Ryan Charles is a Classic Millennial open and creative guy with advice on how to market to Gen Y. Ever since I met him over a year ago, I noticed his fun loving attitude and highly sociable nature. So when he mentioned to me that he was asked to help with marketing to Generation Y, I wanted to know what he had to say.
Marketing to Millennials will be come more and more prevalent as they come of age. Doing it well may be a new paradigm for most marketers. Check out this interview, transcript and take aways.
- I understand recently you’ve been asked to be a part of helping market to gen y, how did that come about?
Ryan: It came about when I was at at Toastmasters Meeting for District 5 Legacy Leaders where asked a question for table topics on how does Toastmasters market to the younger generation. I gave a lot of good ideas and the future Marketing Chair happened to be there and asked me “why not help market to generation Y” So I did that.
- What were some of the ideas you came up to help them market to generation Y?
Ryan: Have a bigger web basis for social media. Go to colleges because that’s where Generation Y are right now. Talk to them now about Toastmasters because they will be needing it for the future. When they graduate it will be hard to get a job. So show them the benefits of how Toastmasters can help their financial future.
- How did you get involved with Toastmasters and what do you love about it?
Ryan: Main reason I got involved with it was because 5 years ago my mom started Toastmasters. I wondered “what on earth is Toastmasters. They’re making toast? Ok whatever.” My mom brought me to a meeting and giving speeches. Watching people grow is one of the most wonderful things about toastmasters. When they join they’re stuttering, blubbering and saying ahh and um everywhere. As they progress watch them grow and it’s like “is that the same person that joined 3 months ago? It’s not. Reason I enjoy it is because I learn by watching other people give speeches. That helped me in my high school career. At my high school I had to give presentations to people from Time Warner Cable and I had to give a speech on why I deserved to graduate high school. I joined and use it for my networking, getting out there and speaking better.
- Give us a little history of your life?
Ryan: I’m 19 years old and I enjoy drawing. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Thirteen years ago I had no talent but I wanted to be an artist. From 2nd grade onward I taught myself how to draw and got better. I want to make a future in doing graphic design, web design, drawing, painting… anything that has to do with the arts. I see myself in Florida graduating from Palm Beach State University. Then transferring into Full Sail University and doing internships Pixar, Disney and animation companies.
- What should a company never do when marketing to gen y?
Ryan: Well firstly gen y is very oriented on our phones. We hardly like talking to people in person. What doesn’t work are people trying to get people to sign petitions. People don’t like being forced upon. If a company tries to force their stuff on me, I’ll be like ‘no thank you” Sell it but not enough to push away. I feel a company shouldn’t be completely serious and pushy.
- What could an environmental company do to be not forceful but interesting?
Ryan: You’re not going to be able to sell to everyone. To get to 50-75% state your offer once. Thank you, I have to go to class. They keep pushing. No thank you. If they continue to push, the individual locks that in the back of their mind and never will buy. If you say it once, when I do have money, I’ll probably give it to the right cause.
- Ryan: Sometimes we act like we’re not hearing it, but really do hear it. Sometimes I wear my headphones, but have nothing playing just so people will leave me alone. Sometimes I do want to drown out the world and blast my music. Sometimes we need to drown out the world. An occasional ad on Pandora is annoying but we will deal with it and remember that.
- Is Gen Y the “Don’t bother me” generation. ”
Ryan: The Gen Y is all about me. “What’s in it for them” is how to market to them.
- What does Gen Y want?
Ryan: Gen Y needs money. Our economic situation is very bad. Most who go to college don’t get a job in that degree because the economy. If you’re get Gen Y to a job interview and help them blow the company out of the water at the interview with interview skills, the way you talk, how you say certain things. If I can get a job just by talking eloquently, I’ll give it a shot, We are material/money oriented. We What is new is bad. Want the newest thing, car.
- If you solve the money situation, what do you value? Where will you spend your money and time?
Ryan: I am a Barnes & Nobel comic book nerd. I can’t speak for everyone. I will go to local comic book shop, and movies. Most of my friends spend their time working. I draw for other people. Sometimes they’re at the gym or watching TV shows. Friends go do card shops and play Magic The Gathering.
- What are some of the biggest differences between Gen Y and older generations?
Ryan: We have information at our fingertips. We Google and find all the information so much faster. I don’t have to look at a dictionary. Access to information and technology. Gasoline is much more expensive now.
- What doesn’t Gen Y care about?
Ryan: We care about environment, health care and community. I just helped feeding the homeless downtown. I don’t like politics. I know it helps our government roll. Politics is getting nasty. We are very health oriented. Don’t have to worry about it for a few years. I am concerned about how much it will cost me in the future. My friend Ben is a health nut. We are a very diverse generation.
- Are there certain products your generation likes?
Ryan: I am a tea drinker and love Starbucks, Tevana. I like Nike, Adidas. I like American muscle cars like Mustang or Boss. But because of the gas prices, I will go with a Hyndai or hybrid. Most are happy with what they get. We also are getting Samsungs and iPhones. Clothing depends on the fads.
- Mac or PC?
Ryan: Difficult. I run PC. I can appreciate the usability of a Mac. I can do so much with my PC. It depends on what you get. Take what you gets.
- Any other advice you’d give to someone who wants to hire and/or market to gen y?
Ryan: You need to hire someone of that generation Y to market to them. Someone fresh out of college who is really sociable. One way to market to us is YouTube. We fall into the YouTube votex a lot. We start out watching something school related and then 2 hours later we’re watching a cat fall into a toilet bowl. But if we throw in ads from there you’ll get in front of them.Here’s the part that he later typed to me to complete his answer.
- Ryan: Marketing to the younger generation is best done through youtube or on social media websites like on the side of Facebook’s news feed. Also with marketing to Gen y like I said before is if you show Gen y “what is in it for them” you can always sell. But also do it in a fun and interesting way because Gen y is very party oriented. If they can see what is in it for them in a fun way, then Gen y will notice it.
Take Aways About Gen Y Best Marketing Practices
- Utilize the age old marketing rule of WIIFM – always focus on what’s in it for them.
- What Gen Y needs/wants is money and a stable economy.
- They like gadgets, fashion, and cars.
- Use social media to market to them. In particular YouTube and Facebook
- Don’t be too pushy but definitely be present. They may not look like they’re listening but they will eventually notice you.
- Easiest way to turn off Gen Y is be pushy and repetitive.
Gen Y – Have Your Say
Please comment below with your insights on best ways to market to and get the attention of Gen Y consumers. What do you think is the biggest thing marketers need to do differently for the Millennial market?