06 October 2017 Millennial Marketing Conference 2017 – Key Takeaways

Australian millennials make up 6.4 million of our population and have a combined disposable income of $530 million per year, making them the biggest spending generation in history. However, Australian brands and companies are struggling to reach and influence this audience.

Given our passion for knowledge and insights, we thought it would be valuable to attend Growth Tank’s Millennial Marketing conference in Sydney and share our key learnings with you. Some of the key speakers included Adam Cadwallader from oOh! Media, David Nemes from Buzzfeed, Chris Wirasinha from Pedestrian.TV, Katrina Barry from Contiki and Emily Naismith from Broadsheet.

The ambiguous millennial

One of the main reasons for brands not effectively tapping into this demographic comes down the fact that they don’t truly understand what or who a millennial really is. It is in fact an umbrella term for a large group of people, making it quite vague. So, let’s get right back to the basics.

A millennial is anyone aged from around 18-35 years of age. This can get a bit confusing because marketing to 18 year olds and 34 year olds are completely different ball games. When marketing to millennials, try choosing a more specific age bracket within this umbrella term.

This generation has grown up during the largest creation of wealth in human history. However, most of the financial benefits flowed to their parents’ generation. Typically, once millennials gain financial independence, they find they don’t have the money to live the way they used to/want to. Combined with the parental safety net, this indirect financial stability has resulted in millennials extending the ‘adulting’ process until they figure out what they really want to do in life. They get satisfaction from the feeling of independence and maturity, but they are extending the process.

Digging a bit deeper

Let’s talk about their attitudes and habits. Here are some key takeaways from the conference:

98% of millennials use mobile phones to access content
They are mobile-oriented so content must be mobile friendly. Mobile drives behaviour.

If they see something interesting when they are out and about, 80% will search for more information on their mobiles straight away
They will actively seek out more information about a brand/product before purchasing.

76% are saving for overseas travel; 50% for general savings; 49% for a house/apartment
Millennials are actively saving money but are moving their goalposts from home ownership to other more achievable purchases. They are saving for the medium-term.

They are the key drivers of the access economy
The way millennials earn and spend their money is different to any other generation. They can earn money through jobs like Menulog, Deliveroo, Airtaskr and they can save money through Uber, ShareURide and Stan.

So, with all this in mind, how do we actually connect with them?

Earn their trust

Millennials are savvy when it comes to knowing which companies are simply using marketing tactics and which ones are being authentic and transparent. Two of the best ways to connect with millennials are through branded and user-generated content.

Branded content can be a vehicle to pass on trust from an accredited platform/ influencer/ media outlet to a brand. Top tips for successful branded content:

  • Always disclose that it’s branded content – be transparent with your audience, don’t try to hide it because they will figure it out
  • Be authentic – don’t try to use an authority figure just for the sake of it; ensure it is the right fit and doesn’t feel out of place  
  • Always provide value – create content that people actually want to read / watch and share
  • Get it right – if not done well, there are reputations at stake.  

Another way of creating an authentic conversation with your audience is to actively include them. User-generated content (UGC) is defined as any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that is created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service.

Essentially, it is the act of users promoting a brand, rather than a brand promoting itself. UGC is the audience’s language, which is why it comes as no surprise that UCG in ads gets 4x higher click through rates.

Human connection

Know your audience inside and out. It sounds obvious, but in fact it isn’t being done to the extent it should be. Before doing anything, ask yourself what value are you adding to people’s day? What is your content going to offer in the lives of you audience? We need to start shifting our focus from what our content is, to how our audience uses it.

Top tips:

  • Comment section = research – listen to people’s conversations, take note of what they are responding positively/negatively to
  • Give them what they want – listen to what your audience wants and deliver accordingly
  • Test, learn, iterate and repeat – the digital world moves at an incredibly fast rate, so you should never stop assessing and challenging your own strategy
  • Two-way conversation – talk to your customers, respond to their comments, build a more personal relationship and show you are more than just a business.