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Marketing to Millennials: Find the White Space

3 MINUTE READ | April 30, 2015

Marketing to Millennials: Find the White Space

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Devon Eubanks

Devon Eubanks has written this article. More details coming soon.


When I saw the marketing to millennials session on the Social Media Strategies Summit schedule, I promptly guessed that Buzzfeed would be leading a session on cat photos. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Clorox (yes, the bleach and house product brand) was the company at the forefront of marketing to the most talked about age group.

To kick it off, they started with stats that were spot on:

  • 70% of millennials are motivated by FOMO (a.k.a. fear of missing out). Note: FOMO may sound crazy, but it’s real. I had FOMO numerous times throughout the day when trying to choose between three sessions going on at the same time.

  • Millennials will be the biggest spending market group by 2020, spending $170 billion per year.

  • Millennials are the most social and vocal, spending an average of 4.5 hours per day on social media.

  • Millennials are the best brand advocates: 9 out of 10 will take action on behalf of brands.

Next, they explained how they found their white space – or the room for their brand to stand out. This may seem easy, but it really takes a lot of research. The first step was to identify the personas they wanted to reach and the platforms that best aligned with those personas. Then, they performed a competitive analysis of both their direct competitors as well as other brands that were offering competing content to these same personas. What did they find? Millennials want to interact with brands that can help them make tomorrow more interesting. They also prefer experiences over material goods.

The white space was finally in sight. In this case, the white space was identified as a female millennial persona that liked aspirational content, intimate conversations, Instagram-style imagery and gatherings with close friends. Their idea was to create simple excuses to get together – or ideas for social gatherings. They would be housed on Tumblr and could tie-in with Clorox products to create party moments, inspirations and how-tos.

Now, only six weeks into testing, here is what Clorox has found:

  • You have to talk the talk. Be authentic and don’t try to be a “brand that says bae” just to resonate with millennials. They will know whether you are cool enough or not to use their jargon.

  • Tumblr is a great testing platform and it aligned with the target audience. It also allowed Clorox to focus on awesome content instead of a big development build for their website.

  • Funny quotes and cute images perform best. Their ‘gather quotes‘ were consistently the highest performing content on the channel.

  • Content that ties into trending conversations on social media also performs well. Take the tie-in between their Green Works products and Earth Day, or “how to sing your heart out” Glee finale party idea as examples.

  • Look at creators in the social space for content style inspiration. Millennials care more about your ability to capture a moment than the quality of the camera used to take a photograph.

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Stay tuned for more lessons learned from the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago!

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