Often perceived as the narcissistic generation obsessed with selfies and social media, Millennials are frequently dismissed in the modern marketing arena as fickle creatures distracted by fleeting trends. However, the group of consumers aged 18 to 34 years old pack a whole lot of punch when it comes to the buying power of the future – and right now.
What do you need to know about Millennials?
It’s not surprising that this generation of consumers are more technologically adept than older consumer generations. They’ve grown up alongside technology and social media, experiencing monumental change in how information is accessed and shared. They’re connected wherever they go with 67% of Millennials using their smartphones to access the internet. They engage with brands more deeply than ever before as 52% use social media to ‘like’ brands and 39% post product reviews. Interestingly, the two most important things a brand can do to “engage and interest” millennials is to reward their loyalty with discounts and promotions and to “be authentic”.
This research from bcg perspectives’ Global Consumer Sentiment Survey gives valuable insight into understanding how brands have a great opportunity to not only reach this generation, but to make real, lasting connections with them. It all comes down to getting your messages and channels right to capture their attention – whilst still maintaining your values and integrity.
Below are 7 key things your business should be doing to connect with Millennials:
Authenticity is everything
Millennials want to believe your brand. This group are particularly skilled at seeing through brands that jump on trends or do anything for a sale. Over half (59%) of Millennials say friends influence their purchasing decisions so it makes sense that they want to relate this experience of trust and reliability to the brands that they choose to engage with. Your brand’s identity should inform all of your marketing activities so ask yourself: does this really reflect the brand and will customers believe what we are saying?
Transparency and relatability
Instead of using advertising and marketing to convince consumers to part with their cash, Millennials want to feel that your content reaches them in a much more personal way. Steer away from misleading or pushy marketing tactics, instead focus on sharing content that is educational, engaging and interesting. By helping this market connect with your message, you can build organic relationships based on transparency and reliability.
Target social groups – rather than life status
Millennials are not like traditional generations that have preceded them. This target group are much more interested in their social beliefs and core values – rather than traditional ‘life stages’. For example, “family” and “community” can have very different interpretations for this group. Millennials are much less likely to adopt a linear lifestyle so it’s important that your marketing reflects their experiences. It’s much more significant for your brand to align itself with important social causes or so-called ‘alternative’ lifestyles and highlight your responsibilities as a business.
Communicate your values
However important it is that you align yourself with social causes or important issues, it’s vital that these are genuine beliefs and not just messages used as fodder for advertising. If you’re going to commit to supporting particular groups, campaigns or ideals, you need to make this a core belief of your brand. Think about how you can really demonstrate these – such as through blogs, interviews, social media, campaigning, collaborations or donations.
The buyer’s journey is adapting
With so much information at their fingers tips, you can bet that Millennial customers have done their research before making a purchase. Consider where your target audience are getting their information from and let this shape your marketing activities and the channels you adopt. Do they follow influential figures on Instagram, are they reading blog reviews or are they watching demonstrations on YouTube? Whatever it is, that’s where you need to be.
Customer service is critical
A key theme in millennial marketing is communication – and that’s particularly important when it comes to the ways in which you interact with your customers. Your competitors are only a click away so the quality of your service and the standard of your customer interactions will speak volumes. The service you provide will be a big deciding factor in whether your customers become long-term advocates. Focus on remaining professional, concerned, caring and responsive at all times.
Let’s be honest – life can be hard for this generation. From saturated job markets and crippling student debts, to rising house prices, Millennials are trying to navigate through a digital age that boast endless opportunities but numerous financial barriers. Brands have the perfect opportunity to offer relief to their customers. Think of your audience as friends: connect with them over positive messages, converse over mutual interests and offer them an enjoyable online experience.
How are you targeting your audience online?