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Millennials are often thought of as spending all their time online and on their smartphones. While this is true to a point, you may be surprised to learn that millennials are also the people who pay most attention to print advertisements too. So, by focusing your marketing spend on a mix of online and offline channels, you really are giving your business the best chance of reaching and engaging your millennial clients.

Definition: a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century (also known as Gen Y).

Born between the early 80s and late 90s, your millennial customer could be someone finishing a degree at uni, a person with kids or a professional already well on their way up the career ladder. That’s a lot of buying power in the marketplace. It’s important for your business to develop a marketing strategy that makes the right connection.

What are millennials looking for?

Millennial customers hold brands to a higher standard than any other generation. They expect quality at a reasonable price and have no hesitation in going elsewhere if they’re not satisfied with your products or service. Millennials are drawn to companies willing to go the extra mile and expect you to be:

Surveys show that 90% of millennials consider brand authenticity important when deciding which businesses they like and want to buy from.

Millennials don’t want to feel marketed to and instead expect you to make a connection on their terms, finding ways to inform and involve them.

Socially responsible
Millennials prefer to buy from companies who can demonstrate sustainable and ethical business practices.

Use print to inspire trust with millennials

Printed magazineYour millennial customers have trust issues so if you’re going to get their business then you have to first gain their confidence. Print marketing can be an effective way to connect with their core values and build an ongoing relationship.

Of the various advertising formats that millennials pay attention to*, print marketing tops the list:

• Direct mail – 77%
• Retail inserts – 73%
• Catalogues – 54%
• Magazines – 51%
• Email – 51%
• Internet – 50%
• Mobile & text – 48%
*Source – Quad/Graphics Customer Focus 2014 Research Study

Make your print marketing memorable

Print marketing – whether it’s direct mail, print advertisements, posters or banners – can help your millennial audience remember you for all the right reasons. It has the potential to tick a lot of boxes that appeal to your millennial customer:


A key advantage of a direct mail campaign is that you’re able to personalise your print collateral from brochures, catalogues and newsletters to promotional flyers, offers and more. It’s something millennials are extremely receptive to with 63% of Gen Y consumers saying they would be willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalised offers and discounts.*
*Source: Salesforce – 2018 State of the Connected Consumer report


Giving your customer a tactile experience through printed marketing materials they can hold in their hands changes the way they interact with your brand message. The physical touch of textured paper stock or print finishes such as embossing, foil stamping and varnishes all help stir the senses, increase memory and further build trust.

Problem solving

Your print collateral should be something your customer wants to pick up more than once. Try to avoid the hard sell in favour of content that is educational, explains benefits over feature and that millennials consider, useful, informative and relevant to them.


Millennials all over the world are choosing eco-friendly products and services with studies showing that 73% are willing to pay extra for sustainable goods*. With paper being one of the most sustainable industries in the world, investing in print marketing is a chance to highlight your company’s commitment to sustainability and demonstrate your awareness of things that matter the most to your millennial customer.
*Source: Nielson, 2015

How millennial print marketing differs

Reading magazine on phoneLet’s face it, the majority of millennials are on their devices most of the day and it’s where they feel most comfortable. This means that they have more ways than ever to learn about, research and make a purchase from your business. If marketing efforts are going to succeed, then your business needs to be able to think like Gen Y and understand how they access information and consume content.

Driving engagement through print

Print marketing can help improve the effectiveness of all your marketing channels including digital. You can include custom URLs and discount codes on promotional material that allows you to track the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Millennials pay attention to print and they expect their entire customer journey to be a seamless experience. Expect your millennial customer to:

• Review catalogues before making a purchase online
• Discover your website or email address from your unique marketing collateral
• Apply discount codes from your direct mail promotions to online shopping carts
• Use hashtags you have featured on brochures, flyers or print ads to join a conversation on social media

Get your marketing efforts in sync

Millennials are an impressive economic force so it’s important to get your marketing strategy just right. While print marketing resonates with this generation, today’s digital age means that it’s important not to rely on one marketing channel alone.  By leveraging both print and digital marketing, you can maximise your reach, get a better ROI, build stronger connections and differentiate your business from the competition.

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