Millennial marketing a must for small businesses

July 13, 2017

Better Business Bureau reminds local companies that marketing to Millennials is quickly becoming a critical part of long-range future plans for businesses.

Why? Simply put, they are a huge generation and future driver of the economy.  Forbes Magazine says, “The millennial generation is the largest generation in history and by 2020, it is estimated that one in every three adults will be a millennial.” This translates to this young generation eventually being a major economic driver of the economy both locally and nationally.

Professionals in the marketing industry claim marketing to this generation will be different than ones in the past. Business owners and managers have to understand what drives the young adults in order to best reach them effectively and have products and services relevant to them.

One thing businesses should always keep in mind are the differences in shopping habits between Millennials and Generation X or Baby Boomers. According to Forbes, here are some quick facts about millennial spending:


  • 67 percent choose to shop online vs. in a retail store
  • 76 percent prefer large online retailers (like Amazon) to category specific stores
  • 78 percent are influenced by reviews they read online
  • 50.5 percent of millennials consider themselves brand loyalists


With this in mind, BBB offers the following tips to reach Millennials through effective marketing:


  1. Be trustworthy to consumers. Check your BBB business profile. Over 81 percent of consumers familiar with the BBB Ratings are more likely to purchase if a business has a high BBB star and letter grade. Eighty seven percent of consumers trust BBB compared to other review sites. Make sure your consumers are getting the most accurate information about your company from the preeminent source for trustworthy business information.
  2. Encourage sharing on your social media platforms. Many consumers rely on recommendations from their families and friends when it comes to using services or making purchases. When millennials share pictures or endorsements of your product on their social media feeds, make sure you ‘like’ and respond! Show them that you’re listening. For those who go the extra mile, send them a personal message or some free swag.
  3. Be authentic in telling your story. Millennials want honest businesses they can connect with and relate to. Give your company a face by sharing your experience. How did you begin? What challenges did you face? Share the time and commitment you’ve put into your dream and why it matters to you.
  4. Share other people’s stories too. Do you have a product or service that has positively changed someone’s life? Put a spotlight on them on your social media or website to show you care about your customers.
  5. Be personal. Millennials want to feel that shopping experiences are individualized to them. Be sure to use diverse images of different types of people in your ads and on social media. This generation wants what is “real” and to see people who look like them benefiting from your products and services.
  6. Find a social cause. Millennials want to feel like they are making a positive impact with what they buy and what they do. A recent global study showed that above all, millennials want to make a difference in the world. Consider collecting donations or giving a portion of your sales to an organization you care about.