Attract Millennials With Unique Experiences

Attract Millennials With Unique Experiences

by Tracy Johnson

If your station is struggling to reach the millennial generation, or Generation Now, it could be that you’re programming to the values of an older audience. They love experiences. In fact they love them more than money.

While you’re busy handing out cash and running contests for big money giveaways, they’re yawning.

This generation doesn’t have a lot of money and are scraping by month to month. They work multiple jobs, and live at home with parents or have roommates. It’s logical to think you can reach them with cash. But you can’t.

Experiences are more important. So are relationships. That’s kind of refreshing, isn’t it?

What Will You Do With This Information?

It may be time to re-think that big cash giveaway. Yes, giveaways still work, if you do them right. If what you care about is moving the ratings needle, cash is king. But it doesn’t engage this generation because there’s not a STORY. There’s not a connection, and there’s not an experience that they remember. And ratings services may be really important today, but where will you be tomorrow?

If you can make dreams come true by giving them something to share with friends and social networks, they’ll love you for it.

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Maybe it’s time to launch a personality-based promotion like Bucket List.  Or you could turn some of your cash giveaway budget into making dreams come true, and telling a story about it, like this. Or build on a dramatic relationship story the way Kyle & Jackie O are doing with Give or Take.

This concept also has a profound effect on events, promotions and concerts.

Millennials are not so interested in coming to your concert. One of them actually told me,

We can go see Green Day anytime. Give me something to do and talk about with my friends.

Maybe we should re-think the experience. What if we spent more on turning your event into a festival that has music and less on a concert with a sideshow? You may want to re-think paying big bucks for a huge act. Would it be better to spend that money on something to DO and have a lesser band? Maybe.

Z90 San Diego’s Epic Promotion

CHR station Z90/San Diego has generated tremendous word of mouth and social media buzz with this approach. Their series of promotions called Epic 48 get bigger and better every time they bring it back. And as the promotion grows, so does the impact. This not only drives listening, it increases the station’s brand values.

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Millennials are affecting the entire culture, in many ways. When you look into their values and attitudes in more depth, it’s impressive. And it’s exciting. Not to mention challenging.

When you think it through, they’re not so different than the rest of the population. And one thing about radio has always been true: Older listeners will listen “younger” but younger audiences will not listen “older”. Doesn’t it make sense to adjust now, while you still can?


Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

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