5 Things You Should Know About Communicating With Millennials


They are the most educated and studied generation on earth. Parents, teachers, marketers and communicators want to figure out how to successfully reach millennials. As a parent as well as employer of Gen Yers, I’m always glad to find new, helpful research. Recently, I read in Advertising Age an excellent article by Thomas Pardee on marketing to millennials that I want to share with you. After all, if you’re reading this, your life is and will be impacted by Generation Y. If you want to communicate, sell, or reach them, then:

How to communicate with millennial Generation Y Maurilio Amorim

Be Fast

Twitter has taught them to write in 140 characters. If you can’t say it fast, then don’t bother, because they can.

Be Clever

According to Nick Shore, head of research at MTV, funny is the new rock ‘n’ roll. This generation has had access to the best and most clever footage on earth at their fingertips. They reward funny and clever through their extensive networks.

Be Transparent

While we might argue that Gen Yes are entitled and even arrogant, one thing is for sure, they’re not stupid. They know when we’re trying to sell them shampoo or an idea. Find a way to make it fun, and they’ll reward you with their attention. They’ll appreciate your honesty.

Don’t “Technologize” Everything

By their own definition millennials are defined by their use of technology. According to Pardee, “marketers should resist the urge to attempt to ‘speak their language’– Gen Yers can smell those ploys a mile away.” Unlike me, millennials are digital natives. “They don’t use technology, they live it and do so subconsciously.”

Give Them a Reason to Talk about You

While millennials don’t like ads, they don’t mind something that’s non-invasive, non-interrupting that offers them something fun, like an app, an event, or even a personalized fun video that they might share with their network.

As I think of my sons, their friends and my own friends who are in their 20’s, I see them as a paradoxical group. In one hand they seem naive about certain aspects of life I had figured out (mostly because I had to) long before them. On the other hand, they are clever, wise and seem to be able to “sniff” out situations better than I can ever remember doing at their age. But one thing I know for sure, when millennials decide to talk about something, they make sure the whole world hears. And that my friend, is the power of Generation Y.

Beyond these, what other tools have you found in communicating with millennials?

  • Rodney Eason

    Thanks Maurilio.
    I was just asked to serve on a strategic team to bring more 20-somethings to our church. The leader said that Gen-Y in his opinion would rather save the world than attend the orthodoxy of the church. They grew up with orthodoxy and dislike the constraints it has.
    I was reading Velvet Elvis this morning and like the analogy that Rob Bell has between the church functioning more like a trampoline than a brick wall. It should be more forgiving and fun for everyone to be involved. I like to think they would be drawn more to a trampoline than a brick wall!
    Thanks again for posting this. I need to read Tim Elmore's book too, I guess.

  • Thank you for your insight, Tom.

  • Great post Maurilio! I work with and coach a lot of millennials. In my experience, authenticity is a key to interacting with them. As you stated in your post, they can sniff out someone being fake or trying to sell to them. They also recognize when someone is trying to play to a persona versus their true person. They appreciate people who know their strengths and are real and admit their failures and shortcomings. Finally, they appreciate people who are passionate and want to make a positive difference in the world in which they live.

  • Nikki Skidmore

    Love it…it's all too true. Super smart people, looking for people who care and are the "real deal" and can smell a fake!! Thank you for the insight! ~Nikki Skidmore~

  • Hi,

    I wanted to touch base with you, I

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