No matter what you think of Millenials — and it seems like, over the last few years, everyone has a strong opinion — it’s an undeniable fact that they are coming to define the consumer base. They are projected to overtake Baby Boomers as the most populous single generation, and their engagement with the internet and online marketing is set to be greater than any previous generation.
With such consumer potential, what are you doing to market to this group? Getting smart to changing desires and trends is essential if your business wants to capitalize on the buying potential of people born between 1981 and 1996. Here are some ideas for supercharging your marketing strategy for the Internet generation.
Spoiled for choice
If there’s one thing that’s guiding Millenial buying trends, it’s the overwhelming number of options available to them. With countless companies providing ever-changing competing offers, the concept of brand loyalty is becoming more of a rarity. Consumers are searching for cheap or high-quality products without any brand attachment, so the traditional practice of raising the profile of a brand name has become more and more irrelevant.
But this is not a reason to despair. Take advantage of users searching for best options by providing comparison information on your products and services. Be clear and upfront about your rates, perhaps with price-matching tabs or guarantees.
In 2014, McCarthy Group ran a survey that found that 84% of 18 to 34-year-olds do not like advertising. If your market is already turned off to advertising, there’s little you can do to convert them with traditional methods. No matter how zany and memorable your banner ads are, Millenials are still going to block them.
Instead, promote your products and services through people they can trust. The rise of the influencer is the clearest recent trend in online advertising, and it’s paying great dividends. Interestingly, some companies have found that major celebrities are less influential than minor ones — those who came to fame online (1 million or more followers) but still appear down to earth.
Experiences over products
When you look at these key influencers, they are far more successful at advertising experiences than products. The vast majority of Millenials are more interested in parties, concerts or festivals than material goods.
This doesn’t mean that your products have no hope of gaining a foothold in a Millenial market, just that you need to tailor your marketing strategy to this bias. When pushing your products, focus less on the item itself and more on the experience it can provide the consumer. Generating a positive social connection to a product is much more likely to convince consumers to buy than the mere fact of owning your product will.
“Millenials don’t want to own things, they want to own feelings. The products they enjoy guarantee them experiences they can personally connect to,” advises Terry Hatcher, a project manager at Britstudent and Australia2Write.
Experiences define not only the purchasing habits of Millenials but their shopping habits too. This is down to the amount Millenials rely on mobile technology; 92% own smartphones, more than any other generation. It’s practically a statistical fact that, if a Millenial is shopping on your site, they’re going to be on a smartphone.
How do you take advantage of this? A mobile-ready site is a must, of course, but be prepared to push your brand beyond that. This is where Google’s micro-moments come in — essentially any time a user approaches a device to satisfy a specific need (learning, going, doing and, of course, buying). Make sure your content can satisfy all of these needs: for example, provide blogs that answer common questions as well as direct users to your product line.
Millennial marketing is more than a few tips, it is a daily activity. Keep on top of trends, stay on constant contact with this burgeoning market, and you will be in a good position to make the most of a hugely valuable consumer base.
About the author:
Katrina Hatchett is a lifestyle blogger at Academic Brits and writer for Thesis Help. She is involved in many business projects, in which she enjoys identifying project problems and finding solutions. Her chief goal is to improve the effectiveness of our communication. She also writes for PhDKingdom.com.