Does Outdoor Give You an "IN" with Millennials?

 Monty Wyne

Most people see Millennials as tech-savvy, knowledgeable, and influential. Hence, marketers assume online channels offer the greatest opportunity to reach them and increase their ROI. Today, the Millennial population in the U.S. is over 75.5 million and growing. Given such a large group, marketers need cost-effective marketing outlets that reach them, and digital seems to fit the bill. The big question for marketers? Have you ever considered adding Outdoor to your marketing campaign? 

The key is understanding the behavior of Millennials and the way they interact with the world around them. To begin, Millennials are increasingly cynical when it comes to online advertising. Almost 63 percent use ad-blockers on at least one of their devices. This is a result of saturation and overly promotional advertising and you get lost in the din.

Another deterrent to the intrusive marketing online is that Millennials like to curate their own content. They want autonomy on the Web and the chance to choose those brands they want to engage with. It’s difficult to find the most believable and trusted brands in today’s online space. These roadblocks have led Millennials to observing outdoor as an engaging alternative to digital.

Billboards are omnipresent in the real world and recent readership figures indicate that 70 percent of customers see and interact with them. What’s more, messaging is displayed in an individualized format standing apart from other brands. However, before launching an outdoor campaign, there are certain things to consider: Boards come in a variety of sizes. Boards appear in a variety of places or locations. So which sizes and places are best suited for your brand and offer you the most effective opportunity to reach your specific target market?

(This article is an excerpt from MarketingProfs, February 22, 2018)

Here are some tips:

1.) Location, Location, Location.

Geographical location is absolutely critical to your success. Data is your biggest ally here. Almost 37 percent of Millennials prefer visiting stores rather than shopping online. Investing in billboards near shopping centers can generate leads and sales. Entertainment is another option. Outdoor in parks, near theatres, recreation centers are good places to get noticed. Educational facilities, colleges, and universities offer you access and the opportunity to engage this audience, as well as eateries and busy bars.

2.) Be creative in messaging when it comes to Millennials.

Use color, unusual imagery, and unexpected content. Somehow, your brand must speak to them. They respond to experimental and unusual color combinations. They also seek out shades of color that contain mindful, optimistic vibes. If you employ digital boards, you could create interactive ads that tap into their desire to create and curate content. Also target Millennials’ core traits. Those that give them recognition, such as dealing with life challenges or playing an important role as influencers.

3.) Make your call to action count.

Billboards provide you with the chance to create an omnichannel customer journey. Some 58 percent of consumers will react further with brands after seeing a billboard or a poster. Over 17 percent are more inclined to engage with your brand on their smartphone or other devices. To insure you capture your audience, however, you have to get your call to action right. It should always have a prominent place on the board and it should be compelling.

So, is it time you add outdoor to your media mix and possibly reconsider how you approach your digital efforts when it comes to Millennials? Better yet, how do you tie the two together in a way that not only encourages this audience to act, but to reach out to their friends about your unique product or service? Whatever the case, outdoor could become your answer to increasing ROI and building lasting awareness. (Think Chick-Fil-A)