Why I don’t believe in Millennial Marketing
Today I wanted to take a little break and tried to install a PC Game from 1994. It’s about a private investigator named Tex Murphy. I recently discovered the 2014 episode of the Tex Murphy series, Tesla Effect, and was intrigued by it. Drawn into the story.
So much so that I purchased the other installments from the 90ties. Oh my god, such a mess on my computer. From the number of recent discussions, I could see that many people look for these old games.
Well, they didn’t run and I use the break to write this down for you.
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
crossed my mind for some reason. It implies, that a dog always has to learn new “tricks” because the old ones are not good anymore.
Is that so?
The thoughts below are from the viewpoint of a self-employed coach for coaches, small business owners, freelancers, solopreneurs, bloggers and online businesses.
When I was young
I’ll turn 48 on Jan 4th (sure, mark the day in your calendar (: ) I’m not a fan of sugar coating things. If you’re 48, it means that you have probably lived more than half of your life.
Whenever I read about millennial marketing, I feel a certain resistance and need to disagree.
Millenials are typically portrayed as not very intelligent, shallow people with the attention span of a forest ant. They can only hear you if you speak certain words in a certain tone.
No, not even. You have to wear an Anime mask and Snapchat your 5-word (max) message on a meme. And, please, make it colorful!
I am pretty sure that “Snapchat” something” is not the right expression. A younger person would know that. Yet, you’re here reading my article.
Some say they are narcissists, while others complain they are poorly educated. Most people agree: Millennials have to be addressed in a certain way.
The majority of readers of this blog and our B2B Sales Training page (http://storyseekers-chicago.com) are actually millennials.
When I was young, one of my favorite authors was (and still is) Hermann Hesse. God, I read his books over and over again. He was born nearly 100 years before me and the language sounded old-fashioned and sometimes outdated.
I didn’t care. Later, they released a new version and tried to make the texts sound more “modern”. They took its soul.
It was awful. Like a 62-year old in a tight pink leggin wearing a “back to school” sweater.
When I look at friends, acquaintances, social media contacts I enjoy interacting with and even clients, I can not see an age pattern. I do see a mindset/character pattern.
The common denominator is not the age.
Some of the people I influence and who influence me are a century older – some a century younger.
Back to the old dog
It is easier and harder than ever before to reach people. On one hand, the internet and social media give you the opportunity to reach half of the world population – on the other hand, it is very difficult to cut through the empty noise in the overcrowded cyberspace.
Why did I try to install a game so pixely it made my eyes bleed?
The games had incredible storytelling. The characters were relatable and likable. That’s more important, not only to me, than a posh looking game.
Another game, a current one, I liked a lot is “Life is strange.” For the same reasons.
People have not changed as much as other people (mostly those trying to sell a service or product in that area) are trying to make us believe. We still have the same basic needs and we still base our decisions on emotions and trust.
Focusing on yourself too much (see The Myth of Personal Branding) rather than the needs of your audience and overlooking the basic rules of sales will not work well for most (see Is your niche profitable.)
The difference between millennials and older people
Delivery has changed. Technology has changed.
When I was young, I looked for dogs that I trusted, who were authentic, likable and interested me. Dogs that seemed wise. If necessary, I adapted to their old-fashioned style.
Just like the millennials of today.
Oh, and I liked a lot of old-fashioned stuff. Philosophers, film noir movies and old bikes (did you know that the first Moto Guzzi, Targa Florio, was built in 1921?)
No dog should ever stop learning. But are the tricks of an old dog bad? I don’t think so.
Every dog should learn good tricks.
The difference between millennials and older people is that millennials are younger.
The most precious resource of a self-employed person
A huge risk for newly self-employed people, small business, online businesses, and bloggers is the shiny object syndrome. It’s tempting to jump on every topic you see trending. A new practice here, the new best tool there.
Especially, when your business is not developing as it should.
We are not corporations with marketing departments and unlimited time and funds.We have to focus on what matters most.
Unless you are selling puberty pimple cream or bladder leakage pills, you will likely want to attract people who have something else in common than age.
The group hardest to market to
Marketers say that millennials are the hardest group to figure out and therefore, the hardest group to market to.
You know who’s the group that is hardest to “market” to? Not young people, not old people – people with a high EQ. Why? They are hard to manipulate and don’t fall for marketing gimmicks easily.
A funny side-effect of emotional intelligence is that you don’t buy 12 cans of Tide on sale (lowest price EVAAA) when you still have two bottles and know they’ll put it on sale every second week.
If you have a high EQ, creating a false sense of urgency, working with manipulative wording, false statements (offer ends in 7 hours, declaring regular parts of an offer as “free gifts”) influences you against making a buying decision more than for it.
People with a high EQ spot fake people easier. People who try to sound like someone they’re not. For instance, old dogs who fell for the myth of millennial marketing.
- Put your client first
- Produce the best product/service you can
- Understand their needs, desires, and problems
- Convey your message authentically
That will keep you busy.
I believe “marketing” what your potential buyers need from a mindset of servitude with the pure and honest intention to add value is the best and most successful approach.
Not everyone will like you. Those who do will be better clients than people you attracted by portraying yourself as something you are not.
Some things never change: People are influenced by people they trust. They listen to people they like. And then they buy from people who they believe can help them fulfill a need, desire or vision.
Last words from my millennial LinkedIn “friend”, Geoff Morris:
“I don’t know what makes millennial marketing different from other marketing apart from these exaggerated accusations against my generation, just so the people making them can feel superior…”