In recent years a new term has been going about that describes the next generation?millenials. Millenials, sometimes referred to as Generation Y, were those born sometime between the early 1980s and early 2000s. What makes this generation distinctly different than previous generations? Technology.
Most millenials grew up during the time where computers were common in schools, then in every household. They also saw the introduction of the cell phone to the mainstream or can?t remember a time before cell phones existed, and have borne witness to great technological changes over the past 10 or 20 years or so.
The availability of technology and the wealth of information it brings helped shape this new generation?one that is well educated, open-minded and ambitious. And estimated at some roughly 80 million, millenials play an important role in today?s economy.
Estimated at about 80 million strong, the Millenial Generation has immense buying power, and as more enter the professional workforce that buying power and influence is only expected to grow. Early Millenials entered the job market at the height of the economic downturn, and many have actually started their own companies rather than entering the traditional workforce.
The perception of Millenials?especially from older generations?is that they are lazy, narcissistic and dependent on technology for everything. While this may appear to be true, there is more to the story.
Millenials grew up in an era where information was instantly and always available, and they are incredibly resourceful. What does this mean for marketers? Millenials will do their research before making a large purchase. They?ll check with friends, read online reviews, and compare prices before making a decision. They?ll send an email before picking up a phone, and if information isn?t readily available they will go someplace else.
The Millenial Generation also likes instant gratification?they want to be able to find the information they need and be able to make a purchase on the spot. If you are a retailer, this means you need to have a quality website with product information and pricing, as well as e-commerce functionality. You may need to step up your customer service offerings to include social media, or offer extended online customer service hours.
It should come as no surprise that Millenials receive, interact and respond to advertising messages differently than other generations. The majority of Millenials use social media, and many only watch television on occasion. They are more likely to stream content online, and this includes music and video content. They read blogs, subscribe to email marketing and news feeds. They will often do an Internet search to locate products or services, or to answer any question they have.
As a marketer, you need to create content that can be delivered through these means, and your content should focus on answering their questions. Millenials typically respond negatively to pushy sales tactics, but still want to develop a relationship with a particular brand or product. Be helpful and informative, and avoid sales-speak.
Millenials are generally not loyal to a particular brand, but will seek out the best value?not necessarily the best price. They are interested in quality and the overall customer service experience, and they have high expectations. While difficult, it is still important to forge a positive connection they will remember.
New tools available now allow marketers to measure how effectively they are reaching specific audiences. Monitory your analytics, and make any adjustments that will help you reach your marketing goals, and set new goals geared toward attracting Millenials.
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date and consider trying new ways to deliver the content to reach more Millenials. Utilize social media and stay abreast of new trends and apps that are gaining in popularity. Take the time to experiment and learn new technologies, but continue to use only those that are effective. Millenials are growing in number and importance, and their potential buying power is difficult to miss.