A millennial is anyone born between 1977 and 2000. They make up a quarter of the population of the United States and command over 20% of consumer discretionary purchases, which means over $1 trillion in buying power.
These numbers alone show why millennial marketing is such a big deal, and why you need to understand the market and leverage it for your business.
What Do You Need to Know About the Millennial Consumer?
There is no such thing as a typical millennial consumer.
This generation is the most diverse that has ever existed. Millennials live within every economic demographic from poor working student to middle-class professionals and beyond. For these reasons, effective marketing with the millennial crowd begins with thinking in segments, instead of in demographics.
What Attributes Do You Need to Know About Millennial Consumers?
While Millennials are a diverse group, they do share some common attributes that marketers need to understand. Here is what we found:
They are always on the go. Don’t always expect to find a millennial at home doing their online shopping and browsing. They can do that from anywhere, like the coffee shop, a friend’s house, or walking down the sidewalk. That means online, offline, and mobile marketing strategies must come together to be effective.
Their loyalty must be won and kept. The days of brand loyalty ‘just because’ are over. Today, with so many brands available, and the ability to find things quickly, millennial consumers don’t have the same brand loyalty as their parents. That doesn’t mean they won’t be loyal to a brand. It just takes finding the right marketing strategy and realizing that retaining earned loyalty will be an ongoing challenge.
They love causes. Surveys have found that almost half of all millennials would prefer to purchase from a company that supports certain causes. Standing for something more besides the bottom line translates to more brand loyalty.
They interact on social media. Over 80 percent of consumers, including Millennials, do research online. A lot of that is done on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. If you do not have an active social media presence, you don’t have a voice in the game. And that puts your marketing at a distinct disadvantage.
They respond to discounts and coupons. Millennials have grown up in economically challenging times. They have learned how to cut costs where possible and love to use discounts or coupons for that reason. Many follow companies just to get those discounts.
They expect an easy connection to customer service. Sixty-five percent or more of millennials will start interacting with your business online. And they expect to be able to do everything online, including customer service. Being able to address customer service issues via chat, social media and email are all part of the millennial profile.
They are on top of technology. When a new technology or device comes out, millennials are usually the first to try it. Your company needs to find ways to make that technology part of your marketing strategy to garner serious millennial attention.
They prefer collaboration over hard sales pitches. The days of a successful hard sales pitch are pretty much over. Millennials view hard sales pitches as a joke and will turn away companies that use those marketing tactics. What works much better is a collaboration with influential people. Teaming up with bloggers, vloggers, and other social media influencers is just one way to do it.
Millennials Think Differently, So You Need to Market Differently
Like every generation before, the millennial one is unique. They grew up with lots of technology, being interconnected, and looking for the next new thing. These differences can make marketing to millennials a challenge. However, once you get their attention, they’ll open up and listen to everything you have to say.
How can you adapt your marketing to the millennial consumer?