“But, how do I reach the Millennials?” That’s THE marketing question of the past 5 years. You MUST talk to the Millennials. But, how?
I will now share with you a technique that cannot fail. It is the only way to talk to Millennials so they will listen, become engaged, and become your customer.
The way you talk to Millennials is…
like anyone else.
The latest research on Millennials suggests that they are people. Your experiences may be different, but there is scientific data to back that up. As recently as November 2017, psychologists from Yale released a peer-reviewed report that has rocked the marketing industry. “After a 5-year study of 18,129 Millennials,” writes Dr. Margaret Sklar, Adjunct Professor of Neurology, “we concluded that 100% of them are people, with a margin of error +/- 3%”
We can infer from this that these “people,” as Dr. Sklar calls them, have lives and motivations similar to humans. Even more staggering is how this parallels Dr. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs
“Human nature hasn’t changed for a million years. It won’t change in the next million years. Only the superficial things have changed. It’s fashionable to talk about the changing man.
A communicator must be concerned with the unchanging man – what compulsions drive him, what instincts dominate his every action, even though his language too often camouflages what really motivates him.”
– Bill Bernbach, legendary adman
Let’s back up a bit. Millennials are not a “market” to “target.” There are 81 Million of them in the U.S. That’s not a market segment. That’s enough to fill Denmark, Hong Kong, and Canada with room leftover for Australia and three Jamaicas. The idea that they all walk, talk, think, shop, and act en masse is no more plausible than suggesting the people of all those countries are the “same.”
That’s what Bernbach was getting at in the quote above. “Millennials” are not a freak mutation doing “everything” differently. They are people. Just like Gen X, Gen Y, Yuppies, Hippies and Baby Boomers. They go to work, they fall in love, they die, they cry, they have babies, and they invent new things. Some may spend the rest of their lives waiting tables, others will be Mark Zuckerberg, and every other combination in between.
They worry and laugh. They’re irresponsible and brilliant. They wear shoes and buy cars. They enjoy ice cream cones and a nice salmon. Sometimes they’re online, and then they are not. They get irrational and are open minded. They put on sweaters when they are cold and go swimming in the summer. They make art, make science, and make love.
We are more alike than we are different. The motivations of Millennials are statistically equal to that of the Pilgrims.
Talk to them like people. Because they are. The stuff on the surface may appear different, but the stuff in our hearts hasn’t changed for a million years.
p.s.: Everyone poops
p.p.s: There is no Dr. Margaret Sklar at Yale.