Let’s face it, they’re everywhere. You can barely take a few steps without being violated by their overt ploys just to get you to sneak a peek. No, we aren’t talking about the men who wear trench coats at the park, we are talking about the onslaught of marketing messages most people encounter on a daily basis. Think about it, every product placement, television ad, even browsing the internet—there are countless businesses clamoring to tell you why they are the best of the best. So how can you stay ahead of the crowd, win the attention war and keep your business relevant in a sea of noise? Well, you can start by following these four simple (and important) rules.
Poised to change everything from culture to politics to the economy like the Baby Boomers before them, millennials are the largest population in size at 76.6 million and range in age from 19-36 years—which means that they are all now old enough to vote, serve in wars and even have families. In fact, projections show that by 2015, annual spending by millennials will top out at $2.45 trillion and are on track to reach $3.39 trillion by 2018. What this means is that by not understanding what drives millennial consumers and using the same strategies that worked in years past, businesses are missing the mark and setting up their brand for failure. Let’s take a closer look inside the mind of millennials and how with a little understanding, you can create some marketing magic.
- Rule 1: Make sure every campaign leads right back to you. Whether you’re sending out emails and printed materials in addition to working the social and interactive media angle, every time your business sets forth marketing content, it is vital that every effort in each medium leads right back to your business’s calling card whether it be your website or social media hub. Securing a centralized “base” of operation to which all content can be tied will help users better understand you, your story and what you are trying to do.
- Rule 2: Keep all campaigns on-target regarding your message. The content that you put out should not just float freely in cyberspace without a purpose. It should be introducing your brand and its mission to the masses. One of the worst mistakes a business can make is not remaining true to their own unique identity when it comes to campaigns. Having a strong point of view (think Starbucks or Victoria’s Secret) not only solidifies your unique identity, it also reinforces all of the strategies from which you will market yourself.
- Rule 3: Once you’ve got ‘em, you have to keep ‘em wanting more. Please don’t be like those men who get married and then don’t think they have to do anything ever again because they’ve already won the girl. We barely glance at most unknown email subjects before marking them as spam and the reason why is that we are only inclined to open and read the things that matter most to us. If a consumer has taken the time to care enough about what you have to offer, don’t ruin it! It is infinitely easier (and cheaper) to market yourself to existing customers and clients who have invested some level of interest in you than going after ones who haven’t. That’s not to say that you should not go after those who haven’t heard of you yet, but what it does mean is that it is in your best interest to cultivate deeper relationships with your existing client-base. After all, if you take care of them, they will take care of you.
- Rule 4: Check out the competition now and then. It’s good to stay on your toes. In the business world, nothing good ever came from being complacent. Whether you’re trying to gauge customer engagement or compare yourself to the competition, knowing what others are doing and how it’s working out for them can help you shine even brighter when it comes to your own strategies. Stagnancy in marketing oneself is a surprisingly common affliction among small business owners who have been around for a while and all it amounts to is lost opportunity and revenue. Staying open to new ways of marketing your business to demographics that change with the times will go a long way toward helping to keep your business ahead of the game.