Want to market to the 20 year olds? Better look past your product … and it’s not just social media.

I can’t count the number of stories, reports and blog postings I’ve read describing Generation Y, the Millennials as spoiled, selfish consumers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because all you Baby Boomers are trying to transfer guilt for your own behavior … doesn’t make it so. And these kids are about more than texting, Facebook and Twitter. It’s about the world and cleaning the messes made by their parents.

Our future leaders
Amplify’d from simonmainwaring.com

Millennials are often seen to as the Holy Grail of marketing partly because of their disposal income and partly because their tech-savvy means they can be reached in so many ways. The biggest mistake brands make, however, is to think they reach Millennials through technology.

According to this new survey from the Pivot Center, the answer is cause marketing. Almost two-thirds of the respondents to the poll agreed that green and socially conscious initiatives were one of the top factors that differentiated Millennials from other demographic and psychographic groups.

The fastest way to reach Millennials is not through twitter, Facebook or any one of the location-based services, but through their hearts and minds by adding meaning to their lives.

Rather than focus on what brands can sell using social media, companies must focus on how they can serve their community by investing in what Millennials care about. Do that and brands will not only be relevant to their lives but their community will work with them to achieve common goals.

It says something about past marketing strategies that we must now make a case for the simple proposition that brands must do something good for their communities for customers to like them. Report after report tells us that consumers, including Millennials, want brands to build a better world, not just better widgets. Those that do will profit (in every sense of the word) exponentially, and those that don’t will continue to stare at their number of twitter followers, Facebook fans, ROI formulas or P&L breakdowns looking for answers that just aren’t there.

Read more at simonmainwaring.com

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Generation Y and the workplace … what we all can learn from what they want

The buzz in the generational world is that the Millennials or Gen Y is different than those that came before them. This is true and one can say it affects the way this group should be handled in the workplace.

Below is a synopsis that will give you a look into what makes them “tick” on the job. What I ask you, however; are these points really any different than what you want if you’re in your forties or fifties or even sixties. Maybe now we’re just seeing that everything is just not about money.

And in today’s economy, when money is scarce … we all need to look at every way we can to attract, motivate and retain talent – no matter what generation.

Amplify’d from smartblogs.com

The Millennials now entering the workforce are nothing like the Boomer or Gen X employees who preceded them. They are bonded to their parents and networked to their friends. They want structure and instant feedback.  They expect to be doted on and served.  They work well in teams and have complete confidence in their future.  They fear risk and dread failure.  They have conventional life goals.  They want the system to work.

  • Personal-Touch recruiting. Many of the companies take an extremely active and personal role in the recruitment of young employees. FactSet, a software company based in Connecticut, sends new hires who are college seniors a gift basket and “good-luck” note before they take their finals.
  • Work-Life balance. These companies offer employees flexible schedules that allow them to have a balanced life. Marriott Hotels has instituted a “Teamwork-Innovations” program in which employees can increase efficiency by working together and scheduling their own hours.
  • Group socializing. Millennial Magnets understand that this generation enjoys working and socializing in groups. Kimley-Horn and Associates, an engineering firm in North Carolina, holds regular lunchtime forums in which employees get together to network, share advice and plan social get-togethers.
  • Recognition. The chosen companies know how to motivate Millennials through positive feedback. Scottrade, a Millennial Magnet firm based in St. Louis, has implemented an “Above-and-Beyond” program in which any employee can nominate another for recognition. Several of the Magnets make employees eligible for rewards such as jewelry and iPods.
  • Casual but professional environment. Many Millennial Magnet companies are crafting a “Google-style” corporate environment that is friendly, comfortable, and cutting edge. Umpqua Bank in Oregon has outfitted its branches with cafes and couches, and often provides recreational activities in the office for its employees. In a livable workplace, long hours — when necessary — will hardly be noticed.

The moral of the story? Targeted policy adjustments can make a big difference in recruiting, engaging, and energizing Millennials. Employers who effectively harness their strengths will have a major advantage as this generation continues to fill the workplace.

Read more at smartblogs.com