Marketing to Millennials

Love them or hate them this “rebellious” group of individuals lie between the ages of 18 to 34; and constitute the most diverse, apolitical and tech-dependent generation in history.

Millennials have come of age during a precarious time of epic technological change, disruption of traditional businesses and the democratization of commerce. With a generational group so diverse, stranded on the shores of a transient business environment; marketers will quickly have to understand, how to tap into this growing economic segment.

 By 2025 millennials will account for over $8 trillion, making it the most significant market segment

To understand the millennial better, let’s take a peek into their collective mindset. A non judgmental look at their traits may give us a better understanding into their motivations and subsequently business models, that cater to those underlying traits.

A study on Millennial Traits globally (various sources)

The graph summarizes 15 key facts, that may well be an indicative blueprint, on how marketing strategies will need to evolve in the future

While each of the findings holds a lesson to be derived from, below are a look at 4 traits that I found interesting.

1) Willingness to invest in assets

The traditional idea of financial security involved, building a portfolio of safe investments that would appreciate over time. You went to college, got a job, bought a car, got married, bought a house, had kids, saved money for their education, put some aside for a rainy day….and life went on.

This consumer framework loosely existed, for much of the 20th century and thus marketers had enough time to develop products; marketing them to customers at predictable intervals of their lives.

Today, with less than 15% of millennials willing to invest in major assets, it’s easy to misunderstand them as a bunch of footloose and fancy-free gypsies. One must however, bear in mind, that millennials carry the highest debt compared to any other generation in history. Truth is, millennials grew up in a world of debt – most of which wasn’t even of their doing. Add to that a shrinking global economy, financial collapses all over the world and insane student debt levels, it’s no surprise that their purchase priorities are completely different from that of their parents.

Marketers and Innovators who have been able to disrupt the rent versus own model are the ones that will define the future.

Businesses like Uber, AirBnb, Netflix, Zipcar, reveal just the surface – of a fast emerging shared economy.

2) Brand Loyalty

The fact that only 31% of millennium seem to be brand loyal, may frighten some older marketers. However, the state of consumer’s hearts may not be as dismal.

Brand loyalty could strangely be seen a fundamental human characteristic. As human buyers (with emotions of course) we will always want to associate with people or companies that give us a sense of belonging, a feeling of safety and a relate-able vision.

So while less than 31% of Millennials claim to be brand loyal; the concept of consumer loyalty will always remain; the variables of the loyalty equation will change.

It will probably take more than just being a big brand with in your face advertising, to stay relevant and adored amongst the millennial masses.

Below is a brilliant all in one illustration by Bain & Co, which I think, is the new customer value pyramid

3) Casualization

Millennials are casual and these numbers will keep growing!

They prefer comfort dressing over stuffy suits, they prefer spending on experiences over assets and are OK with shortening age old English words, to be more efficient and useful in their tech driven lives. (OMG right!)

These may be reasons as to why, we are seeing a shift in mainstream design. An iconography of information, a mass movement towards lighter pastel colors, even established logos moving towards more casual typefaces………………………………….. casual will become the new formal.

4) Self Absorbed

In an age where the “selfie” is an actual word, let’s not kid ourselves and think that the world cannot get any more “self-involved”.

Here lies a huge area to market products aimed at individuality. Vivo Mobiles in my opinion ran a brilliant campaign, marketing their selfie-based phones with the line “This is not a selfie this is myself”. I think, this brilliantly touched upon that need of self-absorbance, in a strangely tasteful way.

Marketing then v/s Marketing now

7 Types of Marketing Structures

When you think of marketing organizations, what structures come to mind?  Do you believe in the strictly traditional marketing structures?  How should one organize their marketing team for optimal efficiency, communication, and customer focus?

In this article, we will share the top trends in organizing a marketing team, as defined by a recent HubSpot study, The CMO’s Guide to Marketing Organization Structures.  In this, we will share the key features of efficient marketing teams, the structures that leading organizations use, and quotes from the organization leaders.

We hope these generous contributions shed some light on the subject for marketing leaders who are rethinking how to organize their departments to take advantage of changes to all stages at the buying process.

The Elastic Organization—Mindjet

Company Example: Mindjet

Company Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Products or Services: Apps to help you brainstorm, plan, and manage projects.

Chief Marketing Officer: Jascha Kaykas-Wolff (@kaykas)

“As marketing continues to evolve, this organizational structure will adapt to whatever needs come about. Coupled with the adoption of new business processes like Agile Marketing, I believe functional depth expertise, coupled with cross-functional management of the work your team is focused on, will keep a steady stream of ideas flowing, more analytical decisions about which of those ideas to implement, and ultimately create predictability in the outcome of you and your team’s efforts.”

Structure of an Elastic Organization

Elastic Marketing Organization

Features of an Elastic Organization

Marketing Operations professionals oversee the complexity of the marketing tech stack, IT integration, hypothesis testing, and optimizing customer experiences in the product.

  • Flexible structure allows for adding headcount and/or functions seamlessly as the company’s product mix evolves.
  • Much of the marketing org flows through Product Marketing Managers (PMMs).
  • PMMs partner with functional experts in other sub-departments.

