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Why millennials prefer authentic and transparent marketing.
Nov 2018

Millennials continue to drive an evolution when it comes to marketing and advertising. As marketers, how do we keep up with this change of pace and ensure that we still manage to have resonating and relevant conversations with audiences to help our clients sell?

There is a huge pressure on brands to keep up with the latest trends in marketing, particularly when it comes to digital formats. This of particular importance for brands whose market share comprises of millennials. These statistically more tech-savvy consumers now have more ways than ever to discover, research and purchase products and services through the increased availability of content. Ofcom statistics tell us that the increase in smartphone use each day amongst consumers has increased 51% since 2007 and average Britons check their smartphones every 12 minutes. Agencies need to be mindful of this to stay ahead of the game.

Authenticity is a vital factor that enables companies and agencies to talk to increasingly elusive consumers. According to the ‘Influencer Marketing 2020’ report by Influencer Intelligence, digital natives reject more firmly brands they don’t recognise and messages that aren’t relevant to them. The report highlights the need for marketing to forge an organic relationship between consumer and company, by making the consumer a ‘fan’ of the brand. The report shows that marketeers universally agree that relevance is the most sought-after factor attributes in influencers – and this is achieved through targeting.

Marketing agencies such as We Are Fred are finding that millennials resonate far more with social media adverts than traditional and more universal forms such as billboards or radio slots. In order to be ‘influenced’, consumers need to be targeted through their digital device for brands to convey their messages. Agencies realise that it’s no longer about trying to instantly connect, but narrowing their audience by using available tools to target age ranges, locations or even consumers with particular interests. Facebook and Google, for instance, allows agencies to put brands in front of consumers using certain devices, in a certain location on a certain date. An aspect agencies are capitalising on is the the inter-linking between apps, allowing them to show adverts that target consumers based on their recent Google searches.

However, it’s not all about targeting – but also good messaging. Millennial consumers are looking for companies to have a true identity that runs through everything they do. This means that messaging and overall values need to run across all marketing collateral consistently. The millennial age group tend to have short attention spans when viewing content digitally, scrolling quickly down feeds or pages. Therefore, messaging has to be concise, informative and often accompanied by gripping visuals.

The best digital marketing campaigns have a share factor that helps them become viral and build the organic link. This might include a cuteness or a comedy attribute that humanises a brand. A pertinent example of this is the KFC ‘FCK’ campaign that we blogged about last month. In order to be effective and convey the right messages, brands need to establish a connection with their target audience on what they mutually value and find ways to allow their audiences to engage and subsequently participate in their marketing.

The marketing landscape is constantly changing, and the best marketing agencies are always looking for the next trends in consumer behaviour. Authenticity is a main-stay factor that enables a marketing campaign to be successful. It’s a consumer-first mentality that means brands have to earn the respect of those it speaks to succeed with it’s message.

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