Not Just Another Article About Millenials

Millennials. You're probably sick of hearing about them. There's a reason, however, that those born between 1982 and 2000 has been getting so much press these days. It's one of the largest generations in history, and its members are entering what is traditionally considered prime spending years. To borrow from James Carville: It's the economy, stupid.

As a business, it's at your own peril that you dismiss Millennials, as 80% plan to purchase a vehicle within the next five years.1 Currently, there are nearly 90 million Millennials in the United States, easily making up the country's largest group of consumers. To give a bit of perspective, the Baby Boomer generation consists of 20 million fewer people. But how does a dealership capitalize on this generation? Statistics show that the answer is twofold: Dealerships must tailor their marketing, and they must optimize their in-store experience. 

1. Marketing to Millennials Requires More Than Revamped Messaging

The usual means of marketing are easily the least effective. These include magazines, newspapers, television and radio, as Millennials spend the least amount of time with any of these mediums. However, nearly 90% utilize social media, and 82% interact with brands or retailers online. 85% of Millennials are more likely to buy something if it's personalized to their interests. This same percentage own a smartphone; additionally, Millennials, when compared to Baby Boomers, are twice as likely to use their smartphones to shop.2

Having a robust digital strategy and cohesive online presence are crucial. Your website should be optimized for search engines, and you should ensure that your site is mobile friendly. Complement your traditional media spend with Google display ads and, at a minimum, Facebook campaigns. Google and social platforms (like Facebook) have tools to help ensure you're reaching the right audience at the right time.

When it comes to marketing to Millennials, the bottom line is that mobile is the best way to reach them. Personalization is also important, and utilizing social media is mandatory. However, there's a caveat: Authenticity is a must. Millennials dislike deceptive advertising, and they're more likely than other generations to associate a brand with their own values.2

  1. Your Shopping Experience is More Important than Ever

2. Your Shopping Experience is More Important than Ever

According to AutoTrader, Millennials expect to drive away with a new or used car on their first visit to a dealership.3 This means the in-store process must be seamless and your online inventory must be updated regularly. Why? To avoid any potential letdowns on the lot. By streamlining paperwork or building an online tool, you can help ensure you don't lose a sale.

Reviews are also important to Millennials. They spend more than 17 hours shopping online for a car, and much of that time is spent on review sites. Because of this, your dealership should encourage customers to leave reviews. So, make sure you're creating an environment that fosters positive reviews. Some dealerships have been known to incentivize using discounts on accessories and other small-ticket items. Apps, such as our own Contology, are also useful in monitoring and responding to negative reviews in real time. Like it or not, Millennials refer to reviews when shopping.

The majority of Millennials also comparison shop while at dealerships, so be aware of what your competitors are doing. Also, be prepared to address any discrepancy in pricing. Be sure to also focus on the buying experience as much as you do on sales strategies.


Millennials make up the largest generation in the United States, meaning they'll drive the economy for the foreseeable future. Although they may differ from Baby Boomers, they can still be reached with advertising—when tailored properly. Integrate the sales experience and make the process as seamless as possible. It may seem like a lot to manage, but with so many potential consumers out there, it's well worth the effort. And, with a partner like DOM360, those efforts will be rewarded.