Thursday, May 14, 2009

Email Marketing to the Millenials

Understanding generational differences and what it means to marketers is a topic that continues to fascinate me.

See this article from B2B Magazine, called Marketing to Millenials. It's a concise read on how the Millenials (sometimes called Generation Y--people born before 1982) perceive email marketing, and includes tips on what works with this group. Perhaps more importantly, it provides insight into what doesn't resonate with Millenials.

The two tips that I found most interesting:
1. Create “automated relevance.” Behavioral marketing works, but when you’re marketing to Millennials, you’ve got to be faster and more precise, Wilson said. “Millennials are almost wired to block out advertising and marketing. They are capable of finding what they want when they want it, so you have to be fast and give them something relevant as soon as you see a specific ‘hand-raising’ activity,” he said.

2. Get personal about the right things. There are differences in what you’ll need to know to market to Gen X, for example, and Gen Y. For one thing, Gen Y is less likely to answer personal questions about what they buy and why, Wilson said. “I’m amazed at how often marketers ask people about the wrong things,” he said. “If you can ask questions in a genuine way, you’ll get answers, though.”

Instead of asking how Gen Y thinks about and uses your products and services, Wilson said, ask about what’s important to them instead. “Instead of asking which products are important, ask what’s important to them in the buying cycle. Is it having a personal reference? Ask how often they purchase rather than what they are purchasing.”

Good stuff!

If you'd like an overview of the five living generations, it's your lucky day :)

RRW has put together a White Paper that provides traits and differences between generations, called Generations Overview (catchy name, eh?). We'd be happy to share.