As a highly discerning and self-empowered generation, Millenials have proven to be one of the most difficult groups for companies to attract through marketing. Nadia Goodman suggests four ways for companies to effectively reach the Millenial market.

By Nadia Goodman May 21, 2013

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“[Millennials] are extremely impatient with irrelevant information, and they have no tolerance for unwieldy experiences.” says Michele Serro, a former associate partner at IDEO, a leading design and innovation consulting firm, and founder of New York City-based Doorsteps, an online tool for prospective homeowners that targets young buyers. In both roles, Serro did extensive research about millennials’s preferences.

She found that reaching them effectively requires a holistic approach to marketing — one where the message is inseparable from the product design itself. “The product is everything,” Serro says. “You don’t slap marketing on afterwards.”

Here are four tips for marketing to that elusive Millennial generation:

1. Align your product and message.

When you’re marketing to millennials, authenticity is key. “Millennials can see when they’re being marketed to or told a story,” Serro says. False messages make the company seem untrustworthy, which is often a dealbreaker when so many companies are vying for their attention.

The best way to craft an honest message is to really look at what your product communicates and offers. “[Your product] should be telling the story,” Serro says. For example, Zappos‘ tagline is “powered by service,” and they have the customer service policies and practices to back it up.
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