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How to Advertise to Millennials: Think About Your Experience

Millennials enjoy experiences more than physical things and those experiences are often new as three quarters of millennial women surveyed in a CafeMedia report from February 2016, prefer to go some place new over a return visit. This might seem troublesome for any brands that primarily sell physical items but there are ways to incorporate an experience into products. Companies like Rocksbox are thriving by turning retail into a service. You don’t own the jewelry sent by Rocksbox, you rent it and can trade it in for different wearables. This turns the traditional process of purchasing jewelry into a continuous experience.

Interactive ads with gesture response, 360º video or ‘choose your own adventure’ transform ads into an experience that static ads cannot. Scott Victor, Director, Experience Management

Because the experience is important to millennials, physical retail spaces are an important part of the customer journey.

Marshall McLuhan famously said “The medium is the message”. Re-think each aspect of the customer journey – in-store, digital desktop, mobile and tablet, email, display advertising etc. There is an opportunity to make each medium an important part of your brand with the right amount of creativity.

“All media are extensions of some human faculty. The wheel is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye. Clothing is an extension of the skin. Electric circuitry is an extension of the central nervous system. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act and the way we perceive the world. When these ratios change, men change.” Marshall McLuhan, 20th century Canadian media professor, philosopher

Think of media as an extension of our human faculties, when information is not formatted in an appropriate way for that media, it easily frustrates the individual’s experience with their own extended faculties. Desktop, laptop, and mobile are all different forms of media with different demands for formatting information.

It pays off to think of how customers are going to experience your brand across formats, studies have shown that every $1 spent on UX returns up to $100. Making the experience more efficient for the user on different devices clearly pays off.

For example, Facebook noticed that there was a much higher bounce rate on mobile devices than desktop when users clicked on publisher links. This was because most publisher sites weren’t optimized for mobile and resulted in articles loading slowly. Facebook introduced Instant Articles, which let publishers host their content on Facebook so the user doesn’t have to leave Facebook. This resulted in a 10X increase in speed and a 70% reduction in users abandoning an article.

Speed is important on mobile – that’s why Contobox Display keeps users on the site they expand our ads on reducing the lag to get them to your site and decreasing the number of users who bounce before your content loads.



  • Think of each touchpoint of the customer journey as a different experience

  • Focus on UX and creating experiences on each medium that highlight your brand identity


  • Use digital ad formats that are interactive such as ‘Choose your own adventure’, gesture response and 360º videos. This gives you a lot more creative touchpoints in making your advertising experiences unique

  • Use creative that focuses on experience with your product

  • In-store events give people the opportunity to directly interact with your brand and turn your product into an experience

  • Your desktop, mobile and tablet websites are all interacted with differently and should be treated differently


Brand loyalty has been in decline for roughly forty years. Consumers have easier access to information and are, therefore, smarter and more informed. They are more likely to give new brands a chance with all this information at hand. There are signs, however, that this trend could change. Millennials without children don’t appear to be brand loyal but that’s not the case with millennial parents. It’s not hard to see why this might be the case. When a parent finds a brand that works for their kid, the fear of alternatives not working keeps them as loyal as tiny city dogs.

“The more a brand uses first party data to maintain a relationship with a consumer, the smoother and more intimate the shopping experience will be. This level of intimacy and speed lends is itself to customer loyalty quite naturally”. Petar Bozinovski, President, Contobox

It’s much easier to get people to try you than it is to get them to be loyal to your brand. Once an individual has experimented with your offering, they have to be won over again and again. Sound familiar? You might recognize this philosophy from every old married couple that still likes each other. It’s possible that with a closer relationship between brand and consumer that loyalty can make a comeback. With the consumer being familiar with a brand and that brand demonstrating that they are familiar with them, a relationship is developed that can lead to loyalty down the road. Petar Bozinovski, President, Contobox explains, “the more a brand uses first party data to maintain a relationship with a consumer, the smoother and more intimate the shopping experience will be. This level of intimacy and speed lends is itself to customer loyalty quite naturally”.


The funnel is a marketing term that loosely refers to bringing a lot of people in, getting some leads and plastering those leads with marketing until they pay for your stuff. Flipping the funnel is the idea that you focus on the small amount of clients you have, pepper them with love and appreciation, and grow from word of mouth.


When people commit to something, orally or in writing, they are far more likely to honor that commitment. With consistent performing of the committal process, individuals associate that commitment with their own self-image. An example would be when Americans pledge their allegiance at school.



  • Customer relationships are now more like real relationships and need to be maintained

  • Have customer loyalty and evangelism strategies

  • 1st party data is more important than ever in customer retention


  • Retarget superfans with advertising that encourages loyalty, delights and empowers them.

  • Use technologies that allow you to collect as much 1st party data as possible

  • According to the consistency princple consumers who endorse your brand on social media are more likely to be repeat customers


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