Advertising to Gen Y: Understanding Them Key to Catching on to the “Hip” Revolution

As Baby Boomers age, there is a growing need for advertisers to acknowledge Generation Y, or “Gen Y” consumers, who are dominating the marketplace of the present and the future.

Also known as the Millennials, the Gen Y population makes up approximately 80 million individuals in the USA alone, a statistic that will only grow in the coming years. Moreover, the spending power of Gen Y consumers averages at about $200 billion per year. In addition to their own purchasing decisions, the members of Gen Y have a heavy influence on the spending habits of their parents, the Baby Boomers.

There is a new standard for marketing successfully to Gen Y. To survive in this new marketplace, companies must be open to new advertising ideas and media that will effectively cater to the Gen Y consumers.

“In a way, studying how to reach and market to Gen Y is in fact a lesson on how advertising will look in the future,” says author Aiden Livingston, in his book The Secrets of Advertising to Gen Y Consumers.

You have your company, but do your customers know that it exists? You probably already have a website, but in the landscape of digital age and millions of other businesses, having only a single website to represent your brand is simply not enough. If your target audience is the Gen Y population, it is crucial to promote the web presence of your company through regularly updated channels of social media.

Take it from Livingston, a member of Gen Y himself, that Gen Y consumers are constantly glued to their social media accounts. “I don’t just like my social networking sites, I need them, and they are as vital to me as my cell phone,” says Livingston.

You need to be where your consumers are, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or other blogging channels. By taking the time to understand and incorporate social media platforms into your advertising campaign, you are communicating to Gen Y that you understand them.

Advertising to Gen Y requires going beyond marketing just the product; you must also customize the marketing message to appeal to the ego of Gen Y. The members of Gen Y grew up in an environment and a marketplace that aimed to cater to their specific needs and wants, so Gen Y are more than often willing to offer up money for products or opportunities that will boost their ego. “There is virtually no limit to how much you can influence Gen Y consumers by appealing to their vanity.”

To create a successful marketing campaign that will effectively communicate your company brand or products, Livingston stresses the importance of submerging yourself into the mindset of Gen Y consumers, such as how to capture and represent the elusive “cool,” and more. “You must learn what they love, what they dislike, what they admire, and what they want to be,” says Livingston. “When you fully understand the values you can begin to craft a campaign that will actually resonate with Gen Y consumers.”

Aboutadvertising-to-gen-yThe Secrets of Advertising to Gen Y Consumers is authored by Aiden Livingston, a marketer and member of Gen Y himself.

It is available in our Web store where you can read the table of contents and preview chapters of the book.

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