Fishing for millennials at SXSW 2016

How do we successfully market to millennials? What do these rascals want from brands – from a content standpoint, from an entertainment standpoint, from a holistic standpoint? They are a coveted target in marketing today, but brands still grapple with speaking their curious language.

I will be weighing in on this spicy topic during SXSW at a Brand Innovators’ Game Changers event on a panel entitled “From Mobile to Entertainment: How to Engage with Millennials.” Because I love AT&T so much for providing the Wifi at this event, I’ll give you a preview now of what attendees will learn during the session.

Content must adapt

Any fisherman will tell you that the right bait yields the right bass. The same advice can be applied to millennials. The kind of content that blew boomer minds may be a poor fit for this new group of buyers. They have different expectations and preferences with which old approaches don’t mesh well.

Behavior dictates marketing vehicles

Staying current on changes in millennial behavior, which heavily favors mobile experiences, will determine which vehicles will comprise your marketing approach. These may be unfamiliar waters, if I may borrow the analogy from the previous paragraph. Study your streams. Just because you know all the right words from that Mashable article doesn’t mean you understand the actual behavior that’s driving a particular trend.

Entertain us

While having a panelist from the CW ensures an entertainment angle, all marketers must remember that the most potent call-to-action pales in comparison to genuinely entertaining content. Millennials expect this, which can be a challenge for small budgets. But consider the low barrier to entry on some of the most wildly entertaining apps – Vine, for example. It can be done cheaply as long as it’s done authentically. It just may not be someone on your staff that’s responsible for it.

You may want to bring a sweater because that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the perspectives and lessons we’ll be pouring into your heads. I hope you can join us! We’ll have snacks. If you want to learn more about the snacks, you can find me on Twitter as @pug.

Ef Rodriguez is Director of Global Social at HTC.  All opinions are his own.

Ef Rodriguez Director of Global Social HTC About Ef