Recap: “Authentic Marketing: New Strategies for Reaching Millennial and Gen Z Audiences” with Jeff Butler

Speaker and passionate millennial, Jeff Butler of San Francisco, spoke at AMA Wichita’s recent luncheon at Wichita State University and addressed how to use digital marketing strategies to nab the attention of 21-29 year olds.

Butler’s psychology background and millennial perspective fuel his interest in studying a younger generation’s online habits. He travels the country speaking to marketers so they can understand how millennials use social media platforms. His strategies help the industry garner the attention of a younger generation, one that he says makes up one of the most “diverse ethnic groups in history.”

Using brand examples, Butler provided attendees takeaways presented in three categories: Generational Differences, Awareness, Rapport, and Ask (aka Call to Action).

Generational Differences – “Not all millennials are created equal.”  Butler noted that second generation millennials, who earn on average $57,111 salary per year, are leaving Facebook because they consider it their grandparent’s preferred platform aka “The Grandma Effect.” According to Butler, marketers need to understand that millennials prefer to spend their time on Instagram and illustrated how to use the channel to capture and keep their attention.

“You have to ask yourself ‘where are they (millennials)?’ When marketing to them, stick to their eyeballs. Marketers need to avoid media trends and habits and stick to the demographic,” says Butler.

Awareness – Butler emphasized that it is imperative that marketers understand where millennials are spending their time and how they use technology, which often has unforeseen consequences or “side effects” on this generation. He claimed that the 97% of millennials who use smart phones are caught up in a “get it now mode” and they don’t realize that goals, such as starting a career or getting a job, are a process. He said this is why platforms like YouTube and Instagram Stories are popular with millennials because each site’s content gives the generation “what they want, when they want it.”

Rapport – In order for marketers to successfully promote brands and products to millennials, Butler noted that industry professionals need to ask themselves, “Do they like our brand?” Authentic marketing is appealing to millennials by customizing a brand’s message to suit them. Brands must provide value by giving the generation information they can use and back it up with social proof. “Millennials want to pay attention to the person or the brand they can relate to,” says Butler.

Ask (aka Call to Action) – Lastly, marketers should use a one of two tactics: a story plot line or the hero’s journey to appeal to a younger generation, according to Butler. If millennials believe they relate to the protagonist’s experience, they’re more likely to say “yes” when asked for the sale.

At the end of his presentation, Butler reminded the audience of media professionals of his speech’s intended message. “Remember: You being you can work in your favor. Authentic marketing is a massive shift of being authentic versus professionalism.”

Upcoming Conversations

Be sure to purchase your tickets for our next monthly’ luncheon “Retail Marketing: Alive and Well,” featuring Josh Ginsburg of Simon Property Group on May 17.

Also, save the date to attend our annual Wichita Marketing Awards “Amplify” ceremony on June 21. We welcome keynote speakers Evan Carroll and Stan Phelps from the AMA Triangle Chapter, published authors and celebrated speakers and volunteers. Stay tuned for a link to purchase tickets!