Why Don’t You Up Your Millennial Game…by Talking to my Mom?

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So…your Millennial donor base is a little…lackluster. Join the long list of companies and organizations that just haven’t quite figured out how to reel us in.

 

Let’s face it. Generalizing a group of humans that, depending on who you ask, have a difference of 15-20 years between them is incredibly silly. The world is complex in so many ways, yet companies and marketers of all shapes and sizes are trying to discover the “winning” marketing strategy. I’m gonna give it to you straight: there isn’t a one size fits all way to get to us. And it’s gonna require a lot of research on your end to figure out what your ideal Millennial actually gravitates to.

 

But I’ll let you in on a few secrets…

 

We like emojis…kind of. But when they’re overused, it’s a red flag. I’ll be the first to admit that I was not an early adopter when it came to emojis. And to be honest, I still sometimes type out my smiley faces instead of selecting the designed one in my keyboard. But I do appreciate a well-placed emoji. Just don’t over do it. When I first start communicating with people and find they use a ton of emojis, I’m immediately uncomfortable. Use your words! And just supplement them with strategically placed emojis. 😉

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We’re emotional. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make us think. We love you…or at least we like the ad campaign you’re running. Just make sure you tell us what we’re supposed to pay attention to while you’re plucking at our heart strings, or we’ll completely forget what the ad was actually for.

 

Simplicity rules. Make it as simple as possible. The more steps, the more likely we are to get frustrated or find something else to do. Abandon rates go up with every step you add.  

 

Honestly, we’re not that different. While we’re early technology adopters and can figure out how to use virtually every device within the first 10 minutes of touching it, we’re really no different than the rest of your audience. My mom, a Baby Boomer, shops online. She uses emojis and laughs at memes. She cries at sad commercials and laughs at cat videos on YouTube. She’s constantly on Facebook, and she gets alerts when I post to Twitter or Instagram (okay, so she’s kind of obsessed with me). But my point is, we’re doing the SAME EXACT THINGS. Companies just don’t care, for some reason, about advertising to her.
So while you’re developing your Millennial strategy, maybe think about creating a more comprehensive marketing and donor outreach strategy that will speak to ALL audiences. Find the subtle adult humor in cartoons kind of innovation and I guarantee you’ll see a difference.  

About author

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Kadi McDonald

No matter where she's worked, Kadi has successfully evaluated deep-rooted communications challenges and developed a plan to improve and simplify for the audience. She has shifted her professional life to one that allows her the flexibility and time to be dedicated to her passion projects. She develops and manages social media strategies for nonprofits, writes articles and blogs for a wide variety of clients and audiences, and consults on small marketing and branding projects for all types of businesses. She is a storyteller by nature and thrives in environments that crave authenticity and transparency. She works with multiple nonprofit organizations whose missions surround the ideas of community, compassion, service, and equality for all.