Labels Are Out, Emotions Are In: Tapping Millennial FOMO

Millennials. I learn something new about this group everyday, and you would think I’d be an expert considering I am one of them. Yet, each time I sit through a talk on Millennials, I’m surprised by how little I actually know. Does your brand know how to target this group efficiently? I actively try to answer this question everyday.

I work in the higher education industry, so Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z, etc. are the prime audience that I try to target. Kelly Meyers from Code and Theory did a wonderful job dissecting the younger Millennials and Generation Z by explaining how they think, behave, and feel. She walked us through innovative campaigns she’s worked on (Burger King & Maybelline), trending platforms teens primarily use (Instagram & Snapchat), how this generation really expresses themselves, and how marketers should integrate these insights into their daily strategies.

Beyond the captivating statistics Kelly provided on Millennials, a few key points from her presentation really stood out to me:

  • Teens are not necessarily addicted to their phones but addicted to being connected with their friends.
  • Teens value shared and unique experiences, are more willing to share those experiences publicly, and need a sense of collective community more than ever before.
  • Teens could not care less about designers and labels because they care more about what their friends are doing and who they are doing it with.
  • Contrary to popular belief, teens don’t use Snapchat to send dirty pics but to simply tell a story though photos.
  • Teens and young millennials use their phones as an extension of themselves that express who they are.

Kelly stressed that the next generation puts a huge emphasis on community and life-experiences:

The internet is not a place, but rather is woven in and out of their life through mobile. There is no beginning or end to where real life stops and the internet begins.

That was pretty darn poetic! It’s time for us marketers to listen to this new and emotional generation by tailoring our strategies to what they want to see rather than what you want to post. User generated content is so successful because it plays off their experiences and uses their language. Break out of your comfort zone and try something new on your platforms today!

Erica Santiago is an Assistant Director of Communications at NYU Stern by day and a part-time MBA student by night. You can follow her on Twitter @ericasantiagony.

Get To Know Generation Z: Marketing’s Next Big Audience

Bob Dylan once sang, “The Times They Are A’Changin’,” and in the world of marketing, truer words have never been spoken. The rise of the connected class, along with the advent of the social web, have made it theoretically easier to reach target audiences but more difficult to forge authentic connections with consumers. This shift is seen most prominently in the ever coveted millennial audience, where conventional approaches to marketing are rendered ineffective and demography-based segmentation strategies prove to be unsuccessful.

This “upwardly mobile” generation of consumers is neither traditional nor monolithic, and in an omni-connected social landscape with diverse curation of cultures, brands must work harder to be culturally relevant, and often come up short. Marketing to the connected class will require a deeper understanding of cultural influence and the role social plays in the spread of products and ideas.

On Wednesday February 25, join Marcus Collins, Executive Director of Social Engagement at Translation, David Arabov,  Founder and CEO of Elite Daily, Jonathon Francis, Founder and COO of Elite Daily, and Mitch Brooks, Senior Research Strategist, Crimson Hexagon to uncover how brands can tap into the dynamic upwardly mobile, millennial audience and benefit from their network of influence. This event will target advertisers and marketers who seek to spread messages, ideas, and products to this coveted consumer.

Looking for even more insights into the millennial audience? Find out everything you need to know about millennials — as well as how to connect with the even younger, hyper-connected Generation Z — during these SMW NYC events:

Not only will you get to know Generation Z at #SMWNYC, from February 23 to 27, but you’ll hear valuable insights from global thought leaders from every industry.

Get your pass today here, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world.