Last month, I wrote in my editorial about how it would be smart to concentrate your marketing to a younger group, AKA Generation Y, the “Millennials.”

After all, the older generations — like the Baby Boomers — have the money right now but that won’t always be the case. Gen Y is now the largest group of ED-Jeff Crosspeople on the planet. You can’t ignore them.

All of this got me investigating and doing more research. Here is partly what I found.

Forbes magazine had something interesting to say: “Many brands continue to push traditional life markers such as getting married, buying a home and starting a family, because that’s what drove older generations’ purchasing habits. According to a recent CEB Iconoculture report, Inside the Millennial Mind, these brands are completely missing the point. Millennials are buying, they’re just buying differently — and, more importantly, they aren’t going to change any time soon.”

And more… you may not believe these statistics, so do your own research…

According to Javelin Strategy and Research:

  • Gen Y income will exceed that of Baby Boomers by 2015.
  • By 2020, its income is projected to exceed that of both Baby Boomers and Gen X.
  • By 2025, Gen Y’s combined income is expected to account for 46 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Gen Y consumer spending is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30 percent of total retail sales by 2020.

Yes, it’s true that Gen Y might be kind of poor right now, but that’s not going to be the case in just a few short years.

It is time to think about how to market to this group.

How to do it

Just a few years ago, I was told that text message marketing was the future. I didn’t believe it, and most of those who attended my workshops agreed. But we all were the “older ones” and not the up-and-coming younger generation. Text message marketing needs a new, fresh look by you.

You don’t believe in videos? YouTube videos and other platforms are how you reach this group. The younger generation likes videos (and so do the search engines).

Incentives… this means you have to think about how your company treats the environment and social causes. Don’t have a green cleaning program in place? Think again because this may be what helps make the difference in how your company is different from the traditional ones in your own marketplace.

This younger group loves rewards. It might be just a few dollars but it means a lot to them to have some type of reward program. You don’t like offering coupons? Rethink this strategy, as it may make a difference to this group that will soon have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

Gen Y is also a group of planners. They don’t have the dreams that you and I had. They do their research and purchase based on their research. If your marketing program looks anything like a “gimmick” they will sniff it out and then go somewhere else.

This is a group who lives by the schedule, mainly electronic, and they are comfortable knowing their lives are planned. Make communicating with you easy on them. Don’t make them call you and leave a voice message and then expect you to call back. They probably won’t.

Be a smart entrepreneur. Think about the future, and especially the next generation that will be keeping you in business.