Millennials are a large and unique generation of adults currently aged approximately 18-30 years old. Pew Internet defines them as confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults, always connected, and on course to become the most educated generation in American history. As a key target for many advertisers, Millennials present a new marketing challenge due to their frugality and dependence on new media. iMedia Connection recently outlined 4 actionable tips to help advertisers connect with this connected generation of shoppers:

Communicate Value

Millennials entered their adult lives during a recession and have faced high unemployment and underemployment rates and many are struggling to make ends meet. 32% of Millennial shoppers are having difficulty affording weekly groceries, compared to 22% of other generations. As a result, Millennials are strapped for cash and price-driven, adopting frugal shopping behaviors to keep their budgets in check. They tend to look for deals and coupons, and are more likely to stray from their favorite brand to save money.

Make an Emotional Connection

Connected Millennials are often on social networks and these platforms create an avenue for two way communications between brands and shoppers to foster a deeper level of connection. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Wallgreens recently hosted a beauty-themed contest on Facebook allowing their customers to showcase a unique, personal look. Entrants were able to submit headshots with a list of Maybelline or Garnier products they used to create the look. The campaign not only spoke to the self-expressive nature of Millennials, but also served as a great tool to harvest an ongoing relationship and increase customer loyalty.

Engage In-Store

Millennials  are more likely than other groups to choose retailers based on how fun they are, and they expect a shopping experience tailored to their wants and needs. Marketers should consider additional positions in-store and signage, as 38% of Millennials are influenced by in-store signs or displays, compared to 28% of the general population. Adding digital technology, such as touch-screen digital signage, helps to draw in the tech-savvy Millennials as well as offer additional, customized information.

Go Digital

Millennials have an unprecedented affiliation for technology, and as such are especially susceptible to digital marketing. The generation is more than 200 times more likely than the average shopper to be influenced by smartphone apps when making brand decisions. As a result, traditional marketing efforts to Millennials should be supported digitally, through targeted online campaigns and consistent conversation on social media.

Millennial's frugality and digital dependence presents challenges as well as opportunities to reach the audience through new channels and platforms. Despite their cautious approach to shopping, iMedia Connection notes that Millennials are expected to generate growth of an estimated $56 billion in CPG sales during the next decade. This group cannot be ignored. Marketers should implement digital campaigns to strengthen not only sales, but relations with consumers who aren't giving up their digital habits anytime soon.