As a millennial, I’ve heard plenty of generalizations about my generation. Regardless of how you choose to label us, fact is we’re the largest generation in the nation’s history and we’re entering our prime spending years. Because we’re a predominantly digital generation, it’s shifting business models across all industries companies try to attract millennial consumers to buy their products or services. However, many are failing to connect with us on a level that brings the results they’re looking for. As a millennial, here are a few insights on how to win the hearts and wallets of millennials.
We Don’t Like Your Company
It’s nothing personal, we don’t like any company for that matter. When we hear the word “business” or “corporation” we associate money hungry suits that only care about profits. So how do you get us to buy things? It’s simple. Think discovery instead of interruption. Regardless of being labelled as having a very short attention span, when millennials are focused, that’s what has their entire attention. When you disrupt that attention with an ad, you position yourself in a negative way from the outset. To attract millennial consumers, you must make it feel as though we’re discovering your product for ourselves, instead of being told we need it.
This does two things. First, it starts off the “conversation” with your brand on a positive note. I’ll touch more on the conversation aspect a little later. Secondly, we can convince ourselves of almost anything. We’re noted as the most impulsive generation, constantly telling ourselves we need things that might not necessarily be true. However, if we see the value in your product or service that we’ve discovered on our own, you’ve got us hooked.
We’re Not Entitled…Just Impatient
Enough labels are thrown at millennials that I care to expand on. However, one that rings true is our impatience; but can you really blame us? We were born into the digital revolution and have become accustom to getting things with the click of a mouse. This generation grew up differently than any other generation, and while it might come across as entitlement, it’s really just efficient at this point.
The technology exists for companies to create personalized content in a timely manner, and millennials know this. To attract millennial consumers, you must react quickly to our demands to keep us focused on the value your content delivers. Timely responses keep the conversation going between your brand and the consumer, millennial or not.
We Care About People
Again, we don’t like businesses but your employees are probably all great people. One thing you need to focus on is creating a personal brand for millennials so we feel comfortable and willing to give you information and ultimately our money. This might mean taking advantage of different influencer marketing techniques to reach people in a personal way or even changing the “from” email to one of your employees to establish the personal connection we’re looking for.
Let’s get back to the conversation aspect of marketing to millennials. As a consumer, when is the last time you had an actual conversation with a business? Not a person from the business, but the entire business itself. I’m guessing never. Instead, we deal with employees that have a family. Maybe they like to go rock climbing, play soccer, or curl up next to a fire and read a nice book. Whatever they like to do, if millennials are dealing with a person at a company instead of just a company, we’re more likely to connect and see value.
Creating a personal brand for millennials focuses on social proof instead of traditional advertising. We’re more likely to trust brands that other people buy because we see the value and attribute it to our own situation. Another great way to do this is by utilizing generated content. Showcasing your happy customers’ purchases by testimonials or reviews will allow millennials to see the value your product brings to life, further impacting their purchasing decision.
Your Content Speaks When You’re Not
Content acts as the communication customers choose to spend their time with. It’s what they want to talk about with your brand, and when you’re not delivering relevant social media ads, your content keeps the conversation going. Creating content for millennials that makes us ask questions while providing value will keep us engaged and coming back for more. That being said, you need to expand your strategy into a multi-channel strategy since millennials are a multi-channel generation.
A better name for us might be “Generation Notification” since we spend our time on multiple different platforms throughout the day. We need adaptable content we can engage with at any point throughout the day. Videos, info-graphics, blogs, eBooks, pictures, and even interactive content like quizzes are great ways to spice things up for millennials. That being said, not all content is created equal. Not all content is right for every channel so you need to listen to what we engage with and adjust accordingly.
Finally, Don’t Sell Us
Last but not least, don’t sell us. We’ve grown up with plenty of interruptive ads and it leaves such a sour taste in our mouths. We can spot a pushy salesperson from a mile away and will avoid engaging just to prove to ourselves that we’re not being sold. Let us discover the value on our own, and you’ll win our business.