Business, Marketing, Strategy
April 28, 2016
Millennials: Digital Platforms vs. Traditional Media
Millennials: Digital Platforms vs. Traditional Media

By Michelle Fernandes

Let’s face it. Rushing home from work for the six o’clock news or leaving a party early to catch it at 11 pm isn’t always a priority for Millennials. There just isn’t a need to sit in the family room or on a love seat in a tiny condo to watch headlines when we can access them in the palms of our hands. Social platforms are overloaded with news headlines, video essays, and even the latest adorable cat video you just keep replaying. Rather than leaving it to a traditional source to decide what’s important, you can access any news story from around the world online. Information is being spread at an alarmingly quick rate but to Millennials it’s normal.

In contrast to baby boomers, as Millennials have gotten older they have turned from traditional media (newspapers, TV and magazines) to the Internet to stay informed. With an increase in online outlets, video headlines, and essays, Millennials are able to access content that personally appeals to them. A sense of trust is built when a particular host or YouTube channel might share the same political views as them. So they tune in each day to see what topics are being discussed. Similarly to how businesses and brands use social media to personalize messages to specific audiences, Millennials are choosing to customize when and how they stay informed.

So Millennials can access information and stay informed every second of their lives, but how exactly are they taking in that information? What are they learning from it? Are they learning from it at all? These are a number of issues that older generations are concerned about when noticing the decline in traditional media usage, and they’re absolutely right to be concerned.

If we can’t learn from major events in our lives or from those happening around us, how do we progress?

Unfortunately there isn’t one true answer to this question.

To put it simply, the will to stay informed and to dive deeper past the headlines is a choice. Millennials have access to a wealth of information that generations before didn’t and it ultimately becomes their choice to actively seek it out and learn from it.

Here are a couple of ways for brands to tap into this culture of information:

Create emotionally driven experiential opportunities: In general, Millennials seek out unique experiences that create an emotional connection. Experiential marketing strategies that get people interacting with a brand effectively targets the Millennial demographic. It’s about moving away from traditional forms of advertising and marketing. Brands need to create moments that appeal to Millennials who are searching for a more personal connection. In order to absorb the message they need to feel they can trust it, and face to face, authentic interaction works to build that trust.

Get creative with personalization: Millennials want to feel like they are recognized as individuals, that brands are interacting with them on a personal level. A great example is Coca Cola and their personalized labels. Each consumer became the name brand, and they could either find their bottle or order it personalized. Not only did this strategy create a personalized experience for consumers but also it allowed them to be a part of the process and express themselves as individuals.

Millennials are in a constant search of unique experiences and ways to customize information to fit their personal values and lifestyle. To effectively communicate with Millennials, brands simply need to let their guard down a little bit and let them join in and experience the brand. Since Millennials have shown they crave personalized information sharing mediums, brands should be on the look out for ways to customize products. The days of creating one message and sending it to the masses is long gone. Today is about targeting specific audiences and analyzing how products fit into their lives and not the other way around.

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