Millennial Data Mining: A Marketer's Dream Come True!
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Millennial Data Mining: A Marketer's Dream Come True!

Millennial Data Mining: A Marketer's Dream Come True!

We already know that Millennials are on social media. A lot. In a recent study from Qualtrics, 42 percent of Millennial respondents said they couldn’t go five hours without checking their social media feeds. These stats may change as the group ages and has less recreational time on their hands, but for now they can be found on social media sites regularly, and marketers would be remiss to ignore that.

What are they doing while they’re online? They’re sharing far more information than other generations. Beyond the social media basics like their name and location, they’re willing to share profile data just to find out which snack food they are. Yes, really. “Which Snackfood Are You?” is an online quiz you can take to find out what popular snack food you are, based on 10 random questions that have nothing to do with food. (I’m potato chips, apparently.)

On a more serious note, according to Bank of America’s “Trends in Consumer Mobility Report,” when compared with the average smartphone user, Millennials are: 19 percent more likely to share their spending data, 7 percent more likely to share their location, and 15 percent more likely to share their schedule.

Retailers and businesses can, and should, take advantage of this. Millennials are willing to share their personal information with you as a business, or with other sites and media that can help you better target this group. They’re basically telling us what they find interesting, where they are, and how they like to shop. This is a marketer’s dream come true.

Types of targeting

With “always-on” campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat you can continually hit your target demographic with branding or lead generation ads. Using detailed and precise targeting will ensure you get your message in front of the desired Millennial consumers who are using those sites regularly — while avoiding spending resources on those who aren’t a good fit for your product or service.

Let’s say you’re in Joliet, Illinois, and you sell widgets. Millennials love your widgets. You want to make sure your ad is being seen by young people in your area who are interested in your product. So you use the following:

  • Contextual and behavioral targeting to hit consumers who are searching for information on and relating to widgets.
  • Re-targeting to hit consumers who have been to your site or profile but have not converted.
  • Geo-targeting to hit the specific ZIP codes or areas you know most of your customers come from. This way you ensure you aren’t marketing to people who are too far away because that’s unlikely to lead to a sale. No one wants to drive from Chicago to Joliet for a widget.
  • Look-alike targeting to serve ads to people who are similar to your existing customers and thus likely to be interested in your widgets. For example: Kelsey is on your targeting list because she’s been to your site, has searched for your widget on Facebook, and has converted. Kailey is nearly identical to Kelsey in her location, likes, and purchases. Look-alike targeting allows you to serve ads to Kailey.

What makes all this possible and effective is the amount of data Millennials provide to social media sites, businesses, and other sites, like Google. As marketers, you have the ability to granularly target by nearly any topic, interest, or demographic relevant to your product or service. Use that ability to your advantage.

Types of ads

Now that you have your targeting down and your ads are going to get in front of consumers who are most likely to purchase, you need to design your posts for maximum effect.

The primary rule of thumb today is that video brings better returns than text-only ads. If video production is difficult for you, or your product doesn’t translate well to a full video, think about using gifs to add movement without the added cost and stress of video production. But keep in mind that 85 percent of Millennials use video in their own marketing campaigns and 45 percent set aside more than a quarter of their ad budget to video, according to recent research from Marketo. They wouldn’t use it if they didn’t see the value.

Video posts are now common on all social media platforms. Snapchat and Instagram cater to video posts and have added linking features to allow easy marketing connections and lead generation. Facebook auto-play video posts are commonplace and quickly grab the attention of those scrolling through their feeds. Just remember to make the first five seconds of your video as attention-grabbing as possible to engage potential customers before they scroll past.

Final thoughts

Link to your website or profile whenever possible so your consumer target doesn’t need to search for you after seeing your ad. As always, be sure to continually monitor your ad results and optimize your targeting and message based on what is working best.

Remember, proper targeting saves money and drives leads. Get your ads where they need to be and make it as easy as possible for your target to convert.

Shawna Ford is a marketing coordinator at Mindstream Media and has a background in social media marketing and copywriting. To learn more about Mindstream, call 800-548-6214 or email

Published: January 8th, 2018

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