Source: Mindjet

Related: Emotional Marketing for B2B Companies

The TOFU Organization—Zendesk

Company: Zendesk

Company Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Products or Services: Helpdesk & Customer Support Software

Chief Marketing Officer: Bill Macaitis (@bmacaitis)

“I think future marketing org structures will put a much greater emphasis on post-lead metrics like Net Promoter Scores (NPS) as they attempt to maximize growth, minimize churn, and drive lifetime value.”

Structure of a TOFU Organization

Tofu Marketing Organization Structure

Features of a TOFU Organization

  • This is a team built to scale top-of-funnel (“ToFu”) growth, with content marketing as the largest group, followed by advertising and product marketing.
  • Tight alignment with the creative team is key – the head of the creative team reports to the CEO, and the department straddles both marketing and product.

Source: Zendesk

The Inbound Organization: HubSpot

Company: HubSpot

Company Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Products or Services: B2B Marketing and Sales Software and Apps

Chief Marketing Officer: Mike Volpe (@mvolpe)

“I threw my old org chart in the trash when I joined HubSpot and started from the beginning. We built our entire company for the inbound era, from marketing to sales to service, because the buyer has all the power today and you need to realign your company for that. I think our org chart is the future of the marketing org because of that – we focus on an inbound experience that the buyer drives, with us providing value along each stage.”

Structure of an Inbound Organization

Inbound Marketing Organization Structure

Features of an Inbound Organization

  • Focused on providing a buyer-driven inbound experience.
  • Adds value through content and contextual marketing (e.g., dynamic, smart site pages and content based on a prospect’s relationship to the company).
  • Steeped in buyer personas and delivering experiences tailored to those personas.
  • Content as a dedicated function allows it to serve multiple internal “clients” (demand generation, PR, sales enablement).

Source: HubSpot

Related: 3 Ways to Align Marketing & Sales

The Funnel Focused Organization: Forrester

Company: Forrester

Company Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Products or Services: Proprietary market research, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs.

VP of Marketing: Jeff Ernst Forrester VP of Marketing (@JeffErnst)

“I try to rationalize this structure by saying that team 1 is above the funnel, team 2 is top and middle of the funnel, and team 3 creates materials for the bottom of the funnel and acts as a service bureau to the rest.”

Structure of a Funnel-Focused Organization

Funnel Marketing Organization Structure

Features of a Funnel-Focused Organization

  • Team 1 manages relationships with the top 50 publications and places Forrester analysts to speak at industry events.
  • Team 2 focuses primarily on demand.
  • Team 3 manages product collateral for the sales team and the production of anything that carries the Forrester brand.

Source: Forrester

Related: Is Your Marketing Modern?

The Culture Organization: GitHub

Company: GitHub

Company Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Products or Services: Hosted Git repository and social network for programmers, allowing members to collaborate on and monitor project development.

VP of Marketing: Brian Doll (@briandoll)

“I like to think of marketing as the intentional transfer of culture. It is an essential element to just about everything. Building great product is marketing. The way we talk to our customers is marketing. With that definition, I do see everyone participating in marketing to various degrees.”

Structure of a Culture Organization

Culture Marketing Organization Structure

Features of a Culture Organization

  • In this flat organization, everything is based on merit. Very few titles exist – only team names.
  • The goal of marketing in this org is to transfer the culture everywhere, in the product that’s built, the marketing assets used to drive awareness and adoption… even internally.
  • In this org, more than just defined “marketers” take part in marketing. The entire company is expected to uphold the culture of the company, whether through offline events, social media, or one-to-one user interactions.

Source: GitHub

Related: CMO vs. CIO: Clash in the Cubicle

The Customer Organization: Atlassian

Company: Atlassian

Company Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Products or Services: Software that helps teams track, collaborate, code, and ship products.

Structure of a Customer Organization

Customer Marketing Organization Structure

Features of a Customer Organization

  • Built with a focus on the marketing funnel, from awareness-based branding to lead generation and nurturing, to customer retention.
  • The bottom of the funnel receives a great deal of attention, as the “Customer 4 Life” team exists specifically to nurture and retain existing customers. The team’s goal is to improve customer success on existing products (i.e. retention) while upselling new features.
  • Marketing Ops supports the rest of the organization.

Source: Atlassian

The Creative Organization: Rue La La

Company: Rue La La

Company Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts

Products or Services: Members-only shopping site featuring some of the most sought-after brands in fashion, accessories, footwear, home, travel, and more.

Chief Marketing Officer: Robin Domeniconi (@RobindNYC)

“The future of marketing is truly dependent on the ability to integrate compelling content and commerce into a seamless experience. Creating that added value will keep customers loyal and coming back to your brand. That’s why all teams must be aligned and working together to deliver the most personal and enriching experience for our customers.”

Structure of a Creative Organization

Creative Organization Marketing Structure

Features of a Creative Organization

  • Marketing, merchandising, and creative align to provide Rue La La members with a fully integrated, seamless shopping experience.
  • Marketing is organized by disciplines (such as acquisition, PR, or social) across each business category (e.g. fashion, home, travel). The GM of each business line sets the overall objective.

Source: Rue La La