If you aren’t between the ages of 18 and 34, you might feel a little lost when marketing to this group of fulfillment-seeking, digitally-social consumers. But you better figure it out: Millennials (or Gen Y) are the largest generation in the United States, larger even than the Baby Boomers. They are projected to have more spending power than any other generation as well—$200 billion annually by 2017, and $10 trillion in their lifetime.
Here are three ways to reach this powerful market:
1. Generation We
Millennials are active participants in what’s going on in the world and willing to work to make it better, says Eric Greenberg, author of Generation We: How Millennial Youth Are Taking over America and Changing Our World Forever. Being socially conscious has always been part of their lives, so marketing with a socially responsible angle will go far.
2. Share and Share Alike
Three-quarters of Millennials have a profile on a social networking site and 20 percent have posted video of themselves online, according to a Pew research report. You won’t scare off this generation by creating a video contest for your business or asking them to review your business on social media.
3. Forever Young
Millennials aren’t quite ready for adulthood. According to Pew Research, only a third of Millennials head households, and a record number still live with their parents. Unemployment, extended college years and reluctance to wed are reasons they stick close to home, so make sure you market to their actual needs, not their chronological age.