Millennials are perennially misunderstood. Portrayed as latte swilling, avocado smashing, image conscious narcissists, the millennials seems more like a generational boogeyman than a real set of people. Yet, they’re the largest market out there, making up a significant part of the workforce and spending serious amounts of cash. Like them or loathe them, attracting the millennial demographic is key to continued business success. So, how do you market to millennials?
Forget Traditional Ads
Well, there’s one way that won’t work. Perhaps the advertising world pushed it a little too hard, or maybe a generation raised by the internet knows not to believe everything they see, but a staggering 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. As far as they’re concerned, advertising is just so much spin, amounting to little more than lies used to drive sales and make big companies money. If you’re going to target millennials with more traditional advertising methods like Display ads, you’re going to have to be a bit more savvy about it.
Forget putting your ads on websites and in blogs, millennials are all about social. They’re also great fans of promotions and getting something for their time: more than any other generation before them, millennials view content (and thus ad space) throughout their everyday lives. With such a barrage of things thrown at them, you have to give them a reason to click. So incentivise them to do so with giveaways and small introductory credit.
Better yet, combine the two and encourage millennials to promote your product on their social media. Nearly half (44%) of millennials are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards. Not only does this raise awareness of your brand and amplify your reach, it also does so in a way that millennials won’t see as inorganic.
Millennials Trust Each Other
So, if millennials don’t trust traditional ads, what does influence their purchasing decisions? As it turns out, it’s other people. Although review manipulation is something of an issue, most millennials place their trust in the views of others far more than they do in how a company chooses to represent themselves. 84% of millennials say that user-generated content on company websites influences their decision. They’re the social generation and they want the feedback of their peers far more than they want their effort. So it’s important to manage your reviews on major sites in your industry. Encourage customers to leave a review with their purchase, and always follow up on negative reviews to see if you can help solve the problem.
A Digital World
Reviews are in fact so vital that 8 out of 10 millennials say they wouldn’t buy a product without looking at one. And with the power of smartphones, it’s never been easier for them to do just that. There simply isn’t a boundary between the digital and the physical anymore. Even if a customer is in your physical store, a host of online reviews about your business and what it offers are just a few taps of the thumb away.
So is your site, and your social media. If you want to market to millennials, you need to place an appropriately high priority on putting out the best digital offering that you can. This is especially relevant when it comes to making sure that what you do offer works on mobile: more than 2 out of 3 millennials use their smartphone for online shopping every day.
One thing that hasn’t changed is good old customer service. Millennials want to enjoy a good level of customer service, both online and in person. 74% of Millennials would switch to a different retailer or brand if they had a negative customer service experience. This extends to being ignored when they ask questions about your business on social media, so make sure you’re checking those direct messages!