Millennials: The Angels of Influence

Breathing, texting, brand-loving champs

I recently reviewed current Millennial (born after 1994) traits, think the highlights are worth sharing. I’ve also provided checklist of questions to review as you move your marketing strategy forward. If you are a Baby Boomer or a Gen Xer, you might not be aware of the power Millennials can offer your brand, your product and your bottom line. They are the most open generation, willing to give your product a spin. They influence their parents and peers, and often give outstanding product feedback. And they do it online – on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Their participation, purchase decisions and, ultimately, loyalty hinges on your ability to understand and connect with them in an empathetic, supportive and genuine way. And in their world. They are by far the group most comfortable with technology. If you offer a technology-related product, bring your A-game — and bring it socially. If you think phone calls, emails, direct mail are how to reach them, you’re embarrassing yourself. These ridiculous tactics are dead to this audience. If your website isn’t clean, clear and blow-your-hair-back simple to use, your goose is cooked.

So who needs Millennials? You do, if you plan to have a business built on recurring revenues that start with one-click purchasing. As Baby Boomers and Gen Xers age out of the bulk of the consumer audience, you need this generation more than any other. Besides, they were practically born consumers. They have been practicing the art of buying online not just for themselves, but for their parents and even grandparents. So let’s get clear on who they are…

 

Millennials: who they are

Millennials increasingly take bigger roles in family purchase processes

Parents, friends and peers are powerful influencers for this generation, and they tend to stay in groups; group approval is a key trigger for purchase decisions

Raised on technologies that present them with options, they expect interactions to instantly and automatically help them decide

Real-time connection is expected — they consider email “wordy” and “quaint” and are conditioned to be responded to instantly; they are not readers

Gaming is a part of life; they respond to visual, game-oriented contests and promotions; they are results-driven and acknowledgement-oriented

Instant gratification is critical — 5 minutes is too long and they grow bored quickly

They’re highly brand conscious, especially with apparel, and they are attracted to immediate opportunities for affluence

Money is represented by clicks and credit cards — In fact, debt is acceptable, and many grow up with a regular infusion of discretionary income

Social causes are critical but not the institution — a whopping 73% volunteered for a non-profit in 2012 and overall, 84% prefer to give online

Reviews, referrals and endorsements — they give them, they want them, and they decide by them

They’re savvy consumers, and demand delivery of a quality product at a great price, and are conditioned to receive freebies

Upping your game: connection, empathy, quality

With every marketing idea that lights up the room like a meteor shower, ask these questions to see if the concept is strong enough to be worthy of a financial investment or a time commitment:

What can you say or do to influence family and peer approval?
How can your brand be present in their groups?
How can you make one-click choices easy?
How can you respond and interact instantly?
How can you use games and visuals to promote brand love?
How can you make sure your brand is visible, wearable?
How can you support their networking tendencies?
How do you make it easy for them to pay?
Is there an option for pre-pay?
How can you empathize with and support their causes visibly and publicly?
Is your offer a great product at a great price?
How can you position products or services as a “package”?

River-Dog-Marketing-Millennials

Millennials – a market worth watching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: The Center for Generational Studies, Pew Research

About The Author

Jeanie Walker
Longtime brand and marketing professional with a special fondness for delivering the best customer experience design and a zest for helping local companies build strong communities.