Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever


The numbers cannot be ignored: eighty million Millennials wielding $200 billion in buying power are entering their peak earning and spending years. Companies that think winning their business is a simple matter of creating a Twitter account and applying outdated notions of “cool” to their advertising are due for a rude awakening.

Marketing to Millennials is both an enlightening look at this generation of consumers and a practical plan for earning their trust and loyalty. Based ...

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Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever

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The numbers cannot be ignored: eighty million Millennials wielding $200 billion in buying power are entering their peak earning and spending years. Companies that think winning their business is a simple matter of creating a Twitter account and applying outdated notions of “cool” to their advertising are due for a rude awakening.

Marketing to Millennials is both an enlightening look at this generation of consumers and a practical plan for earning their trust and loyalty. Based on original market research, the book reveals the eight attitudes shared by most Millennials, as well as the new rules for engaging them successfully. Millennials:
• Value social networking and aren’t shy about sharing opinions
• Refuse to remain passive consumers—they expect to participate in product development and marketing
• Demand authenticity and transparency
• Are highly influential—swaying parents and peers
• Are not all alike—understanding key segments is invaluable

Featuring expert interviews and profiles of brands doing Millennial marketing right, this eye-opening book is the key to persuading the customers who will determine the bottom line for decades to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Advertising executive Fromm and lawyer Garton deliver an insightful tome on how to market to one of the biggest segments of consumers today. Millennials—those born between 1977 and 1995—spend an estimated billion annually. This group, which is 80 million strong in the U.S., expects certain things from the brands it embraces: a willingness to engage in social media; an ability to provide a personal touch; efforts to make consumers look good to their friends; and a built-in sense of adventure. After providing a comprehensive outline for engaging Millennials, the authors describe a principle that they view as fundamental: don’t give consumers “a reason to cheat” on your brand. Using examples from brands that have mastered this principle, including Ford and Lilly Pulitzer, and providing key takeaways at the end of each chapter, the authors provide a roadmap that will allow readers to successfully engage this valuable demographic. Agent: Loretta Barrett, Loretta Barrett Books. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814433225
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 7/17/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 251,704
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFF FROMM is Executive Vice President at Barkley, with over 25 years’ experience working with major brands including Hallmark, Sears, and PayLess.

CHRISTIE GARTON is a lawyer, entrepreneur, (and Millennial) whose U Chic Media company ( and best-selling college guidebook for women have received national attention.

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Read an Excerpt

From the Introduction - What We Uncovered

When our study first began to take shape, we spent a long time looking at earlier findings. Most—-if not all—-publications tended to view Millennials as a homogeneous group.

Not only did our joint research unequivocally prove this wrong, but BCG went one step further by developing a segmentation model that divides Millennials into six major subgroups.

This information is invaluable to any company that wants to target its marketing efforts more efficiently and effectively to this generation’s tastemakers and influencers.

Another key focus of our study was to identify how behaviors and attitudes differ between Millennials and non—Millennials—and to determine which of those differences are truly characteristic of the generation and not simply related to Millennials’ youth or their relatively early stage of life.

Beyond their widely recognized affinity for technology, our research identified specific behaviors and attitudes that the Millennials are likely to bring with them into their next life stages. Each of these characteristic attitudes—explained in detail in the first several -chapters—-has implications for companies, their brands, and the leaders, who will need to adapt to an era of cocreation and -two—way communication in which the new consumer clearly has a strong voice.

Our research also found that Millennials are leading indicators (if not the drivers) of media consumption, advocacy, and social media usage among all generations. For instance, Facebook—created by Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most famous Millennials—began as a college—based social network. Today, it has a diverse pool of users with an average age of 38, not 18. The bottom line: Brands, old and new, cannot afford to ignore this generation.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what else you can expect to find in this book:

Who they are. You’ll hear directly from the influential and characteristic members of this generation, providing an intimate look at Millennial consumers.

The New Rules of Marketing to Millennials. Brands are no longer in control of their own image and message with this generation. Indeed, a key finding from our study was that Millennials derive value from being engaged in product development, advertising, social interactions, and other facets of the marketing process. Because their participation and cocreation are likely to result in completely new marketing disciplines that tie in to Millennials’ fast—paced lifestyles, we’ve laid out the new rules of marketing with this generation.

Case studies. From long—established youth brands like MTV to fresh start‑up concepts like Dollar Shave Club, we’ve identified several organizations that are getting it right when it comes to marketing to Millennials.

Ready to cast aside the old rules of marketing at these consumers? When it comes to Millennials, the new rules of engagement reign.

Excerpted from MARKETING TO MILLENNIALS by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton. Copyright © 2013 by Barkley, Inc. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents


List of Figures xi

Foreword xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

Influential and Active Consumers 2

What We Uncovered 4


Who Are They? 7

The Participation Economy 8

The Old Framework vs. the Participation Framework 9

Friends Have Influence 16

Birth of the “Digital Native” 19

Optimistic Despite the -Roller—Coaster Economy 20

The Millennial Mindset 23

Chapter 1: Key Takeaways 27


The New Rules of Marketing to Millennials 29

The “What” Generation? 30

An Enigma Generation? 32

Begin a Relationship Now, If You Haven’t Already 34

Younger and Older Millennials: A Difference? 37

Six Distinct Millennial Segments 39

Millennial Guys and Gals 47

Chapter 2: Key Takeaways 51


Engage These Early Adopters of New Technologies 53

The Household CTO 55

“I Know More Than My CEO” 57

The Mobile Moment of Truth 61

Chapter 3: Key Takeaways 73


Build a Listening and Participation Strategy 75

The Participation Economy 81

The “Right” Strategy 83

Engagement (New) vs. Interruption (Old) 85

Interaction (New) vs. Reaction (Old) 90

Engaged Participants (New) vs. Heavy Users (Old) 96

Personal Gestures (New) vs. Big Promises (Old) 98

Active Cocreators (New) vs. Passive Consumers (Old) 100

Chapter 4: Key Takeaways 104


Make Them Look Good Among Their Peers 107

Hyperconnected and Always On the Go 110

Information Hungry 112

Gotta Look Good! 118

People Care About What I Say, Where I Am, and

What I’m Doing 120

So What Does This All Mean? 122

Chapter 5: Key Takeaways 124


Design a Sense of Fun and Adventure 127

Market Disrupters Win Big 132

Comedy Natives 135

Generation Innovation 137

The Parent Trap 140

Chapter 6: Key Takeaways 143


Don’t Give Them a Reason to Cheat on You 145

The Price Needs to Be Right 147

What Ever Happened to Brand Loyalty? 149

Up the Fun Factor 150

Rewards Work 155

Coupons Are King 158

Excellent Customer Service Matters, Too 159

Take Their Feedback to Heart 162

Brands That Care 163

Chapter 7: Key Takeaways 167


Epilogue 169

Keep Up with Technology Trends 169

Engage Millennials in Everything You Do 170

Strive for Content Excellence 172

Good Content Is Key 173

No Brand Can Afford to Ignore Millennials 175

Notes 179

Index 193

About the Authors 201

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