Every generation is born into a brave new world. The world in which we are raised greatly influences the way in which we interact with it. Millennials were born into a busy, rapidly changing world. And to keep up, they themselves lead very busy lives. Efficiency and motivation is not a problem as it was with Generation X. They are not as rebellious as the Baby Boomers. However, because of their fast-paced lives and equally fast-paced minds, Millennials are incredibly difficult to engage with. To get their attention requires skill rather than effort, appealing to the fundamental aspects of this generation’s way of life. Here are 10 tips that can help you engage with this generation.

Millennials are by nature hyper-informed due to the technological change they have had to keep up with while growing up. They refuse to take things at face value, knowing with almost certainty that things are not as they seem. They are acutely aware of the world around them – its challenges, its triumphs – and even if they don’t know exactly how it works, they are intent on figuring it out. Why, what and how are key questions asked confronted with any information. A successful brand will be able to give instant answers.

If you want to engage with a Millennial consumer, you have to give them a reason to focus their attention. Satiate their innate curiosity, and offer them something in return for their precious time. Give timelessly, reward their loyalty, and that loyalty will not run out.

Instant Gratification
Millennials are exceptionally good at multitasking. They are efficient in their use of time and energy. However, with this comes high expectations. They expect services instantly, and have difficulty dealing with queues, delays and other “counterproductive” processes.


Constant Contact
Millennials are digital natives, weaned on technology. They expect anytime, anywhere communication. They are experiential learners – they grow through trial and error. Traditional content does not appeal to them as much as multimedia, multi-sensory experiences.

Millennials are notoriously difficult to motivate or convince. They are driven, but realistic. They do not enjoy sugarcoating, and favour authenticity over exaggeration. Facades do not fool them, and they don’t like to have their intelligence undermined.

According to a recent survey by textbook rental company Chegg, 88 percent of college students believe it’s important for companies to give back to the community. They want you to actively show them how you’re doing it, because 80% also think it’s important to buy from brands that have “responsible business practices.

Millennials have a habit of keeping their time and commitments flexible in order to take advantage of better options, and they expect people, brands and institutions to do the same. Millennials switch their attention between electronic devices on average 27 times an hour. They respond well to content that can be consumed at any time, in any place – a Tweet whilst waiting for coffee, a photo series when commuting in a taxi, and longer videos/articles when sitting at home. Being mobile-friendly is also of key importance, as most Millennials are smartphone orientated.


Conversation & Debate
Let’s face it… Millennials are opinionated. A fantastic way to encourage them to engage is to spark a discussion around a current topic. This could be in the form of a question, or just some very shareable content. Take advantage of the viral, because as connected as Millennials are, even if they despise a certain viral meme, it’s almost certain that they are aware of it – for example, that terrible blue dress debate that has been doing the rounds (27 Feb 2015). It’s simply unavoidable. Which makes it extremely powerful. Tap into it instantly. A three-day-old meme is already archaic to the Millennial consumer.

To get perspective on Millennial ambition, take a look at their pop-culture heroes. Overachievers rule. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, even Kim and Kanye are all achievers in some way or other. To reach this ambitious generation, recognize their intelligence. Present information in a fast-paced way that makes them feel like they are making progress towards their goals and dreams.

Millennials respond exceptionally well to goofy, genuine humour. Tailor your content to be quirky, with an authentic voice.
Comedy is so central to who they are, the way they connect with other people, the way they get ahead in the world. Chanon Cook, the top research executive for Comedy Central, asserts the fact that “irony has been replaced by absurdity.” This is one of many ways that this generation had separated itself from Generation X.
Be aware that Millennials are especially harsh in judging brands whose attempts at humor come off as disingenuous. There is a fine line between genuine hilarity and brands who try too hard.