Integrating Digital and Physical Media Drives Success with Millennials and Gen Z

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Ashley Leone

It’s no mystery why brands want to market to millennials and Gen Z consumers. The U.S. alone is home to approximately 87.5 million millennials (born 1981-1996). That sounds impressive—until you learn that the latter Gen Z (born 1996-2012) is the largest generation in American history, making up 27% of the population. Together, the two generations hold $165 billion in purchasing power.

Technology Plays a Major Role in Marketing to Millennials and Gen Zers

When developing strategies for marketing to millennials and Gen Z, lumping these two generations together as “younger” isn’t the best of ideas. After all, there are reasons for the separation, and some of those reasons include: differences in consumption practices, preferences in communication, and other factors that could inhibit the accuracy of target marketing. However, there is one major trait shared between millennials and Gen Z that greatly differentiates them from their older cohorts: the use of technology.

Millennials grew up during an age of great technological advancements, and Gen Zers were born into it. This is especially true in terms of how technology has transformed how they connect and communicate (e.g., smart phones, Wi-Fi, social media, etc.). Of course, Generation X and even baby boomers are no strangers to technology, but the major difference that marketers should appreciate can be summed up as this: earlier generations understand turn-of-the-millennium tech, younger generations expect it.

Don’t Overlook Mail as a Valuable Communication Channel for Younger Generations

However, that’s not to say that when marketing to millennials and Gen Z that your communications should be all digital—far from it. Actually, a 2021 U.S. Postal Service study showed that 88% of millennials take the time to open and read all their mail and 60% find information from mail more valuable than information from email. Considering that millennials are reported to spend 5.7 hours on their smart phones each day, it’s not totally surprising that 80% look forward to checking their physical mailbox.

So the best strategy for marketing to millennials and Gen Zers isn’t solely digital, but to integrate digital with direct mail for maximum reach and ease of buying. There are two highly effective ways you can incorporate digital into your direct mail marketing campaign:

  1. Make it Smart Phone Friendly: This is especially important when it comes to seamlessly closing the gap between the physical and the digital. By working with the assumption that millennial and Gen Z consumers will reach for their phone before their tablet or computer, you eliminate steps and make acting on an offer or taking the next step in the purchasing funnel extremely easy. Some things to consider are:
    • Including QR codes that link to websites, videos, and other content,
    • Allowing any coupons or offers to be easily added to a consumer’s iPhone wallet, or important dates to be added to smart phone calendars, and
    • Ensuring all links are optimized for mobile.
  2. Include your Contact Information: In the past, this might have meant adding a toll-free number, but nowadays, it should include your social media channels and website. Gen Z in particular wants to know more about a company before committing with 82% researching a brand before making a purchase. Millennials also value brand interaction on social media, with 62% reporting that brands who interact with them are more likely to make them loyal customers. This doesn’t have to take up too much of your marketing real estate, either. Simply listing social media icons that your company updates regularly is enough to drive millennial and Gen Z prospects to your social pages—whether you list your handles or not.

Marketing to millennials and Gen Z consumers can be transformational. Contact our team of marketing experts today to help your next campaign integrate digital into the physical to reach this audience and easily boost your return on marketing investment.

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