876,000. Do a Google search for “How to reach Millennials” and that’s the amount of results you get. Spend any time on social media, at conferences (sports and otherwise) or in marketing meetings and that topic is guaranteed to come up. I’ve been lucky enough to address this topic on panels at a few conferences. It is the question of the year right now and everybody is searching for answers.
The problem is that asking how we “reach” Millennials is the wrong question. To reach an audience isn’t difficult. You’ve chased Millennials from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter to Instagram to Vine to Snapchat to _______. You are reaching them but you aren’t engaging with them (as a result, they aren’t engaging with you). We put so much effort on this idea of “reach” that we miss out on the fact that Millennials, like any other generation, are people. People who want to be heard, to be interacted with, to be cared about, to belong. They don’t want to be sold to (who does?), they want to be a part of what’s happening.