Good advice for marketing to Millennials

This week we attended the Marketing Magazine Young Influencers Conference 2012 in Toronto. Here is a list of suggestions that came out of this conference that you could keep in mind when trying to reach our generation.

1) David Wilkin, Founder of Redwood Strategic, explained that Millennials are fundamentally different in the way we create and share media. One panelist explained that young people in Canada spend most of their time online (up to 80%) watching and sharing short videos.

2) Justin Kingsley, Vice President of Sid Lee, explained that to reach youth online you must add some value for them. Unlike old marketing techniques Millennials will not tolerate interruptions to their activities on or offline. Rather people trying to reach us should consider how they could add to our experience.

3) Andrew Au of Campus Intercept explained that Millennials want to be involved. We prefer to be active participants than passive recipients. Panelists explained that we want to contribute to every level of production and consumption and that corporate social responsibility matters to us in our purchasing decisions.

4) Brian Wong is the founder and CEO of Kiip, an online advertising company, that developed a mobile rewards network for achievements in video games. He described that after every online action Millennials take they are looking for recognition. We seek online social validation for these actions, and for us this recognition is an achievement and relationship builder.

5) Shane Smith, CEO and Founder of Vice Magazine, highlighted the importance of localized content in attracting young people. We rapidly sort through information to find what is relevant to us. When you’re targeting youth you must consider what your audience is interested in and how this fits into their daily routine. Smith’s business model is built around Millennial content production. His best advice to better understand Millennials was to hire Millennials to work for you. We would agree that nobody understands how Millennials think and act better than Millennials.

6) David UK, CEO of Cue Digital Media, explained that to be seen by Millennials your have to be part of their environment. “Go to where the fish are” was a common phrase used at the conference. All panelists agreed that to successfully share your message with this generation you must remember to deliver your message to where we’ll see it, and “the Internet” is not specific enough.

For those of you trying to connect with Millennials, here are a few questions for you to consider:

1)    Who is your audience and what are they into?
2)    Does your content fit with our model for social sharing?
3)    What value do you add?
4)    How can you get us involved?
5)    How will you recognize our efforts?
6)    Will we see your message?


Jaime is an Analyst at Abacus Data and a thought leader for its Canadian Millennials research practice.

Contact Jaime Morrison:

T: 613-232-2806



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