Why Millennials Love How I Met Your Mother

After consistently being popular with millennials for all nine seasons, sitcom How I Met Your Mother ends tonight. On the surface, this show about a twentysomething friend group living in New York City seems unremarkable. Yet with 9.47 million fans per episode in season 1 and 9.02 million average in season 8, it has a consistency the New York Daily News calls “almost spooky”–the kind of success “that doesn’t happen on television”. CBS has already ordered a pilot for a stand-alone spin-off, How I Met Your Dad.

So, what is it about How I Met Your Mother that keeps people, millennials coming back for more another round?  It all boils down to our warped sense of optimism. Read on for more!

HIMYM cast

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Dodge Courts Millennial Car Buyers One Piece At a Time

Chrysler is gunning hard for millennial car buyers with their revamped 2013 Dodge Dart and their marketing campaign is a bullseye. With DodgeDartRegistry.com, Chrysler has created a new way for consumers to buy cars based on online crowdsourcing, or having donors pitch in online to raise money. Here’s how the folks at Wieden + Kennedy explain it in their 30 second commercial for the car giant:

While it’s not easy to market cars to a generation growing more apathetic towards them, the stakes are high for auto manufacturers. By 2025, millennials will account for 75% of vehicles purchased. That’s why it’s so exciting to see a company market to millennials the way we want to be marketed to.

Enter The Dodge Dart Registry. The Dodge Dart is one of Chrysler’s first compact sedans in seven years and, according to Forbes’ auto contributor Matthew De Paula, is “arguably the first good small car the company has made in two decades”. Yet, against a tough segment including brand heavyweights like Honda Civic, Dodge Dart sales have been disappointing. They needed to get on the radar and reach millennials. Here’s what they’re doing and why I love it.

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Millennials Are Defined by Access, Not Narcissism

Sorry TIME, I don’t buy it.

time_millennials_me_narcissism_coverCover Credit: Andrew B Myers for TIME. Read full article here (behind a $5 paywall).

Calling millennials the “Me Me Me Generation” is like writing a biography of Neil Armstrong called “The Nice Guy From Ohio”.  It may be true, but it misses the point. Neil Armstrong is remarkable because he landed on the moon. Millennials are special because we have access to more information, and therefore choices, than any other generation before us. That’s the trait that most defines our behavior and sets us apart from previous generations at our age. Not narcissism.

Call us the “Decisions Decisions Decisions” Generation Instead.

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Quick Catch-Up

Whew! How is it already 2013? When did that happen? I’m so excited to be back and writing again, but before I dive in, I thought it might be nice to catch up a little bit on what I’ve been up to the last few months. Read on for updates on my  venture into public relations, public speaking and a very public job-hunt.

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Awkward is the New Cool for Millennials

While last year I wrote about how the Oscar’s didn’t market to me as a millennial (and why that was ok), this year completely resonated with me and tapped into a trope that I think is unique to millennials. It all started with this:

Jennifer-Lawrence-Trips-Oscars (1)

Jennifer Lawrence tripped on the way to accept her best actress award. What a way to start off a once-in-a-lifetime moment in front of a million viewers! Instead of letting mortification ruin her night, Jennifer Lawrence called her slip out in her speech by saying “You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing.” She then went on to completely charm everyone in her press conference and post-win interviews. She owned her awkwardness, and that ownership made her Oscar’s darling.

It’s not just Jennifer Lawrence–awkward is making a comeback. Don’t believe me? Check out this Google Trends Map of searches with the word “awkward”.

Screen shot 2013-03-04 at 12.26.33 AM

*Letters represent news with “awkward” in the headline

If you’re trying to tap into the millennial market, awkward is the new cool–and understanding why isn’t something marketers can afford to miss.

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5 Quick And Dirty Tips From Content Marketing World and Inbound2012

Ever wish you could pick the brains of some of the marketing industry’s smartest people? Well…have I got a treat for you!

I recently attended–not one, but two– inbound marketing conferences back-to-back over two weeks. I met some amazingly smart people,  bought a suitcase full of marketing books, saw more orange articles of clothing outside a UT football game (my Knoxville TN peeps know what I’m talking about!) and, most importantly, learned a ton.

