Marketing To Millennials With Promotional Products


Generation Y, often dubbed the 'Millennial Generation'' is a group that has attracted many column inches.  With birth dates from 1982-2000, they are the first ‘tech natives’ and form the largest generational cohort since the baby boomers. They are also fast becoming the most marketed-to group of consumers.

As advertisers look to target this growing segment, it is no surprise that digital channels feature heavily in their activities. Social media, mobile apps and search engines are intrinsic to most Millennial focused marketing. However, it is easy to forget the impact of more traditional media.

According to research by
OMD, TV is still the most influential channel for Millennials. This may seem odds with their digital roots, but Millennials assert that they are looking to engage with brands on a more personal, physical level. They want brands to be authentic and creative, whilst at the same time conveying value and quality. Specifically, Millennials want to ‘see - feel - and touch’ products; to establish real world connections. Digital influences are important - but they are not the only consideration.
For brands looking to establish this kind of tactile interaction, promotional products are a viable, cost effective medium.


Offline channels such as direct mail, trade fairs and magazines all score favourably with Millennials when researching a product*. These outlets also provide prime distribution avenues for branded giveaways. A business reminder printed onto a promotional iPad case, flash drive or mouse mat can help to provide a relevant and authentic brand connection, whilst cementing that coveted physical interaction.
Branded Pens as Promotional Products
Any touch points at this research stage should be viewed as a key part of engagement with this audience. Thus, creative thinking is a must. Increasingly, promotional products have adapted to meet more complex design briefs, including the incorporation of advanced personalisation techniques. Digital printing, for example, allows for full colour branding opportunities, offering exciting ways to promote a brand's image.


Alongside this is the emergence of next generation technologies, such as
Aurasma. Aurasma is a free smartphone app which allows users to view interactive content that is embedded into 2D and 3D objects. These items can include billboards, magazine spreads and promotional products. Users point their app-enabled phone at the object and the interactive content starts to play. Clearly, for brands looking to appeal to today's Millennials, the prospect of embedding digital messages into promotional giveaways is great way to be seen as innovative and fresh.

Finally, for the Millennial generation, environmental issues are more than a passing concern. Particularly in Asia and South America, Millennials are more likely to purchase products from companies that show strong environmental values. Many promotional products are available in eco-friendly formats and can be used to promote this message in a very affordable way. Jute bags, recycled mugs and organic clothing are all very effective for this purpose and provide the perfect souvenir for today’s eco conscious Millennials.
Eco-Friendly Bags
* Source: OmnicomMediaGroup Study January 2012

Lorna Walker is part of the marketing team at www.ellenell.com. She has over 10 years marketing experience and is a passionate about all things promotional products. For more ideas, check out her guide on how to use promotional products to market your small business.

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