Millenials, or the generation of people born between roughly 1985 and 2000, represent the fastest growing group of consumers in the world. For hospitality businesses the group, also known as Generation Y, wields immense purchasing power and influence. As a group Millennials are a fascinating and challenging demographic when compared to other age groups. This report will examine the necessity and the ways in which several emerging brands address and capitalize on this age group.By now most businesses are aware of what is paramount for most Millennials. The group aged 18 to 30 have set their priorities to revolve around; technology (especially if it's mobile), online and offline social interaction, and life-experience dogma of adventure and social justice. Digital technologies being central for this group demands convergent strategies to satisfy the group. Research from Pew and other trusted sources tells us nearly 100% of this demographic is wired via PC and/or mobile. We talked with several important players that attach special emphasis to creating a great customer experience for Millennials, in order to find out what works. Here is what those brands had to offer.Eyewide Digital: Eyes Wide on Gen YWe spoke with the founder of a leading Greek marketing firm, Minas Liapakis of Eyewide Digital Marketing, that represents more than 100 hotels on Crete, Santorini, Cyprus and the Greek isles. This fast growing marketing concern builds hotel presence from the ground up, offering services from website development and SEO, to social media and PR services. When asked about differential marketing to groups, Liapakis had this to say:"Eyewide offers to hoteliers a holistic approach in attracting millennials and other segments to their hotels . First of all, we help hoteliers learn about millennials, who they are, why it is important to attract them and most importantly what channels to enhance or adapt in order to reach them. We offer a variety of tools to make this process easier and more effective, including such things as personalized Instagram booth, where guests can pose alongside a hotel's brand and upload the pictures in their social media accounts."Eyewide research has shown that mobile friendly and responsive websites help hoteliers connect with the nearly 92% of Millennials who surf the net via their mobile phones. Eyewide also develops creative content for these sites and for social media, in order to build strong brands and maintain engagement. As basic as these services may seem, Liapakis is spot-on in offering them. Our own research reveals a relatively small percentage of hoteliers fully implementing these basic principles. While creativity in the hotel back office is not lacking, time and cost effectiveness certainly are prohibitive. The bottom line for hotel marketing businesses is convincing hoteliers of the value. In America ad and marketing people are often referred to as "snake oil" salesmen, so cutting edge firms have to wade through these to get their value seen. This blog post from Eyewide discusses the Millennial group in more detail.Plateno Group - Millennial Powered Hotel PowerhouseA fast emerging brand in Europe, Chinese mega-group Plateno recently announced the introduction of the PAI Hotels brand for Europe. Today we've learned Alex Zheng, the Brand Architect, President and Founder of Plateno Group, has initiated a new phase of his company's forward innovation. Plateno has now announced the second iteration of an edgy and innovative hotels design show called Plateno Collection, which will open in December as the world's only "Hotels fashion show", a novel idea that was first introduced by Plateno last year. Over the last decade Plateno has gone from simply satisfying points of pain for Chinese hotel guests, with the introduction of budget hotel brand 7 Days Inn, to an industry's demand for creativity and fashion play big roles. If this year's fashion show is all it is billed to be, then Mr. Zheng's statements to the crowd at Plateno Collection 2016 on Plateno redefining hotels, bears retelling:"In the past, when we were talking about hotel experience, we would compare functions of each brand, such as facilities and services. While now, I think we should take emotional factors into account, including value proposition and tonality. When you come to a hotel, in addition to facilities and services, you would also consider whether you have good feelings towards it and whether you match each other in style and taste."The Chinese billionaire with a penchant for buying French football clubs, is now more active than ever in growing travel brands too. The orchestrator of the 7 Days Inn franchise and several other upmarket hotels, was also named the "Most Innovative People of the Chinese Hotel Industry", back in 2007. Today Plateno is considered a young company run by Millennials, in Generation Y centric style, a point well exhibited at last year's fashion event. As for the coming Plateno Collection 2017, from December 9th to 11th in Guangzhou, this rendition will feature Mr. Zheng's vision of the hotel as an experiential hub, rather than simply a destination to crash at. Plateno Collection 2017 will feature strong international style