I initially wanted to share everything possible here (you should have seen my blog drafts on everything I learned), but I’ve decided to boil down the message to something super digestable. Here’s 5 quick-and-dirty tips I learned from Inbound2012 and Content Marketing World that you can implement in less than 5 minutes. I promise– they’re really that easy!

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I’m hired!

I’m so excited to report that I have accepted a full-time, salaried position at my dream company. Because this is an extra special occasion, I want to tell you all about it in this quick video.

If you can’t watch the video, here’s the news: I’m officially working for HubSpot as an Inbound Marketing Manager. This means I will be writing on the HubSpot blog, with an audience of over 90,000 email subscribers, all about inbound marketing techniques, starting next Monday. Writing to marketers about marketing online? Talk about a dream job. In fact, my first article (edited from the application) just went live this morning!

For those of you scratching your head on why this post is on a millennial marketing website, let me catch you up. I’ve been using this website and other inbound marketing techniques to  job-hunt as a recent college graduate. If you want to learn more about my non-conventional approach, check out David Meerman Scott’s profile of my job-hunting style.

Just to be clear, I absolutely intend to keep up this website, How To Market To Me, in addition to writing for HubSpot. In fact, I am sure all the things I’ll learn working at HubSpot will help make this website even stronger.  That being said, I will probably be introducing some website changes soon and I’m not sure how this new development will affect my posting schedule. Keep an eye out for updates!

Thank you again for reading and supporting me on this crazy journey, Lindsey Kirchoff.

The Real Reason Millennials Aren’t Into Car Ownership

**Update: The content of  this post inspired a keynote presentation for Kain Automotive and was featured in The Los Angeles Times.**

I recently read in The New York Times that 46% of 18-24 year old drivers would choose Internet access over owning a car.

Since this statistic broke in March this year, more have followed. Today, 21-34 year olds only make up 27% of new vehicles sold in the US as opposed to 38% in 1985. Even teenagers aren’t feeling the love, with teen licenses falling by 28% between the years 1998 and 2008.

Everyone from The Atlantic to Time has reported on why exactly millennial car ownership is down. For a quick-and-dirty synopsis of the most popular theories, check out my friend Walter Frick’s bullet point list over at BostInno. While these articles are thorough, well-researched and certainly worth a read, they are missing a very important part of the picture.

As a twentysomething actually living car-free, let me tell you the real reason why millennials aren’t into car ownership….and it’s not the Great Recession.

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The PR Aftermath of One Autoshop’s Good Deed

This morning, I read a story that inspired me. An autoshop in Roanoke, VA completely made over Radford university student Jordan Addison’s car after it had been vandalized four times in three months as a result of anti-gay bullying. The damage included slashed tires, keyed anti-gay slurs and the word “die”.

Richard Henegar, Jr., the manager at Quality Auto Paint and Body, decided to pool his resources and connections with 10 other local businesses, to do $10,000 and 100 hours work free of charge. He stated, “Once I saw the vandalism that was done to it I said, ‘that’s uncalled for we’re gonna fix your car–that’s the least we can do.'” Here’s Jordan’s face after he saw his new car.

I can’t embed the video reaction directly, but it’s definitely worth the two minutes to watch. Check it out here.

Stories like these are inspiring and give great publicity to businesses that deserve them. Here’s my analysis of the PR aftermath for all parties involved:

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Sonicbids: Turning Brands into Rockstars

For my final innovative Boston marketing profile, I’m writing about Sonicbids.** To see how other Boston companies are innovating the marketing world, check out my posts on HubSpot and Pongr.

Many marketers today create buyer personas to better visualize their target consumers. Some statistics, like age, geography and income bracket, are relatively straightforward. However, marketers today have all sorts of tricks to get themselves into their audience’s frame of mind. One of my friends from marketing firm Holland-Mark asks her clients to picture what kind of car their customers most likely drive. Mark Schaefer, author of the Tao of Twitter and {grow} blog, asks his clients to compare their brand to a celebrity and their audience as someone who might relate to that celebrity.

Sonicbids, a social music marketing firm in Boston, would probably ask you what music your customers are most likely to listen to. After all, a Justin Bieber fan makes a much different buyer profile than a Grateful Dead concertgoer. After identifying your target market and goals, they would take that information to create an interactive experience involving your brand, a band and of course, fans. Here’s how they work.

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