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Print Marketing to Millennials: Break the Ice

Millennials at work

Millennials are the new big marketing topic for businesses today. They make up the largest share of the U.S. workforce and have surpassed the Baby Boomers in population. Millennials are somewhat notoriously known to be huge users of social media sites, and they are by far the biggest source of social media traffic. They use it to connect with friends, share photos, and read news. 90% of Millennials have at least one social media profile; of that 90%, 52% are active on 5 or more social media sites.1 Because of this, most companies have turned to social media marketing. Worldwide social media advertising budgets have doubled from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016, mainly because of the sheer influx of social media users and sites within this time-span.1


Millennials are starting to get annoyed with the vast amount of advertising on social media which contains content that isn’t trustworthy or worthwhile. Because they have grown up using technology, millennials have become numb to the digital world, which is why companies' digital messages are not being consumed.

Millennials are not on social to look at a company’s advertisements. They are there to communicate with friends and read about new interesting news topics. ​Businesses are finding their marketing campaigns, which they invested millions into, lost in the shuffle and cluster that is social media.

A graph showing the impact of print advertisements on millennials

[Sources cited below]

The Solution is Print Advertising

Do Millennials find print useful today?

  • 89% check their mail at the first opportunity.2
  • 82% cite print as part of their purchasing journey [ages 18-24 & 25-34].2
  • 77% pay attention to direct mail.2,4
  • 73% pay attention to retail inserts. 2
  • 54% pay attention to catalogs.2
  • 51% pay attention to magazines.2

It seems so.

While social media is being packed to the brim with marketing campaigns and company advertisements, print media is barely being touched. There are no more advertising signs pinned to street lights or banners hanging from buildings, and these are the things that millennials are drawn to the most. Advertisements that are real are more likely to draw and keep the attention of this generation than those that can simply be scrolled past.

Direct Mail

A graph showing the various factors affecting how millennials use direct mail

[Sources cited below]

Direct mail could be a huge money-making market for any business today. There is less noise in mailboxes than ever, as opposed to the clog of someone’s email inbox, and millennials have been shown to be big proponents of direct mail.

  • 92% are influenced to make a purchase by direct mail.3
  • 90% said they would prefer direct mail over email.5
  • 90% think direct mail advertising is reliable.4,5
  • 75% find that direct mail is valuable.5
  • 73% use direct mail coupons when making purchases. 5
  • 63% who responded to a direct mail piece make a purchase. 5

Innovative Print Marketing

Print marketing and advertising is starting to change as the millennial generation grows into its adulthood. Companies have started making stickers and magnets to incorporate into their marketing campaigns. Advertisers will place stickers anywhere a customer would look: the floor, the ceiling, or on doors and windows. Magnets are also a good way to get advertisements out as everyone needs a good magnet to hang up their child’s new school photo or fantastic report card.

Innovative and new steps like this are what is likely to draw in the millennial crowd.

Advertising Effectively to Millennials

You have seen why print media is an essential part of advertising to millennials, yet millennials are still a very difficult crowd to attract. Here are some ways a company can structure its advertising campaigns towards the millennial generation:

  1. Do NOT sell
    • 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.6
    • Millennials have been overwhelmed with faulty, misleading advertisements their whole lives, so they are incredibly wary and opposed to any advertisement that is trying to blatantly sell to them.
    • Instead a company must fashion its advertisements to inform, entertain, and provide value to millennials.
  2. Keep print media technology friendly
    • Millennials love buying things online, so put your company’s website on any print advertisement to further entice them.
    • Attach QR codes and scannable coupons to try and gain repeat customers.
    • Millennials are not ones to go to your store and buy a product, but if you make it easy for them to access your company online, you will see huge growth in sales.
  3. Offer fast solutions
    • Millennials are impatient, so they are not inclined to read long advertisements.
    • They want answers fast, so make advertising quick and to the point while allowing them to find all the information they need.
  4. Highlight your company’s values
    • Millennials love a company with social responsibility, so show them that you are doing something of meaning within the community.
    • Are you going green? Are you committing a large amount of money to help cure pediatric cancer? These are the sort of things that will make millennials fall in love with your company.
    • Millennials are more likely to repeat buy when the company has some sort of philanthropic claim.
  5. Demonstrate Social Proof
    • Millennials trust friends, family, and even strangers more than most brands or companies.
    • Incorporate some sort of user content in your advertisements to show them what other people think of your product or company.
    • Provide them with a quotation from a loyal customer talking about the benefits or your company or something along those lines.


Millennials are taking the world by storm, and the world is having to react. Many companies have buried their marketing budgets into social media advertising, which has been proven to be ineffective in many ways at grabbing the attention of the millennial generation. Successful companies are going to figure out how to use print, and millennials are the perfect generation to begin on. Using print media and the methods of advertising to millennials above, your company will be able to corner the millennial market.


APA Citations

1 LePage, Evan. "All the Social Media Advertising Stats You Need to Know." Hootsuite Social Media Management. Hootsuite, 18 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 June 2017.

2 Direct Mail Insights: Millennials Love Print-Who Knew?" PrintingNews.com. Printing News, 1 Jan. 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.

3 MarketingCharts Staff. "Most Millennials Store Choices Influenced by Print Media." MarketingCharts. Marketing Charts, 13 Dec. 2011. Web. 12 June 2017.

4 Lee Follow, Thad. "Still Relevant: A Look at How Millennials Respond to Direct Mail."LinkedIn SlideShare. United States Postal Service, 16 Mar. 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.

5 Proud, Whitney. "Millennials' Response to Direct Mail Is More Powerful Than You Think."Linkedin Blog. Imbue Creative, 13 June 2016. Web. 12 June 2017.

6 DeMers, Jayson. "7 Ways To Target Millennials Through Content Marketing." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 June 2016. Web. 09 June 2017.

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