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Don’t advertise to millennials, do this instead.

For better or for worse, advertising is at the core of any businesses’ success, politics, and society. Marketing and advertising have the power to change opinions, build or sustain ideologies and silently guide our lives and thoughts. Since it’s such a powerful tool, marketers know how important it is to do advertising right, or do they?

A common trend amongst marketers and businesses is to target millennials with their campaigns or products. They believe it’s a great segmentation strategy and when it doesn’t work, they can’t understand why. If this is your current situation or if you’re planning a campaign for millennials, wait – read this blog post first.

The power of advertising

Whether we realize it or not, advertisements control how we perceive the world, our beliefs and how we should live in our society. Think about it, when you see the breakfast commercial with a father, a mother and two kids eating toasts and smiling, what does that tell you – even if you are never going to buy that butter? A family consists of a man, a woman, and children, any other family doesn’t fit as well.

The same goes for other stereotypes, such as women in the kitchen, or cleaning the house, girls playing with pink dolls or boys playing with blue cars. Advertisements keep perpetuating these old stereotypes, even though, as a collective we know better than to split people according to their age, gender, identity, race, sexual orientation and so on.

Market Segmentation

So, let’s get it straight, millennials are not a valid segmentation for your campaign. There are probably more than 2 billion people born after the ’80s and before the 2000s. Are these people really that similar that one marketing campaign would be able to target all of them?

“Segmentation” based on stereotypes is the kiss of death to your marketing campaign. Not only it isn’t efficient, but it’s also like insisting on a flawed system. Instead, real and effective market segmentation is based on data and common characteristics of a particular group. Some data-based attributes would be:

With the right segmentation, backed up with data, you’ll be able to tailor your advertisements to reach a specific group of potential customers. Add the right message, positioning, and strategy, and you hit the jackpot. You would be able to establish a connection with them and, in turn, possibly get a new customer.

What’s wrong in advertising to millennials?

Grouping millennials as a segment for a digital marketing strategy goes against the basic principle of segmentation, which is based on finding similarities. If millennials are your target audience, you’re assuming that all these 2 billion+ people share the same interests and needs. What are the chances of that being accurate?

As Mark Ritson would say:

“If your segment is populated by different people who want different things, it is not a segment. It’s a joke and so are your skills as a marketer.” — Source

Effective market segmentation & marketing strategy

Now more than ever, defining your target audience and finding a specific niche is crucial to your success. Going in-depth in your segmentation can help you create better advertisements to get the audience engaged with your brand. So, gather as much data as you can and think about your potential customers’ interests and needs.

When it comes to digital marketing strategy, relevance and context must be your priorities. Creating content that speaks to your target audience while being relevant to them and making sense in their context, is essential. That’s how you can truly take advantage of market segmentation and grow your business with digital marketing.

Take it even further

At Ape Thinker, we can help you create and implement your digital marketing strategy to make sure you get results. Whether you want to strengthen your branding, build a social media strategy or improve upon your online presence, we can help. Check out our services and get in touch with us today.


Published on 2018-12-05