By Lindsey Pollak
I’ll admit it — I am a sucker for “secret hack” posts. Although typically they build the anticipation up to the big reveal at the end, I’m going to give you the good stuff right away in this post, because it’s so simple and easy.
Here’s the “secret” hack to marketing to millennials: Include a millennial in every meeting about marketing to millennials. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on the easiest, most effective way to implement your strategy.
In fact, the first thing I ask a new client or audience struggling to reach millennials is, “What do your millennials say about it?”
“Oh, we haven’t asked them,” they’ll usually respond.
If you were marketing to women, would you have a bunch of men develop the concept? I hope not – or you might end up being mocked like the notorious Bic for Her pen.
Here’s why you should always ask a millennial about marketing to this crucial demographic:
- You will make better decisions with more input, as proven by reams of research.
- You risk alienating your target audience if your message is way off target.
- You risk alienating your employees by not seeking their input. This generation is used to a collaborative process – since they were kids, they’ve been consulted on everything from where the family should vacation to which car Mom should buy. So, this millennial marketing strategy is also a smart millennial management strategy.
Some people get it: Carey Smith, founder of Big Ass Fans, writes in Inc. magazine, “My millennial employees are my greatest recruitment and retention tool.” One op-ed I read even called for including a millennial on every board – and I’m all for it. Many baby boomers are winning at work because they’re asking their own kids about technology and culture.
You see, almost every company has a built-in millennial focus group: employees.
Not sure what to call an event? Ask the students who work in your office.
Wondering how your brand looks on social media? Ask your assistant.
Curious how you might use a certain piece of tech to be more efficient? Ask your intern.