If there is one thing that doesn’t resonate with millennials, it’s disingenuous messaging. 

So much marketing is setup to sell a product or service, endlessly shouting to the consumer, it’s exhausting. This kind of marketing isn’t about educating the end consumer or creating an authentic bond with them: it’s about the sale, and ultimately, the bottom line. 

The problem for brands who engage in this kind of messaging is that millennials have an uncanny ability, having been born and raised in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, to tune out extraneous noise. 

This includes all forms of advertising that panders and fails to present the brand transparently and authentically. 

Why This Matters

As a result, millennials are embracing certain forms of traditional marketing precisely because they don’t pander, are personalized, and illuminates what your brand is really about.

Greeting cards are a big example of authentic old-school marketing that hits its mark with millennials. 

Personalization Is Key

When millennials engage with traditional platforms, they are quick to dismiss blatant promotion that condescend to them and treat them as one of a larger group instead of looking at them as individuals.

Some traditional forms of advertising—like television and radio—don’t reach millennials, in part, because the messaging isn’t personal, not to mention that few if any millennials watch TV or listen the radio! 

Even in the digital realm, the limitations of posts like paid endorsements are real.Millennials spot them a mile away and are quick to dismiss a brand that doesn’t understand the importance of authenticity. 

Social media, as well as other digital platforms like apps are key to any marketing strategy directed towards the generations born after 1981. 

Messages on those platforms can be personalized in a way that some traditional forms cannot, but, let’s remember how this post started: Millennials don’t respond to disingenuous messaging. 

If they feel they are being dismissed or condescended to, they’re not going to engage, no matter the platform used or whether the message appeared with their name flashing in bold, bright colours.

A Solid Why

In addition to wanting to know details about a company, millennials want to know what a company stands for. Philanthropy is a hot button point for this group of consumers who want to know that the companies they are spending their money with consider more than the bottom line in their decision making. 

Choosing to work with suppliers who give back to a group in need and being transparent about why this is important to your organization reflects well on your brand. It shows that you’ve put more thought into the ‘why’ of your business model, beyond profits. 

Authenticity is vital here: companies must be real with their choices if they’re going to make their charitable side part of their brand image. Millennials, more than any other demographic, are very good at sussing out brands that are ‘going through the motions’ but aren’t actually committed to what they are saying.

Relationships Are A Must

Ultimately, relationships are at the foundation of how millennials choose to spend their time, and money. 

Building a brand that is focused on creating personalized bonds with your customers is essential and what better way to do that than to reach out to them through personalized messages that celebrate a moment in time?

This includes hand-written notes, personalized gifts, and – of course – sending a real greeting card in the mail. 

This kind of traditional agency for a personal message will catch their attention in a way that generic messaging, irrespective of the vehicle used to share it, will not. It creates a connection, a bond, that Tweets and Instagram posts can never hope to achieve. 

Sending the message that you recognize their value as a client is good karma. Howyou send the message is equally as important. 

Reaching out in a way that they aren’t necessarily expecting can have a tremendous impact on how your message is received.

Having established that millennials are well versed in ignoring the bombardment of messaging that they receive each and every day, the physical reality of a card, for example, will help your message stand out from all the others. 

Working with organizations that give back—like Charity Cards, where 20% of proceeds go to the Children’s Wish Foundation—shows your clients that you care about them and about others.

There is a solid triple-bottom-line business case in choosing to send a thank you card that not only supports sick children but will sit on the recipient’s desk for a few weeks, over a shout out in a tweet that has a life span of 30 seconds and helps nobody. Choosing to keep it real with old-fashioned relationship-based marketing tactics like greeting cards and bringing in a charitable or sustainable angle is what millennials in the workplace appreciate, and at Charity Cards, we think that’s a healthy shift!