Marketing is the lifeblood of any business.

If you don't have your marketing dialed-in, then your funnel probably isn't very big. If your funnel isn't very big, then you're not innovating and improving your product through direct feedback from clients.

The most successful companies in the world know this. Everything is about marketing and innovation: reaching the right audience and enhancing your product.

I recently interviewed Madison Bregman, a 20-year-old marketing wiz. She was recently interviewed by Joe Polish at the 2018 Genius Network Annual Event, which is considered a dream destination for top marketers and entrepreneurs.

Here's what Madison told me most companies are still doing wrong when it comes to marketing to Generation Z and Millennials:

1. Stop Being so Fake

Given that these young people are digital natives who grew up on the internet, they can tell immediately if something is "marketing."

People who aren't digital natives usually don't get it. They go into "marketing mode" when they attempt to market a product. 

This doesn't work.

Your marketing needs to be completely honest, congruent, authentic, and real. It needs to feel real, or else young people will have a "B.S. meter go off," Madison told me.

2. Get Influencers to Help You

Young people really appreciate what influencers have to say. You could get a lot done with a simple investment in getting influencers to do the marketing for you.

Influencers are called that for a reason, they know how to speak to audiences. They know how to speak to the emotions, feelings, fears, and aspirations of people. Especially young people.

If you don't have influencer-marketing happening, then you're behind the times.

A Quick Case Study

As someone who has written a great deal of viral content on the internet, one of the key skills I needed to learn and hone was flashy and clickable headlines.

But I realized this doesn't work so much anymore. Madison is totally right. Recently, I learned from marketing legend Dean Jackson that if you want to get more people to open your emails, you need them to look like they were sent by a person, not a "marketer."

"You mom has a 100 percent open-rate," Dean told a group of us at a recent Genius Network meeting.

"If you scroll through your email inbox, you'll be able to clearly tell which ones come from real people," Dean stated. "You need your emails to look like those ones."

I started doing this and my open-rates have skyrocketed.

Put simply, you need to be real. You have to market without looking like you are marketing. You need to speak the same language as those you're trying to influence.

Old-school marketing is dead.