and more interesting interactions with customers, according to the company. More brands, and more influential online celebrities, and more KOLs(Key Opinion Leaders), along with added communication channels will appear for the first time.On the European expansion, we caught up with Tomasz Janczak, eCommerce Director at Plateno Europe, on how his company innovates around serving this Millennial trend, here's what he had to say:"We always saw a great potential in this demographic group, that's why we put a lot of effort to offer our services via channels, which are the most popular among Millenials, such as: WeChat, mobile APPs, and the various other on-line channels. The reaction of the market is very positive, which we can see in the age structure of our Plateno Club, where more than 60% of members are those people born between 1980 and 1998."Plateno's execs were also quick to point out the broad outreach the company extends, even despite the company's youthful heart. According to them, making hubs for experiential consumption has to appeal to every human story type. This is something another superb company, and intuitive marketing campaign alludes to.Schiller Bikes: Adventure and Sport Meet PracticalityWhen Judah Schiller first dreamed of "a blue planet" being meant for biking across, there's no doubt some thought he was "out there". However, despite what the naysayers harped on, Schiller is selling the world's most advanced water bikes to resorts and individuals the world over. What the engineering genius tapped into is a vast market of people who want a dynamic cycling experience, only across an aquatic terrain. We caught up with the CEP of Schiller Bikes at his headquarters in Mill Valley, California to ask about his company's experience marketing to all demographics. Schiller's short take on why his S1 design brings us to another point about marketing even the "edgiest" products. Schiller told us; "The Modern, sleek design language of the S1 unquestionably appeals to Millenials," while admonishing that ultra-tight market targeting can be a slippery slope.The CEO and co-Founder of both Saatchi & Saatchi S and AIKO, innovative design agencies was not keen to postulate the Millennial craze as a total paradigm shift. In order to explain what he meant, I contacted our old friends at Brandwatch, a leading social/digital analytics and monitoring service. Ruxandra Mindruta, the lead community manager of Brandwatch, parroted what Schiller alluded to. According to their research trying to minutely target this age group has become a sort of "knee jerk" desperation reaction to all the marketing hype. The reality of mobile-digital marketing channels is, the Boomer group, along with Generations X,Y and Z are wired in now. Trying to "sniper" target any sub-set, or thinking older age groups do not enjoy their adventure and guest experience is foolhardy. Brandwatch researchers make the point that most trends are not uniquely important to Millennials. In this article by former Brandwatch Marketing Director, Joe Widels (now with Wandera), the author delineates aptly:"Identifying audiences, and finding a way to connect with these consumers in a way that's relevant to your brand, is the most effective way to think about targeting."The rapid expansion of Schiller Bikes is a great example of how innovation sometimes converges with the moment of truth for capitalizing on a massive trend. Schiller's sales when first we heard of the company were limited to a few resorts and some rather exotic waterside endeavors, but through amplified word of mouth (and sheer coolness) the S1 and derivatives can now be seen from the Four Seasons in Bali, to Maui, Bora Bora, Qatar, Dubai and far beyond. This was not accomplished by marketing to tip top fitness gurus or Millennials per se, but to the spectrum of cyclist and aquatic aficionados and businesses wanting to offer clients the bikes. Schiller makes it clear his water cycles are suited to every skill and fitness level, and the message has caught on.In conclusion, we've engaged a group of forward thinking and emerging brands in order to take the pulse of how newer companies are coming to grips with the ever changing digital marketing landscape. The cross section reveals the vitality and potential of convergent groups and technology, while at the same time cementing long established marketing strategies. Trends have always been with us, and adaptability is always a differentiator. However, the old saying "there's nothing new under the sun" bears up here as well. As much as we might like to have a "silver bullet" cure all for revenue growth, there simply isn't one. These companies really only show us "today", in the current construct of how proper marketing should be carried out. This report on HN reminds us how "old school" business acumen as practiced by hotel industry pioneer, Tom Magnuson of Magnuson Worldwide. He would be the first person to adopt a new, proven strategy, and the last person to abandon what is proven to work. Millennials are no different than Baby Boomers at onset of their youthful age. Generation Y is just the expectant youthful demographic of this age, their color TV is the smart-phone, a two way boob tube.