September 2013 - How Print Can Coexist with Gen Y

coexist

We all have theories on how to best market to Generation Y (also referred to as Millennials). The industry is saturated with articles on how this group of young adults’ (born between 1977 and 1995) spending power will continue to grow. Some marketing leaders believe this group only responds to marketing messages when they come through an electronic device or a social media site.

One thing is certain: Generation Y is completely dependent on their technology, so you would assume this approach must be true. Have you ever witnessed a Gen Y lose their phone? Their world comes to a screeching halt.

 

It is important to understand how we move forward as marketers, given the fact that smartphones have taken the place of just about everything: CDs, calculators, watches, calendars, video game consoles, home phones, TVs, photo albums, trips to the bank, cameras, GPS, pen and paper, alarm clocks, video recorders, newspapers, address books, computers, invitations, social interaction and the list goes on.


Because of this, some brands believe the best, and maybe only way, to market to this generation is through social media or an integrated email campaign. But I am not so sure this is completely true. With a massive amount of brand messages coming at them in digital formats, how do you break through the different messages they receive and really get their attention?


One idea that may be overlooked is printed mail (and yes, that is mail with stamps). Consider incorporating a direct mail piece into a campaign using multiple touch points, including a printed piece.


Lamont Swittenberg, managing director at Luminosity Marketing, says, “Sending something by direct mail is a way of breaking through the clutter because they do receive so much communication that comes digitally, and you still can’t replace the personal touch from direct mail.”


With that said, you still need to think beyond a traditional direct mail print piece and understand how to speak to this generation in a way that makes them say, “That’s just cool.”


“The leap for marketers is to recognize the different lens Gen Y applies to reading their mail and adjust the marketing message to make those Gen Y differences a measurable advantage,” says Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of “Y-Size Your Business.” For instance, Dorsey says Millennials prefer pictures and directions to an online video rather than long blocks of text or fancy words.


Although there are many industry leaders teaching us how to “speak Gen Y,” Dorsey is a great resource, being a proud member of this generation himself. You can find more information to help guide you in all marketing touch points to this group of young adults at www.jasondorsey.com.