There are more 26-year-olds in the US population than any other age group right now — a fact not lost on savvy marketers and businesses who have taken notice of what is most important to this population: Instructions on subjects thought of for many, not of the same generation, as 'general knowledge'.
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled America's Retailers Have a New Target Customer: The 26 year Old by Ellen Byron, and she had this to say; “This generation had really scheduled childhoods, activities and play dates and parents who were super busy and working. So there wasn’t that opportunity for instance to go into the garden and get your hands dirty planting tomatoes.” This generation also had external factors such as huge college debt, and no financial independence, among other things, that went into shaping how they now struggle to move through the world. The article goes on to explain the differences in the generations — essentially there’s a whole group out there that have been so busy doing other things, some of the basics have been lost in translation or are gone altogether.
“This age bracket, bigger than any other, is pushing companies to revamp marketing and products, including a lot of remedial education.”
— Ellen Byron, WSJ.
It's also no wonder that retailers and companies like Williams-Sonoma Inc.'s West Elm, Scotts, The Home Depot Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and Sherwin-Williams Co. play host to classes, at physical locations along with online resources, to teach these basic skills, such as, how to mow the lawn, use a tape measure, mop a floor, hammer a nail, or pick a paint color – they are competing to capture that new large market share, and they’re accomplishing this using inbound marketing methods.
These companies provide, along with actual physical workshops, tool-based digital offers to their potential customers to better help them in their daily lives, allowing this population to cope with a gap in their education.
Companies who target these large millennial audiences find they must tap into the heart of inbound marketing to win. As an example, take Home Depot: while they provide a physical workshop class for those who have questions and needs, their online Digital Workshop: How-To-Basics has become a thriving go-to resource for guidance. This example exactly fills the main tenant of inbound, which is to provide something of value to your potential customer, which then creates fans, who become customers, who then share their experience.
One of the more popular videos is called: How To Use A Tape Measure.
It sounds, to an older generation, so 101 as to be possibly condescending, and internally Home Depot struggled with just that thought, but the evidence bears out, this group wanted this content. Smartly again, Home Depot set alongside that instructional video well placed CTAs to find or purchase their Tape Measures, of course.
Using inbound marketing effectively is what will make the difference between winners and losers because these smart companies, and a growing number of others, hope to become the source for this generation's needs early on, and when it comes to dollars, eventually the place where Millennials will choose to spend their time and money.