Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

How Students can Spread Your Marketing — Fast

Posted by Dean Asher on 7/1/14 11:00 PM
Topics: college retail, sales strategies, millennials

As more and more Millennials enter college and the work force, it becomes more and more important for retailers to be able to reach them effectively. There are 79 million Americans born between 1980 and 2000, so marketing yourself in a way they'll share among themselves can reach a significant audience. Here are some tips originally appearing in this post from Dave Hawley, originally posted to

1. Millennials don’t trust online advertising. As members of group that grew up in times of turmoil, millennials tend to distrust institutions, including corporations. Just 6 percent of the millennials who participated in a 2013 survey by my company, Social Chorus, said they find online advertisements credible. So if online advertising is a mainstay of your company's marketing strategy, you may want to reconsider your approach so as to reach this audience.

2. They share experiences online. As digital natives who have been wired practically since they were in diapers, millennials are typically on social media constantly and feel driven to share experiences with their friends in real time. Make sure they are having positive experiences with your company's brand to share.

3. Millennials trust their friends. Ninety-one percent of millennials surveyed by SocialChorus said they would consider buying a product if a friend recommended it. This illustrates golden opportunity for companies to market with millennials rather than to them. If you can get millennials to serve as advocates, you’ll drive reach, awareness, engagement and sales. To achieve this, companies should develop a brand-advocacy strategy. The first step is to identify potential brand advocates such as social media followers, employees and topical bloggers. The next steps are to give them incentives to share the brand story and measure the impact.

4. Gen Yers use social media-based feedback. User-generated content is a primary source of information for millennial customers who are considering a purchase. To maximize your company's return on investment, make sure you provide an easy way for customers to share their thoughts about your product and services and provide feedback.

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