Pieces
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Bits & Pieces?

Bits & Pieces

Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Me, Generation Why, Net Generation: all terms used to describe one generation. My generation.

Almost every time people mention Millennials they are trying to understand how to make us buy more of what they sell. Who would blame them when with 92 million members this is the largest generation in US history? Ohh, did I mention our $200 billion purchasing power?

Here is my problem with many of these articles, blog posts, podcasts, webinars, etc.: almost everything about marketing to Millennials inevitably includes connecting with us on social networking platforms because, apparently, Facebook is our life. Some of these articles even claim that connecting with us online is the only way to get our attention for more than three seconds.

I, as a Millennial, appreciate that brands are trying to connect with me where I spend the most of my time, but that is not Facebook.

It might sound surprising to some, but Millennials do have analog lives. Without them we wouldn’t have digital lives. If we didn’t attend live concerts and didn’t meet people, we wouldn’t have content to share on Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter, and whatever platform is popular tomorrow.

Our analog lives power our digital lives. We love going to concerts, bars, clubs, etc. and we love documenting our experiences so that we can share them with our friends. Some even claim that my generation is more concerned with documenting our experiences rather than experiencing.

A generation documenting experience

What does this have to do with marketing to Millennials? The better question is: Are you providing experiences worth documenting and sharing? If so, how are you empowering us to share these experiences? Providing experiences worth sharing is probably the easiest way to harness the social graph because we trust our peers more than we trust brands and we tend to overshare.

Here are a few brands that provide experiences worth sharing and empower Millennials to share:

The Milwaukee Art Museum does a great job engaging with young people during events. Every month the museums has an After Dark event with arts, crafts, music, drag queen contests, break dancing shows, fashion shows, etc. Most of the attendees not only enjoy the events, but also document them and share the pictures on their social networks. Besides providing an experience worth documenting and sharing, the museum also has a photo booth and makes the pictures available to the attendees with a Flickr page.

Another example is the Milk Made site for New York Fashion Week. Yes, New York fashion Week is definitely an event worth documenting, at least for me, but that is only half of the story. The site allows attendees to cover Fashion Week live with their cell phones. Snap a picture and share it on the site. Sharing can’t get easier than that.

Providing experiences worth sharing doesn’t mean organzing only large, extremely popular events. It can be any experience that is different from your audience’s ordinary life. Remember what Estee Lauder did last year? Professional Estee Lauder makeup artists provided free makeover to ordinary women and took a picture. Of course, all these women used these pictures for their profiles and avatars with Estee Lauder’s logo in the background of the picture. Look at Jeep’s Come Together Flickr Pool, where hundreds of people from around the world are sharing their love for the brand and its vehicles.

Is the experience you create worth documenting and sharing?

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