A few days ago, I was catching up on my reading and downloaded a white paper from one of the many marketing vendors in multifamily housing. As with so many of these, the paper purported to unlock the secrets of marketing to millennials. I’m always a bit skeptical of these sorts of buzzword-laden attempts to claim that somehow this strange beast, homo millennius, is a completely different offshoot from the rest of homo sapiens and thus needs special care and attention.
The paper started with some basic facts that seemed reasonable, though hardly differentiating. For example, Milliennials have been slower to marry than earlier generations. A true statement that means they will probably be renters longer than prior generations; but it hardly seems to indicate that we need to do something different in marketing to them than everyone else.
Then there’s the fact that they grew up digital natives. Okay, but the notion stated in this paper that this means “They expect on-demand processes, instant gratification, immediate access to information, …” doesn’t sound any different than what my wife and I (right on the edge between Baby Boomers and Gen X) expect. Again, a true statement, but hardly a differentiating thing for marketers to treat them differently.
The paper goes on to give three specific prescriptions for marketing to Millennials
- VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO.
- Go live
- Go personal
I suspected some of the above is useful advice and some may be more hype than reality, but what do I know? I’m too old to be sure I understand what Millennials want. So I sent the paper to the D2 Demand Solutions Millennial Focus Group…well, really just my 23-year old daughter who actually rents an apartment in Highland Park, New Jersey. While admittedly a data set of only 1, I thought her reactions were quite interesting. So here they are, reprinted with her permission.