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Monday, June 30, 2008

In my last post about marketing to Millennials, I received a great deal of feedback asking about approach. "What's different about marketing to Millennials vs. our existing segments?" many browsers asked. In an effort to allay some fears and get your marketing on track, let me cover some basics that never change.

Whether you are marketing to Millennials, generation X or Y, marketing basics remain the same. The only difference is essentially the technique used to communicate your message.

Keep It Simple

A great formula for marketing success is M.O.A.T. The moat approach as I like to frame it stands for "message", "offer", "audience", and "timing". As I've mentioned in previous posts, to be success in print, online, or in this Web 2.0 world, your marketing needs to be based on a deep understanding of your audience, the messages you disseminate, the timing of your messages and the offers you provide.

Be in tune with your Audience

In order to communicate effectively to the market you wish to reach, you need to know them - what are their likes and dislikes? What matters most to them? How can you reach them? What media do they use to get their information? and so on.

By knowing your audience, you can effectively craft messages that are meaningful and personalized. Instead of sending a traditional form letter, you can craft a message they gets your prospect to stand up and take notice, generate an emotional reaction, or simply create a response. Start with an understanding of your marketing and your messaging will take shape.

Also, knowing more about your audience can help you determine when they need to receive their messages from you. Is there an event that would be a great catalyst for a purchase decision? How about a certain time of year when they need your products or services above all else? Let the market be your guide and work with their timing, not yours.

And lastly, what about the offer? If your market resonates more to social causes, then offer to make a donation to their favorite charity instead of providing a meaningless coupon. Again, focus on offers that have meaning to the individuals you are trying to reach, not something you deem cute or eye catching.

Keep In Mind These Marketing Basics

Your marketing can be most effective, regardless of who you are targeting if your remember to follow these marketing basics:

Message. Speak the same language as your audience. Determine what matters most to them and communicate using the right language and media.

Offer. Generate offers that have meaning to the audience you are attempting to reach vs. a generic offer or contest that they may care very little about.

Audience. Walk in the shoes of your prospective customer. The more you understand them and their behaviors, the more success you will have in developing effective marketing campaigns.

Timing. Executing on your marketing campaign is only as effective as your timing. Make sure you communicate the right message to the right audience with an effective offer at the right time and results are sure to follow.

Once you develop a campaign, test, test, and continue to test. Similar messages may seem equal but consumers may respond differently. Let your audience be your guide and don't forget to keep it simple.


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