We have all heard the stereotype that millennials are lazy and aren’t ready for the work force. In reality, millennials are the single largest group within the work force today. But how does marketing fit into all of this? What does marketing even mean and who really cares? Do millennials actually benefit from a marketing know-how? Turns out the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well among millennials with over half (54 %) who either want to start a business or already have started one. Additionally over a quarter of millennials (27 %) are already self-employed.
Most successful businesses today care a lot about their marketing and millennials should too. As a millennial living in Richmond Hill I have grown up in a media saturated environment. After learning marketing in college I now truly believe that it can make or break a business. So whether you own one, work in one or are a consumer at one, marketing matters.
To Market or Not to Market?
The use of marketing can really make a company or a brand stand out, despite budgetary restraints. Nowadays you really don’t have to spend a lot to put your business on the map. This is good news for millennials who collectively carry $1 trillion in student debt. But the surest way to fail in the market is to ignore marketing altogether.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is really not rocket science. A clever, well-thought out marketing plan can greatly impact your profitability by increasing awareness of your business/ brand and increase consumer engagement. What does that mean? It means people will learn about your brand because it is more visible to them. If people don’t know you exist how can they become your customers? You want to tell them “Hi, I’m here!” and “This is how I can help you solve a problem!” Consumer engagement refers to how your customers interact with your brand.
Marketing nowadays centers around the customer and how his or her needs can be satisfied through: Product attributes, Pricing, Promotional activities and Distribution or Place. These are referred to in marketing as the 4 P’s and they are an essential part of a marketing plan.
Target Market and your “Big Idea”
Have you ever heard the term “Target Market”? Your target market is simply your customers, specifically those whom your marketing efforts will try to reach. See, marketing really doesn’t need to be complicated. It just has to make sense. All of the elements need to work together to support a key message or the “Big Idea”.
Now comes the fun part. Media selection. There are so many different channels which can be used to reach your customers. Companies just need to focus on those avenues which fit in best with their customers. Will it be a Television and Radio campaign? Or a completely non-traditional Digital campaign? Or a mix of both? Will outdoor advertisements be available and which ones? What will be the role of Social Media?
Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING just so you can stand out. On the contrary, you should only select those avenues which will most effectively deliver your key message to your target audience. And the sky is the limit!
Just don’t try to be everything for everybody! As marketers we are warned against that. Rather try to find your niche. That is a fancy term for focus. Do something really, really well for a specific customer group.
Examples of Great Marketing:
The technological giant, constantly innovates its technology to make it better and more advanced. Apple targets people in higher income groups, communicate to them how they stand out from their competitors and continue to delivers superior products to them.
Walmart consistently offers the lowest prices. They have an efficient operating system which helps them keep their prices so low. To communicate this to their customers, Walmart constantly sends out flyers, updates its online websites, social media sites, and puts out Television and radio ads to tell their customers about upcoming promotions and offers.
This one is my personal favourite! Coca-cola is the number one beverage not just because of its formula but due to the happy feelings its advertisements create in the viewers. The brand is all about “Happiness”. And who can forget the Coca-cola cans and bottles featuring different names on them? A little bit of personalizing went a long way as the campaign was a huge success.
Final words …
As a millennial, being conscious of marketing is not just important if you plan on becoming a business owner but also as a consumer. Marketing is part of most businesses today and millennials would benefit from even a general know-how of it. By understanding marketing, millennials can become smarter consumers by making better decisions with their hard earned money. Those millennials who want to start their own business can learn how to attract and keep customers through effective marketing. This is why as a millennial you should care about marketing.
Schawbel, Dan. 74 Of The Most Interesting Facts About Millennials. 25 June 2013. 5 February 2017. <http://danschawbel.com/blog/74-of-the-most-interesting-facts-about-the-millennial-generation/>.
Tredgold, Gordon. 29 Surprising Facts That Explain Why Millennials See the World Differently. 2 May 2016. 5 February 2017. <http://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/29-surprising-facts-about-millennials-and-what-motivates-them.html>.