Guest Column: The fast and the frustrated- can marketers catch up with millennials?: Pooja Verma, Head - Content, ESP, Maxus

Building loyalty with millennials is about getting them to care about your brand story with meaningful and authentic stories, says Verma

e4m by Pooja Verma
Updated: May 17, 2017 8:30 AM
Guest Column: The fast and the frustrated- can marketers  catch up with millennials?: Pooja Verma, Head - Content, ESP,  Maxus

Pursuit of millennials by marketers is turning out to be a chase lifted straight out of an action movie. The subject’s taste changes faster than the average twitter newsfeed, frustrating even the best laid marketing plans.

The bounty for capture is huge as millennials already account for more than 25% of the world’s population and stand to corner 75% of the global workforce in less than 10 years.

Building loyalty with millennials is not just about being fast. It’s about getting them to care about your brand story with meaningful and authentic stories.

NewsCred, a leading content marketing platform, estimates that 60% of millennials engage with content only when it makes them think. Visualise the homeless man with a golden voice or an accomplished violinist playing anonymously on a subway. Just don’t make the story too long, or you have lost your audience, specifically 41%, according to the same study.

So how can brands tailor their content for a mass audience that prefers a one-on-one experience?

Augmented reality made Pokémon GO a viral success. It has also helped Fox Crime generate significant buzz for launching Blue Bloods by transforming an outdoor billboard in to an interactive game based on the show.

A subtext of personalisation is exclusivity. Using analytics, brands can target a loyal user base and offer them a richer content experience. India’s very own Royal Enfield has combined social media and event meets at a grassroots level to drive up interest for its North American foray. Taking a detour, the American Marketing Association cites Taylor Swift as successfully inducing FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out to issue limited edition releases of her music albums including photos and messages tailored for fans.

Untethering music from the cage of a hard drive helped streaming services like Saavn and Gaana gain traction with millennials. Developing original content will help keep them there. Saavn has a very active roster of podcasts on topics ranging from entertainment, sports and original programming. Plus, it has made its intentions clear to make “Indie artists big outside of India.” This counter-culture spirit is manna to a millennial.

The key to attracting millennials lies in value. The easiest mnemonic for this case is Netflix, although it does not apply to India just yet. The cost of accessing a burgeoning roster of hit shows with a cheap monthly subscription versus expensive cable fees explains why subscribers to the online video service in the US are on course to outnumber traditional cable customers this year.

The time is ripe now for marketers to rethink their understanding of millennials. It involves constantly meeting up, reading up, and, speeding up their understanding of this audience to create truly creative content solutions without the baggage of history.

The irony is that this post is probably too long for millennials. So tl;dr (too long, didn’t read); Tom Hanks. Leonardo Di Caprio. Catch me if you can! Marketing. Millennials.

Note: The data quoted in the article has been referenced from content and news reports available in the public domain copyrights of which belong to respective publishers. Details of references can be provided upon request.

(The author is - Head - Content, Entertainment and Sports Partnerships, Maxus)

 Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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