How to market to millennials

By July 7, 2016General

The elusive ‘millennials’ (people born between the years 1980 to 2000) are the first generation of digital natives. They’ve grown up in a world where the line between virtual and reality is blurred, and their desire for authenticity has pushed marketers to find new ways of engaging with consumers across the board.

This generation is a key part of society, and a great source of revenue for brands. So here are our top tips on how to market to them.

Inbound marketing

Millennials support businesses that are dedicated to improving their lives with informative content. Rather than product pages and service listings, they want e-books, whitepapers, blog posts and instructional videos – and that all comes under the umbrella of inbound marketing.

Millennials respond to thought leadership and expertise, so this is your chance to provide killer content that ranks highly in Google and shows young consumers that your brand is king in your industry. Make sure your website user experience is good and go for.

Mac Cosmetics’ YouTube page is a great example of inbound marketing providing useful content for its audience. People want expert advice, and when your company takes the time to provide that, they appreciate it and respect you. Mac is giving young viewers exactly what they want, where they’ll find it.


Traditionally, companies have created products in the hope that their target market will consume them. But today, millennials want to be involved with how products get created.

Companies that enable them to be part of the product development process tend to be more successful.

Coca-Cola went down this route with its “energising refreshment” campaign.

It prompted its audience to unleash their creativity by interpreting Coca-Cola as an energising drink in whatever format they wished. Coca-Cola then gathered the hundreds of videos, animations, illustrations, and photographs and used them in its marketing campaigns worldwide.

This method was mutually beneficially in that millennials got to pour a bit of themselves into a product made for them, while Coca-Cola brought fresh authenticity to the market.


Millennials want to feel like your content was created with their interest rather than their wallet in mind.

What’s more interesting and relevant to millennials than travel?

Hostelworld took this on board with their Meet the World campaign, which features a group of travellers that share a personal experience of skinny dipping.

The campaign celebrates real travellers in real places who crave real adventures and this resonates with young people, as they’d rather have an unforgettable experience than seek out luxury, and Hostelworld gets that.


Not everyone is the same.

We all have different likes and dislikes. So you may be able to increase the ROI of any marketing campaign by accurately segmenting your audience.

For instance, ethnic marketing is huge at the moment. By ensuring that your messages are a better fit for your audience, you’re going to get a bigger bang for your buck.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on