Why is marketing to millennials so important? Millennials, ages 19 to 35, are in the spotlight more than ever. They recently surpassed Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation and most companies are adjusting marketing strategies to build relationships with them. We’ve all heard our fair share of stereotypes about millennials, but successfully marketing to them requires a clear understanding of what their needs and values are. Uber has done just that.
At our upcoming event, Christine Mitchell, Uber Tampa Bay’s General Manager, will discuss Uber’s marketing strategies. She will explain Uber’s approach to marketing to millennials and how marketers can apply these best practices to their companies.
Brands marketing to millennials must be completely authentic. Everyone likes authenticity, right? Yes, lack of authenticity is a turn-off to millennials more than it is to any other cohort.
According to Christine Mitchell, Uber Tampa Bay’s General Manager, millennials are the most well informed demographic in history. They often have more knowledge than the companies marketing to them, because they seek both product and company knowledge more than any other generation. Millennials’ unlimited access to information enables them to fact check, which puts pressure on companies and their marketing teams to communicate with the utmost honesty and transparency.
In the past, large companies were granted a certain sense of legitimacy due to their longevity and name recognition. However, millennials demand that trust be earned, regardless of a company’s size or longevity. Today, when a company or product falls short of expectations, connected consumers often share their experiences with millions via social media – think Chipotle.
Being About the Mission
Those marketing to millennals know that the cohort identifies strongly with mission-oriented brands, and Uber is one of them. Uber’s mission is to provide transportation that is as reliable as running water. Its larger mission is to develop better-connected cities, act as an informal transportation infrastructure in underserved communities, and make transportation safer.
This mission carries through to the company’s employees. Uber employees are customer-centric, love their work, and are obsessed with making the impossible possible in transportation. This culture is clearly evident and important to millennials.
Being a Part of Customers’ Daily Personal Lives
Being a part of consumers’ daily personal lives sets a brand apart from the rest when marketing to millennials. Uber, by virtue of the services it provides, does this quite well. Uber stays involved in customers’ daily lives by transporting them to and from airports, weddings, parties, and nights out with friends. The company also provides highly flexible part time employment opportunities for drivers, which resonates well with millennials. With constant involvement in millennials’ personal lives, Uber has become a familiar and trusted brand by building a degree of loyalty that transcends product alone.
Challenges in Marketing to Millennials
Millennials communicate through internet and mobile technology more than any other cohort. This means that the communication platforms on which marketers reach millennials evolve just as frequently as the technology itself. Therefore, those marketing to millennials must be extremely flexible, and must be prepared to adapt their marketing strategies and plans to fit these changes on very short notice.
An additional struggle is the challenge of finding the right platforms to reach millennials with the right messages in a timely manner. Why is this so difficult? Due to this cohort’s adeptness with technology, they are able to parse through the noise of today’s 24/7 marketing environment and block ads that don’t serve a utilitarian purpose.
How Uber Overcomes Challenges in Marketing to Millennials
Despite ever-changing communication platforms and millennials’ tendency to block ads, Uber has succeeded in reaching this cohort more successfully than most brands.
Uber’s secret to success is ensuring that all communications serve a useful purpose that is directly linked to the needs and wants of current and potential customers. Millennials, and all consumers in general, don’t block communications that serve a useful purpose in their lives.
Additionally, Uber uses smart data science and digital retargeting to target audiences that are predisposed to being interested and engaged with its messages. This method greatly reduces the chances that Uber’s audience will block its communications.
Millennials now number over 80 million and are the largest generation in the US. They are the most interconnected of all consumer cohorts but in many ways are the hardest to reach and develop into loyal customers. They block ads and instead want highly tailored content that directly relates to their specific needs, wants and values. To NOT know them well is a costly risk to all marketers.
Millennials prefer brands that are authentic, mission driven, and involved in their daily personal lives. These preferences follow a distinct pattern: a desire for transparency, human relationships rather than corporate or automated ones, and a laser focus on making their lives easier and better. Uber does all three. If you’re interested in achieving what Uber has achieved in your company, attend the upcoming event to learn more.
By Chiara Tedone
Chiara has a passion for helping businesses grow by ensuring that they build solid and well-known brands, credible reputations, and lasting relationships with customers on the internet. She is President and CEO of Tedone Digital Marketing (TDM), which provides top quality service in the following areas: website development, copywriting, content marketing, blogging, search engine marketing/SEO, online advertising, email marketing, social media marketing/management, photography, and videography.
Chiara has worked in Washington, D.C., and in Tampa, and has served organizations in the non-profit, government, defense contracting, entertainment, health, and beauty industries. Her educational background includes an M.B.A. with a specialty in marketing, from the University of South Florida, and a B.A. in international relations from American University in Washington, D.C.
She serves on the Boards of Directors in a marketing and management capacity for two organizations: Winning the Fight, a medical research non-profit organization, which she co-founded in 2010; and the Tampa Bay Light Opera Company. Chiara is also a regular contributing author to AMA Tampa Bay’s blog, and serves as a content strategist for AMA Tampa Bay.
Email: Chiara at [email protected]
Social Media: LinkedIn