Did you know that Millennials, also known as Generation Y, have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in our country? They also make up the largest share of the labor force, and they are in their prime spending years. This generation roughly includes people born in the 1980s and 1990s. They’ve grown up, entered the workforce, and now account for a huge share of the U.S. market, with their combined spending expected to reach $1.4 trillion this year.
Clearly, the Millennials can’t be ignored. Businesses who want to be successful need to take a very careful look at the market potential of the Millennial generation and start adapting their marketing practices to effectively target this share of buyers. If you are looking for ways to reach these buyers, there are several steps you can take that will help.
Use Social Media
Millennials don’t trust or respond well to old school, traditional marketing. Direct mail campaigns, magazine ads, cold calls and popups are all ineffective when it comes to these savvy shoppers.
A much better way to reach them is through social media. Millennials spend between two and three hours a day browsing social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. However, with so much content available, companies need engaging posts if they hope to stand out. The most successful approach is to create content that feels native to the platform rather than like an advertisement.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Millennials value authenticity. If your posts come off as a hard sell, they will not be effective. Rather, try to resonate with this group by creating content that feels real. Collaborating with social media influencers can be a great way to do this. Millennial shoppers are often guided by people they know and follow online, so if these influencers offer their real opinion about a product, it can have a large impact on these consumers.
Communicate on Their Level
While Millennials love technology and staying connected, they typically try to avoid phone calls. Having grown up using email, instant messaging and texting, these tools have become their preferred methods of communication, and they often view phone calls as archaic, inefficient and disruptive.
This creates an issue for companies who rely on the phone as their primary point of contact. If Millennials don’t want to call a phone line, companies need to provide this generation of consumers with another option. Fortunately, there are companies that offer multifaceted telecommunication solutions that solve the issue. Virtual phone systems, like the Ninja Number, often include a business texting feature as an option, so Millennials will be able to communicate in a way that they prefer.
When marketing to Millennials, transparency is key! This generation of consumers is savvy, and they want details from a company before they purchase. For example, these consumers want to know things such as:
- What ingredients do you use?
- How is your testing done?
- What are your hiring practices?
- What is your return policy?
- What is your warranty?
- What kind of charitable work does your company do?
- What are your company values and mission statement?
- How are you environmentally responsible?
The bottom line is that Millennials want to deal with companies they feel they can trust. Keep your advertisements and communications as authentic and transparent as possible and focus on connecting with these consumers rather than just marketing.
Appeal to Their Values
Millennials aren’t solely concerned with the products and services you are offering. They want to deal with a business that cares about more than just making money, and they purposely seek out companies that give back in some way.
Because they have a deep sense of social responsibility, this concern has a heavy influence on their buying habits. They want to know that their purchases are making a positive difference. Consequently, if your company isn’t trying to make an external impact or contribution, Millennials will probably find another company when it comes time to buy.
Because Millennials make up such a large and important part of today’s economy, businesses must be flexible and learn to adjust their strategies in order to better appeal to this segment of the population. By understanding the mindset of Millennials, you can make the necessary adjustments to increase your appeal and success with these shoppers.