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How to Get Personal with Millennials

Millenial graphic designer checking schedule on laptop.
Len Smofsky   Thu January 12, 2017

You may already know the hard facts on Millennials; born between 1980 and 2000. Biggest generation by number. Will be 50% of the workforce by 2020. Prefer sharing to owning. The need for instant gratification. And, oh yeah – for Millennials the digital channel is everything.

But let’s look beyond the clichés. Here is one telling – and pretty much universal Millennials trait that provides real insight. Look at how they watch TV. No schedule. No menu. No satellite. No cable. Consumed on their computer – entirely on demand.

Besides being a titanic challenge for telecom companies, what does this say? Unlike the generations before them, they will choose what to watch, and when to watch it. Seinfeld, the ultimate boomer show, was watched by everyone simultaneously Thursday nights at 9pm. To Millennials that’s a foreign concept.

Why get personal?

Millennials have made watching TV a personalized experience. No limited menu of shows or timetable. Now think of what that means. Their digital experiences are entirely personal. And for the most part, solo. Their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – worlds that are personalized by them and for them.

What does this say about marketing to Millennials? Yes you can figure out how to get visibility where they are – but you are not part of their personalized experience. You are dropping a generic message into their highly personalized digital world. And they react to it as the foreign generic object it is.

Here are some tips to get personal in their digital world:

  • Personalize Your Message
    Millennials love when you speak directly to them with a personalized message relevant to their situation.
  • Allow Them To Customize Their Own Experience
    Ask them interactive questions that allow them to control and personalize their own digital journey.
  • Use Video to Connect with Millennials
    Your database can be used to create personalized videos for each customer. Explain how your product or service will work in their particular case.
  • Hook Up With Social Media
    Allow your communications to leverage social media – and not just for sharing. With one permission click, facebook data can be leveraged to personalize a video or other digital experience.

Multiple Screens

A recent Yahoo Advertising study found that Millennials have access to an average of 7.1 devices, and 55% say they watch videos on multiple screens a day, every day.

Think about that. Let that sink in. And contemplate how the traditional world of generic text is impacting Millennials… NOT.

The tools are there. Your database is there. Make your communications personal, relevant and in sync with the highly individualized world Millennials inhabit every day.


About the author: Len Smofsky

Len has over 25 years of experience in visual communications and strategy. Over the last decade his focus has been primarily in the digital area. 

Specializing in corporate communications, Len founded one of Canada's most successful production companies. His company created leading edge video production, TV commercials, digital strategy and media. 

In 2006, Len and Larry formed a partnership to create a new BlueRush with the intent of creating personalized customer experiences using a unique blend of digital media and deep technology capabilities. BlueRush works with clients in the financial services, healthcare and packaged goods industries leveraging current digital technologies and services, creating great user experiences at all points in the customer journey.

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