For Millennials, The Medium Is The Experience
by Brad Johnson , Columnist, July 31, 2017
Brands targeting Millennials: create a not-to-be missed experience and Millennials will come, post heavily online and become massive brand loyalists.
Eventbrite and Harris surveyed Millennials on how they spend their money and found a whopping 78% would drop a decent chunk of change on an experience compared to a material object, which is why experiential marketing has become a necessity for targeting this coveted demographic.
Discounts, loyalty points and swag are great, but they don’t gel with a Millennial group that loves to bond with like-minded friends and share everything online. The survey also found that 82% of Millennials attended or participated in live experiences over the course of a year, ranging from concerts, extreme sports (think Startan Race and Tough Mudder), races, festivals or performing arts; 72% want to increase their spending on experiences, compared to material things, in the next year.
The FOMO (fear of missing out) struggle is real and marketers should use it to their advantage. The challenge is how to adapt to a changing landscape without coming on too strong; the experience needs to be sharable, but not buyable.
Think of experiential marketing as a conduit to connecting Millennials to your company’s product or live experience. Millennials sense desperation like a shark smells blood in the water, so don’t oversell. If the pre-experience promotion is unobtrusive, nostalgic, interesting and easily sharable on social media, then attendance, and brand loyalty, will be high.
Here are three ways to successfully engage Millennials and win their time and social media feeds.
1. How do you grab attention at one of the most jam-packed, sensory-overloaded events of the year? Zig when competing sponsors zag. Stand out and create a unique experience; focus less on the competition and one-upping a brand’s similar story. Make your own.
2. There’s nothing wrong with jumping on a popular craze — whether it’s zombies, the latest Netflix “it” show or the next unicorn frappuccino — the challenge is to make your event/product different than the scores of existing similarly-themed promotions.
3. It’s practically guaranteed that a nostalgic experience will pay off in droves. It’s no coincidence that “reunion” tours of beloved bands of the ’80s and ’90s are everywhere or that favorite forgotten tune from the 8th grade now plays incessantly in a TV spot. It’s a treat to step away from reality, even if only for a few hours, and go back to a simpler, more innocent time.
Millennials spend more than $1 trillion a year in consumer spending. Think inside the pop-up box.