You have heard of millennials and you may have been annoyed by them, but who are they and why should you care? Millenials are people born between 1977 and 2000, and older generations have been annoyed by the younger generations that follow them for centuries. However, there comes a point in every generation when you must begin to accept your differences and learn to embrace them. If your brand plans to be around long enough to serve the next generation, you need to know how to market to them.
From a marketing perspective, you can’t ignore them and their buying power. According to Millennial Marketing, millennials make up 25% of the U.S. population and spend over a trillion dollars each year on discretionary purchases. It’s also true that brands that stand for more than the bottom line receive more millennial love and dollars. This is a segment of your market that you can’t ignore.
The values and habits of this generation have already drastically impacted marketing plans in three key ways.
- Social Media is key. Previous generations called a friend or asked for references before making a major purchase. They also relied heavily on brand names that they had heard of before on television or in print advertising. Millennials reach out and ask over 200 friends with a single post. According to Millennial Marketing,”Millennials are about three times more likely than other generations to reference social media networks when making purchase decisions.” In other words, if you aren’t on social media and interacting with consumers, you could miss this segment of your market.
- Authenticity matters. Millennials have a built-in immunity to traditional advertising methods and messages, and authenticity matters more than content. According to Matthew Tyson from Huffington Post, only about 1% of millennials say that a compelling ad influences them. In your online postings, you need to find ways to engage people in the conversation that involves listening as well as talking. Becoming authentic means that you become more transparent and find ways to meet needs that your audience already has, not trying to make them feel like they need something from you.
- Shopping is about the experience. Millennials are spending an average of 25 hours online each week according to Hubspot. While online, they are not only looking at social media, but they are also shopping. They are not just looking for products; they are looking for experiences. “Young consumers increasingly see the act of researching and browsing for a purchase as more compelling than the purchase itself,” says Meaghan Moraes. This phenomenon has been coined as “Fauxsumerism” because people think about buying products and pin them to their Pinterest pages, putting off the urge to buy impulsively. Do you know how to position your product to give them the experiences they are looking for?
Riley & You understands the shifts that are happening in both traditional and online marketing as millennial consumers take an ever-growing share of the market. Let our experts help you navigate a new generation of marketing for your business.