The millennial generation is one of the largest growing demographics in the United States, with 87.5 million Americans falling under that category. Ranging from ages 22 to 37, millennials can be fresh out of college or well into their adult life. This tech-savvy, social media-loving generation is one of the largest and highest spending generations and is a hot ticket for marketers. With the millennial
generation headed towards their maximum purchasing power, brands want to market towards millennials early to ensure possible long-term loyalty to a brand.
But why is it so hard to market towards the elusive millennial?
Photo Source: NovoEd
In a 2014 survey, millennials said they don’t trust advertising and even dislike it. This generation is more likely to rely on word-of-mouth when it comes to buying certain products. Instead of turning to an ad, millennials will take to social networks, friends, and family to decide whether or not they feel a product is worth purchasing. The information coming from those close to them feels more authentic and relevant since it is from actual users of the products. Millennials are also 44% more likely to trust an expert, who also happens to be a stranger, about a product than a typical advertisement. They also rely on online review sites, such as Yelp, to help make their selection, with 90% of customers saying buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. This generation is not as likely to be convinced by the traditional forms of advertising compared to previous generations, which has really thrown marketers for a loop.
Millennials want to engage with the brands they are purchasing. Rather than being talked at, they want to communicate with brands via networks like social media. When they follow, like, retweet or share a post regarding a specific brand, they want to be rewarded. Millennials value incentives, like coupons and updates, in order to feel like they are more in control of their interactions with a brand. Being able to communicate their opinions and feel as though those thoughts are being heard. Allowing for the millennials’ viewpoint to be shared on a brand’s platform is one-way marketers have been able to cater towards this generation. One way we can see this is with our chat-bot on our site, allowing us to communicate with many of our prospects right from the beginning until they eventually become customers because of this engaging feature.
There’s an app out there for just about anything you can think of. Apps are a quick and easy way to engage with a brand and the products they offer. Millennials are no strangers to apps, with smartphones being at the center of their worlds, and are 262% more likely than the average shopper to be influenced by smart-phone apps. So brands who haven’t reached that market yet are missing a huge opportunity to expose their brand to millennial viewers. Americans make 51% of their purchases online rather than in a physical store, so marketing online towards a generation that is familiar with modern technology can be an effective tool.
Millennials enjoy things they feel are personalized to them. Customizable products or services are intriguing to this generation and goes back to the idea of feeling in control. As well as this, allowing millennials to have a say in the creation of merchandise can be appealing, with 40% of millennials wanting to participate in the co-creation of products and brands. Millennials’ desire for unique products is something that drives them to purchase a product and is something brands need to utilize. They want to be involved and a part of something, with 62% of millennials having considered starting their own business.
While millennials may seem like this impossible generation to reach, it can be done, more so then how it used to be. By tapping into their interests and moving away from the traditional tactics of marketing, the millennial generation can be marketed towards and successfully converted into customers. There are plenty of brands that have already caught on to the ways of the millennial and there will sure to be more to follow. Millennials want more, and by taking these things into consideration, brands can deliver.