The massive surge of millennials as powerful buyers in the marketplace has forced companies and industries alike to re-examine everything they thought they knew about marketing. While some skeptics may wonder whether or not this approach is overkill, the fact remains that millennials are the most important group of consumers to come along in a long, long time. Marketers owe it to themselves to understand this group and to do whatever is necessary to appeal to this segment of the marketplace.
Marketing to Millennials with Direct Mail
One of the most surprising elements of marketing to millennials is that direct mail does work. It might be easy to assume that millennials only care about the messages they receive on their smartphones. However, that’s not entirely the case.
Consider this – when millennials use their phones or watch TV, they are bombarded with advertisements. Such is the influx of ads that many millennials won’t browse the Internet without ad blockers installed on their browsers. On the other hand, direct mail represents a unique opportunity that isn’t so easily ignored. Whereas an email might get immediately thrown into a millennial’s spam folder, a physical mailer forces millennials to pay attention.
Of course, blindly sending mailers to millennials doesn’t guarantee you success. It’s wise to attempt to understand what makes millennials tick so that you can get the most out of your direct mail marketing efforts.
Millennials value authenticity. When they see photos of their friends or colleagues enjoying a meal at a highly-rated restaurant or trying out the latest gadget, they too want to have a similar experience. In fact, a July 2014 Eventbrite survey found that 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience over buying something desirable. What does this mean for today’s marketer? You can’t just sell products anymore – you need to sell the experience the product brings to the table. Using imagery in your direct mail marketing can be very impactful, as seeing real people experience real things fosters authenticity and demonstrates value.
Above all else, millennials value businesses that care about consumer feedback and that put the focus on the customer. Millennials also think highly of companies that make a difference in the world and that use ethical decision making.
You’ll obviously want to keep your company’s core principles in mind as you prepare to market to millennials using direct mail, but you can incorporate these factors throughout your advertising. For instance, a restaurant might highlight their use of local organic ingredients, while also mentioning that a portion of their proceeds funds charitable endeavors.
Incorporating Digital Marketing
Although millennials can be swayed by direct mail marketing, their main love is online and social marketing. It’s vital that you find a way to tie online marketing into your offline message to foster brand awareness.
This goes well beyond encouraging recipients to follow your company’s Facebook page. If you send out a catalog, include QR codes throughout that enable millennials to buy those products online. If you issue a promotion, include information about how millennials can respond now on their smartphones.
Taking the effort to merge your online and offline marketing is about more than merely appealing to millennials. It also gives your entire customer base the opportunity to act now instead of later. It gives them the opportunity to become more fully immersed in your brand, which has major implications for customer loyalty.
Although millennials are the main focus in today’s marketing landscape, the entire population is becoming more digital. Making your company more appealing to millennials will also prepare you for a future in which screens rule the world. But no matter how pervasive digital marketing becomes, there’s always a place for direct mail marketing – as long as you do it right.
Allegra is a proven leader in the world of direct mail marketing, helping companies to connect with their customers both online and offline. To learn more about how we can help you to reach the coveted millennial audience, contact us today!