They’re the biggest generation in U.S. history, they have consistently high spending habits, and they’re setting the trends for older generations.
With all these traits, Generation Y — comprised of anyone born between roughly 1980 and 1999 — is a veritable goldmine for marketers.
But how to reach them?
In a post for OPEN Forum, social media expert Monica O’Brien suggests the best strategies for appealing to Gen Y.
Build a street team. Generation Y gets most of their information from trusted resources—their friends. Most companies are wary of letting non-employees represent them, but Generation Y is collaborative, technologically savvy, and well-networked. Gen Y wants to build a brand with you, so let them. Provide them with exclusive information, pictures, and video, give them sneak peeks at new products, and hook them up with goods they can talk about and share with their friends.
Tie-in with causes. Gen Y is known to be passionate about causes—world issues, politics, and the environment. According to Diversity Inc, Gen Y is “undeniably a big reason that America elected its first black president in U.S. history.” Companies like Tom’s Shoes are popular with Gen Y because they can easily give back as they consume. Gen Y also “enjoys giving as part of social events such as parties and athletic races” according to a study by Convio.
Advertise on mobile. Gen Y never leaves home without their cell phones. According to Ad Age, “one-quarter of Facebook’s 400 million users access the site through mobile devices; this set is twice as active than non-mobile users.” As geo-gaming applications like Foursquare and Gowalla take off, expect to see more opportunities to advertise to Gen Y on the go.
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