It’s no secret that millennials are more tech-savvy than previous generations. So it should come as no surprise that advertising methods that worked well before the age of the internet are now in stiff competition with their digital counterparts.

Passive Advertising Alone Isn’t Enough Anymore

Once upon a time, passive marketing through T.V., print, and radio was considered the gold standard of advertising. You could reach a huge audience, make your pitch, and at least some of them would likely become customers after enough exposure. But as people begin to shift away from traditional pastimes like watching cable, the audience those platforms are capable of influencing continues to shrink and evolve.

Younger generations do still watch TV, listen to the radio, and enjoy print media. However, those channels often fall short of digital alternatives wherever targeting a specific audience, encouraging trust, and actually engaging consumers are concerned.

Data giant, Gallup, reveals that authentic engagement is worth chasing. On average, there is a 23% premium from engaged customers across spending, profitability, and revenue.

Younger Generations Don’t Respond to Traditional Ads

Unlike their parents and grandparents, millennials are less likely to respond to passive advertisements and even go out of their way to avoid them. Instead, they rely on word of mouth, online research, and social media to develop their opinion of a brand or product. And they’re much more likely to relate to and value brands than older generations. In fact, 45% of millennials report that brands play an essential role in their lives.

Every year connecting with your audience gets more and more complicated. Layers of communication are added, and your ability to target and reach individual customers grows. But with all that technology and speed, your prospects’ expectations grow too.

Younger Consumers Crave Experiences and Authenticity

Millennials are not content to be ‘talked at’ as generations before them may have been. Instead, they expect you to create a thoughtful dialogue that they can participate in.

Young consumers want to know exactly who you are as a company and why it should matter to them.

Simply put - they want to be wooed.

One of the most effective ways to reach and engage younger generations is not through passive media, but rather, by encouraging a conversation. Some popular methods of creating a dialogue with young people include telling your brand story, reaching out to them on social media, and creating experiences through games and interactive installations.

Games Give Millennials the Interaction they Crave

More than 72% of millennials prefer spending money on experiences over material things, making now the perfect time to promote your brand using games and other connected technologies.

Games allow you to tell your brand story while also entertaining and educating your audience.

Each interactive experience you create is another opportunity to engage young consumers and allow participants to learn about your brand and services without any of the overt sales tactics which they have so clearly demonstrated a distaste for.

Unlike TV, print, and radio, games provide an active and immersive experience. They aren’t a static message that comes and goes in a moment, but rather, an invitation to interact. And when done well, games offer many marketing benefits including improving brand awareness, strengthening brand loyalty, and generating an emotional response – three powerful catalysts for engaging younger generations.

If you do decide to create a custom game for your target audience, you’ll be in good company. Many businesses have already successfully implemented interactive games as part of their marketing strategy including Under Amour and Gatorade.