, it’s even better. Here’s a big key, many like to do those things and do it quietly which, while noble, is not helping the charity as much as you could. The more you publicize, the more that publicity leads to better results for the charity, and the more your company benefits!

If the Millennials are your target, then a marketing campaign and strategy that includes a charity/cause for part of the year should be included in your planning.

An aspect to how millennials shop that is most irritating to business is their mindset, “I can always find it cheaper online.” Knowing part of the money they’re spending with your business helps a charity/cause, is an investment in their local community, can keep them from looking online.

If you would like to learn more about what it takes to attract and keep millennial customers register to attend my small business marketing workshop next week. Click here NOW to register to attend, first time attendees can attend at no charge.