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Why Traditional Marketing Doesn't Work for Millennials

Millennials are digital natives -- they didn’t have to get used to the internet, smartphones and social media, they’ve grown up with it. As such, studies show that they don’t respond to traditional advertising like TV commercials and print ads the way previous generations have. They're accustomed to responsive media they can interact with. 

So what do millennials respond to? They respond to authenticity. When you’re constantly connected to your friends and acquaintances over social media, it’s much easier -- and more relevant -- to reach out to your own network. If you’re looking for a place to grab dinner, do you go with whatever place you’ve seen an ad for, or do you ask your friends for recommendations? Or maybe you’d go to a website or app to see reviews. Either way, it’s getting opinions from actual people rather than a marketing department.

Websites like Trip Advisor enable you to see reviews from friends  as well as by rating

This isn’t to say that companies must abandon those marketing departments or fire their ad agencies -- very much the opposite. Those marketing and advertising professionals are now tasked with finding ways to reach this group. If you truly have a great product that millennials would be interested in, you should have no trouble marketing it in an authentic manner. Take for instance, Northwest Territories Tourism. Our license plates say “Spectacular” because that’s what we are. Search through Instagram or Twitter for #SpectacularNWT and you’ll see what we mean -- sure we can show you gorgeous photos of brightly coloured rolling hills along the Dempster Highway, or a swirly green and purple Aurora lighting up an Arctic sky, but don’t just take our word for it, search through the tags and take a look at everyone else’s Aurora pictures or hikes or canoe trips or bison roadblocks. “Spectacular” isn’t a clever slogan, it’s just what it looks like up here. We leverage user generated content so that our audience can see what sorts of sights and experiences people are genuinely enjoying up here. If you see an especially beautiful hike, we want to tell you exactly where that trail is. And it's why we share stories on the main tourism site -- we invite you to learn about the people and places that make the Northwest Territories such an incredible place to visit.

One of the many beautiful SpectacularNWT UGC images from our Instagram feed

And then when you visit, you'll share your photos and experiences with your network, providing them with a trustworthy review of the Northwest Territories, inspiring them to come visit, and so on.