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'Marketing to Millenials' could keep you in business

Your business is in it for the long-haul.

You didn’t open your doors with plans to shut them next year, or in five years. No, you want to help customers now and later, until it’s time to pass everything to the next generation or sell it all and live on a beach.

You’ll be operating for a long time, so why wouldn’t you take a long view of your customers? In the new book “Marketing to Millennials” by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton, you’ll find out how.

Born between 1977 and 1995, America’s so-named “Millennials” have become a force to be reckoned with. Over 80-million strong, they account for around one-quarter of the population — which is some serious spending power.

Though the majority of Millennials are minorities, race is not the only study-category that researchers consider: Millennials are also categorized by six basic “segmentation models.” Still, they share characteristics as a whole, the first of which is their drive of a “participation economy,” in which passivity is passé.

Millennials want to interact and engage with brands and offer opinions. They’re early-adopters, technology is second-nature to them, and they’re willing to spread that techy knowledge. They’re often “best friends” with their parents (indeed, they enjoy financial support from their parents longer than did other generations). Crowd-sourcing is big with Millennials; they don’t make any decision without asking friends. And despite having borne the brunt of recent job losses, researchers have found a surprising amount of Millennial optimism.

To remain relevant in this and future economies, the authors recommend several ways to appeal to Millennials.

Respond to your Millennial customers in the ways they embrace by utilizing text and Twitter. Tap into their love of entertainment by using innovation, humor or games to engage them. Talk to them in a personal manner when things go wrong and when things go right. Keep in mind that, like most people, Millennials love a good deal, and they love “free, fast, and easy.”

Overall, remember this: whatever “tactic you choose to take when it comes to engaging with… Millennials, any positive effect it has on your relationship today will have a positive effect on your bottom line tomorrow.”

I have to admit, “Marketing to Millennials” is helpful. It’s also repetitious, common-sense, and it’s over-packed with statistics.

And yet — I keep coming back to that “helpful.” Using case studies and reports jointly written with consulting groups, authors Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton give business owners a clear sense of the future of marketing and the customers to whom that marketing should appeal. To have that info all in one place, and making sense, is a very good thing. It’s also good to see confident assurance that readers may already have in place the tools they’ll need to get the job done.

So yes, I believe there are bumps in this book, but I also think it’d generally be advantageous to have around — especially if you’re in business for the long-term. If that’s you, then “Marketing to Millennials” is a book to haul home.

“Marketing to Millennials” by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton. c.2013, Amacom, $24.95 / $29.50 Canada, 202 pages

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