Whether you like it or not, Millennials (A.K.A Generation Y) are reaching the age where their purchasing behaviors and decisions affect the traditional consumption patterns, and the nation’s economy as a whole. Has your digital marketing strategy already incorporated Generation Y?
According to data provided in CEB’s Iconoculture Consumer Insights, the Millennial generation is the largest generation in the U.S. Their estimated purchasing power is $1.68 trillion, which is why they are so important to marketers. Millennials are honed into the YOLO (You Only Live Once) way of thinking and that’s something to consider in any marketing strategy. They prefer to experience new things in life; to travel, to get involved in new adventures, to enjoy food events, to go to music festivals… To them, the above are preferred more than purchasing any material objects.
Some Brands Are Missing the Point
Although Millennials prioritize other experiential purchases, this doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy buying material goods. Their values are different from traditional ones, and the sooner marketers understand this, the better they’ll be able to create effective strategies. As Katie Elfering, a CEB Iconoculture consumer strategist and expert on Millennials, pointed out in a recent interview for Forbes.com, “NOT understanding them, NOT finding ways to be relevant or engaging to them, NOT adapting to their new expectations— it’s the easiest way for a brand to fail.”
Ok, So How Can Marketers Connect with this Generation?
Most members of this new generation are not worried about getting married or having children anytime soon. They care about happiness, sharing, passion, diversity and discovery. With that being said, according to Elfering, marketers should follow 3 easy steps to engage with this generation:
- Understand and speak to the values (already mentioned above) that drive them.
- Realistically understand their lifestyles and experiences and find ways to amplify their reality.
- Make sure they feel informed and involved, not just marketed to.
Let’s Have a Look at Some Brands that Have Succeeded in Engaging with Millennials
Can you think of a brand that has already done its homework on Millennials? Maybe you haven’t thought about it yet, but as of today, several marketing strategies have already been developed by brands with this target demographic in mind. An article from Business Insider mentions a few notable ones:
- The pretzel bacon burger from Wendy’s was created when considering Millennials with the concept of using better ingredients and creating an upscale fast food chain.
- Walmart decided to adapt to this new generation by creating “Walmart on Campus,” a small version of the big grocery store that will make grocery shopping easier for tons of students.
- Aeropostale is taking its new image one step further. They launched a new mobile app and in-store iPad kiosks, which are aimed at making their brand more easily accessible. According to Jacob Hawkins, Aeropostale’s vice president of e-commerce, this is important when selling a product to Millennials.
By implementing different strategies, these brands have figured out how to connect with this generation in a meaningful way. They have discovered how to provide what matters most to Millennials and how to make them feel uniquely cared for through a variety of offers.
The Millennial mindset isn’t going to change anytime soon, but digital marketing strategies should change accordingly if brands want to remain relevant. The following infographic, made by CEB Iconoculture Consumer Insights, summarizes Millennials’ mindset:
We must confess, our team is 83% millennial. What about you? You don’t know yet? Find out how millennial you are in the following app: http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/how-millennial-are-you/
Try it out! You can also compare your percentage against others your age. Let us know how you like it!
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