Millennials are a hard bunch of nuts to crack, but the managing director APAC of Qualtrics Bill McMurray has four pearls of wisdom to getting it right every time.
So-called ‘millennials’ (those aged 35 and under) are predicted to spend around US$200 billion a year by 2017, creating a massive opportunity for marketers.
However, marketing to millennials is not the same as marketing to other generations; they have a different set of requirements for evaluating potential purchases.
Millennials are one of the largest groups of consumers and it is essential to understand this demographic. They have grown up as ‘digital natives’ and many don’t even remember a time before smartphones, wireless connectivity, and broadband internet. It’s critical to consider this when marketing to this generation.
There are five key strategies to consider when marketing to millennials:
- Deliver value through relationships and stories
Millennials tend to prefer to interact with a company’s website, check with their friends, and review social media information to make purchasing decisions. It is therefore essential to:
- start with the relationship, not sales
- create engaging content that will attract their attention and make them want to share
- listen more than you talk
- tell your stories and make it personal
- Let millennials be collaborators in the business
This generation responds well to being asked about products and services companies offer. They like to be included in business decisions. Asking them how you could improve current offerings could result in increased loyalty and, therefore, more sales.
To successfully obtain millennials’ feedback, it’s important to use the channels they prefer, such as social media or SMS. Any mechanism you use for surveys must be mobile-responsive.
- Be high-tech and fast
Millennials use tablets and phones, not PCs or laptops. Therefore, it’s essential to make sure company websites are optimised for mobile devices. The company website, and every page on it, must load within three seconds or you risk abandonment.
It’s also critical to understand how people are using your website and offer them a frictionless experience. Using an intercept tool, for example, lets marketers interrupt users if they sit on a page longer than normal or appear to be having difficulty. This may take the form of a pop-up screen that offers to help the user find what they’re looking for.
Or, if they abandon their shopping cart, marketers can offer a discount for shoppers who use a specific code within a specific timeframe, potentially saving the sale.
- Look for long-term relationships that will spread your brand for you
By taking a long-term view of relationships, and putting the instant sale second, companies can generate loyalty. This means creating engaging experiences for millennial customers, rather than hard-sell communications.
This could include involving them by getting their feedback, or giving them content that they will share with their peers. Once the relationship is initiated, millennials are more likely to come to you when they’re ready to purchase.