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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist—or even a marketing professional—to tell you that consumer marketing has changed drastically over the past decade or so. Today many of us cannot even get through the day without seeing an ad that has been targeted directly at us.
For many marketers, reaching the largest demographic of consumers—millennials—can be a major challenge. They grew up in an age where many of the traditional marketing strategies were becoming outdated, or just didn’t apply anymore. Reaching millennials requires finding a way to send message in a manner that is both broadly applicable, yet meaningful on an individual level.
If you are in the market for a career in marketing, here are a few way to customize your strategy to reach a millennial audience more effectively. Incorporating these ideas into your resume could give you the edge that lands you a dream job!
Keep it Engaging
The ways many of us interact with the marketplace has changed significantly and some of the most striking marketing campaign strategies of the recent past have been from a digital platform. As you interview it is important to keep this idea in mind, as many hiring managers are looking for digital concepts to propel them forward. This is because digital marketing strategies connect to a broad audience, and good messages are easily shared with friends and family. The best campaigns often take on a life of their own when they go viral.
One example of engaging marketing in action is through Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign. In the video, which was released in 2013, a forensic artist sketched women based upon how they described themselves and on how a stranger described them. More often than not, the portrait based on the stranger’s description depicted the woman as more beautiful than the one based on the woman’s description of herself. This engaging and emotional message was a huge boon for Dove, which received over 114 million views in the first month, over 1,800 blog posts written about the video, and exposure in more than 110 countries. These are exactly the types of innovative ideas marketing firms want from their new hires.
Keep it Personalized
Millennials, perhaps more than any previous generation, crave individualism. Many grew up in a world where they were consistently told—by everyone from parents to school counselors—that they were unique. Although this mental grooming has frequently earned millennials a reputation for being self-centered, they value their individuality highly and tend not to be interested in things that are not catered to their interests.
In the realm of marketing, this is huge. To reach millennials and actually build enough interest to make conversions, it is important to customize marketing. In your career search, make sure interviewers know you are capable of producing multiple varieties of the same marketing message, except with minor differences targeted at different audiences. It is a profound strategy moving forward because millennials love to feel as though their particular interests are reflected in the purchases that they are making. Through successful customization, it is possible to build trust and long-lasting brand loyalty, which is the gold standard of marketing success.
Keep it Equal
Additionally, many professional marketers are beginning to realize that millennials are not as interested in the division of both advertising and products based upon gender. Although some products are still marketed specifically for females (often with a pink tint in case there might be any confusion), many marketing specialists are beginning to realize that by targeting one gender in particular they are missing out on nearly 50 percent of potential customers.
Take sports marketing, for instance. The number of women participating in sports is growing rapidly, and many women have long been interested in watching, if not already diehard fans; women make up nearly 45 percent of the NFL fan base. Unfortunately, many sports advertising professionals seem to have only realized this recently, and have begun making it a growing trend in sports marketing. As a result, over the past few years there have been far more equal levels of male- and female-targeted commercials during sporting events.
When it comes to advertising your marketing abilities to potential employers, don’t be afraid to point out untapped markets, even if they aren’t conventionally thought of as worthwhile. This shows that you’re willing to take risks and try new things—both important qualities in successful marketers.
As you work your way through interviews, remember that the world of marketing is constantly changing—and many traditional marketing methods do not capture the attention of younger generations. Broadcast your skills by demonstrating to potential employers that you are capable of reaching this demographic effectively and you will be well on your way to landing a position at your dream marketing firm!
Brittni Brown is a recent graduate of The College of Idaho; she currently works for a local marketing company. In her free time she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping.
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