From Head To Toe: The Multi-sensory Millennial

When marketing to millennials, a great way for brands and advertisers to ensure their message is effective is to be mindful of the five senses. A millennial’s eyes are always watching, their ears are always listening and fingers are always typing, but figuring out how to resonate with millennials is an ongoing challenge for marketers. By meeting them where their attention is devoted and providing a genuine message promoted by someone they trust, marketers can ensure their products and services will be perceived favorably by millennials. 

Sight: What are they watching? 

Digital is the way to reach millennials through content. This has been said time and time again. But the facts remain that in 2016, there will be 78 million millennial digital video viewers, representing more than 92% of all U.S. millennial Internet users, according to eMarketer. That is coupled with the fact that of millennials who are consuming traditional TV, 65% are using a second, third, or more screens to consume content simultaneously, according to Verizon. With multiple screens vying for their attention, millennials are texting while watching TV, or watching digital video as they video chat with friends, or engaging with more screens than just that. The connection to content is constant. 



Hearing: What are they listening to?

Millennials are more likely to listen to and be influenced by their favorite YouTube superstars compared to professional athletes in today’s world, according to an engagement study we did. The viewership numbers agree. According to VideoInk, millennials watch 11.3 hours of free online video per week and 8.3 hours of TV per week on average. In the YouTube vs. TV battle, marketers should be mindful that millennials hail YouTube as the ultimate winner.

Touch: What methods are they using to communicate?

A millennial’s communication originates in their hands. Everything starts on their mobile phones, including snaps, Facebook posts, Instagram tags, and Tweets. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Eighty-nine percent of adults ages 18-29 use some form of social media, according to the Pew Research Center. Millennials are finding new ways to communicate with their friends, family, and their communities every day. That means that brands and professional leagues must do the same to stay relevant and in front of their target audiences. 

Taste: How do millennials prefer their content?

When asked what drives sports-related video viewership, respondents said that they would choose to watch if the content is informative, enjoyable, passionate, funny, original and unexpected, our study found. That, coupled with their desire to consume video on mobile — millennials are three times as likely to watch mobile video compared to Baby Boomers — is the perfect combination for content. 

Smell: What products are they ultimately choosing, and why?

The sense of smell is closely linked with memory. While millennials may not be relying exclusively on their noses to remember their favorite products, they can sniff out when they’re being advertised to. Two out of three say that they will stop watching a video if they feel the tone is too promotional, according to Animoto. Millennial brand loyalty is influenced heavily by how much they feel they can trust a brand and by what others highly recommend to them, from the shoes on their feet to the snacks they eat and the apparel they wear. Fifty percent of millennials say that being real, genuine and authentic are the most important factors with regards to distinguishing favorite brands, products or services, we found. 

Millennials are consuming original content that has an authentic voice, connects to them personally and provides a message that they relate to. In order to succeed, brands need to communicate in the sphere that millennials are interacting in order to reach this demographic from head to toe.

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