Stop Marketing. Start Engaging

  It’s no revelation that knowing your audience is critical to success. Generation Y, the cohort born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, is increasingly the client base for event venues of all types. And this generation known for its reliance on mobile technology, its global concerns, and its powerful consideration of Internet trends, will notice your product or not depending on how well you understand how Millenials operate.

The Catch-22 with marketing to Millenials is you have to make it seem like you’re not marketing to them. Millenials like to discover a product for themselves through word-of-mouth or on the blogosphere, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. A friend’s endorsement is gold in their world. Ways to get your product those key early “likes” include sponsoring events where Millenials can be exposed to your brand, creating a viral video, and certainly by using popular social media (tone here is key, so having a Millenial on board to execute these tactics can be critical). Also, Millenials, like all of us, like getting stuff for free, so consider whether you can sample your product gratis to generate momentum.

Millenials also need to be energized and engaged by your brand, which often means tapping into their impulse toward advocacy. You want your brand experience to be so fun, cool, or relevant that it’s worth talking about and recommending. So when you create your experiential marketing platform, keep in mind that it should be compelling or unique, since there’s plenty of multi-media competition daily for Millenials’ attention. One way to push your brand to the fore is to link it with a sociopolitical issue of concern to Gen Y. Think Gap’s (Red) fighting AIDS and Starbucks’ many domestic and global efforts. Branded advocacy platforms can be immediately shared through mobile apps.

Millenials do certainly test the innovation capabilities of marketers these days. But the good news is the best campaigns are so creative and fun and, often, compelling, that they are a blast to create and work on. That’s the real ticket – find something that you think is fun and exciting and chances are the Millenials will, too.