First, let’s get the facts straight: Millennials, the generation born between the years 1980 and 2000, are the most sought-after market today. From a marketing standpoint, this comes as no surprise – they’re starting to dominate the population and are entering the consumer and work force. A good portion of them already had, actually. As of 2015 alone, there are already 80 million Millennials in the US, and the rest of the world definitely has more.
Interestingly enough, despite being raised by baby boomers or Generation X parents, millennials have a vastly different mindset than they do. Conventional marketing doesn’t work on them – millennials’ approach towards marketing and being marketed to is so different that their consumer behavior has started up new trends for marketers worldwide.
Be it the rapid rise of technological advancements or the way they saw the negative impact of the consumer behavior of baby boomers and Generation X, it still remains that they adapted and turned the marketing game around. And a lot of marketers think that selling to millennials is akin to studying aerodynamics or advanced robotics – in short, they’re fumbling around in the dark, trying to figure out the “millennial market”.
This shouldn’t be the case. In actuality, millennials are rather easy to figure out. The sad reality, though, is that millennials tend to be stereotyped, and this doesn’t lend well to understanding how they work, how they think, and how they purchase. Learning why millennials seem the way they are is your key to effectively attracting and selling to them.
But if you don’t have the time (or resources) to figure them out extensively, here are the 5 big tips you should know if you want to guarantee your success with this next big market:
Millennials – especially the younger ones – grew up on, live, and breathe technology. They love to wrap their heads around the latest discovery, the latest innovation, and they quickly grow adept. You should, too. If you think trimedia (TV, radio and newsprint) still worked with them, you’re probably thinking of the wrong market.
Most of the millennials are glued to the Internet – and for good reasons. They catch up with all the latest news and trends, connect with their peers constantly, browse websites for news and information that they find relevant, or even complete school and work loads. This has given them an “unproductive and lazy” stereotype, but trust us when we tell you that they accomplish far more than expected.
Target them strategically through the Internet. Know what technology can do for you and use it to connect to millennials. A great portion of millennials now rely on their mobile phones for browsing and other online activities – 74% of them owned a smartphone in 2014 as determined by Telefonica’s global study.
This is a great avenue to start with. Optimize your website for mobile use so it’s easier for them to keep their interest on the website. Use features from your eCommerce platform to make browsing and buying easier for them.
Know your niche from the inside out
We’ve been putting across the idea of not falling into the trap of assuming that all millennials are the same, because they hardly are. Unlike baby boomers or Generation X, millennials aren’t defined by their age subgroup, race, location, or gender. Their demographic profile only matters to them when it either gives them an unfair inconvenience.
They identify more with experiences they want, the global issues they stand for, and how certain aspects makes them feel inclusivity. They base their identities not on their demographic but on the products they consume and the brands they identify with – in short, their lifestyle.
Knowing what your millennial market values the most allows you to not only predict how they will receive your marketing efforts, but will give you an authentic connection with them – and with millennials valuing authenticity, this is highly important. They are quite the skeptical folk; they can immediately sift out those who try too hard to relate to them, and those who try to dupe them with false information.
Your niche’s identity also helps you pinpoint the best platforms to target them. Facebook and Instagram are great places to start when it comes to the general millennial public, but for a more targeted approach, there are several websites you can use to your advantage. For example, those who tend to be fans of television series may be seen in Tumblr – and this is great information for those who are selling clothes online that are targeted to “fandoms”.
Balance information and duration
Two striking qualities of millennials that are misjudged are their natural curiosity and skepticism, and their tendency to shut off “noise” – voices or messages they deem unimportant or time-wasting – after a given timeframe. They want to know everything, but can only do so within a set number of minutes of their attention. They are perpetually busy and holding them for too long will bore them.
Baby boomers and Generation X may classify this as millennials having attention deficiency, but that isn’t the case. Millennials just do not want to waste time pretending to be vested in something that clearly doesn’t do anything for them or does not strike their interest. After all, this generation is more prone to binge-watching several seasons of shows or several movies in one foray if they religiously follow them.
When trying to make a sales pitch to them, hold their attention by not selling to them – not in the conventional manner of “Buy now!”, at least. Give them the information they need, such as how it’ll benefit them, in the most authentic but convincing manner you can. Speak in their voice, on their time limit, and you’ll be sure to hook in interested buyers.
Be real and truthful
When you’ve managed to get them interested in your product or services, that’s the time you can tell them more. But don’t rely on exaggerating facts or points about your product or service just to convince millennials – they are more than likely to fact-check on what you told them before or even after they took you up on your offer. When you are honest with them, they’ll be more than likely to listen to you again.
Being honest also steers your business away from bad press. Millennials love to depend on peer opinions to guide them on their purchases, and if you duped others before, it WILL get to them, losing you another potential customer with every word-of-mouth against you.
Millennials are highly vocal, even on social media, and if they find their medium and audience, they’ll speak of what they think of you and your business – be it good or bad. The old adage “Bad publicity is still publicity” may still hurt you greatly with the millennial market, who will turn away when there is proof of your lack of truthfulness.
Step out of the confines of sales-like content
Content that constantly screams at them to “BUY ME!” is more than likely to convince them not to. Millennials just don’t trust outbound marketing like the baby boomers or Generation X did. Informative content appeals to them highly – giving them quality content is one of your best tickets to attracting and selling to them. It goes beyond just telling them what they’ll get from your product or services, and moves to actually solving their problems for them by informing and guiding them on how they can best utilize what you’re marketing to them.
Research on what problems your millennial niche has, and center your content efforts on these. Be ready when they start asking questions, as they are 44% more likely to trust those who appear to be experts.
Millennials may be seen as an entirely new market that doesn’t conform to the rules and standards of marketing, but that doesn’t mean that they are an impossible or untouchable market. A little revision on your strategy, a good understanding of your niche, and the willingness to put in the extra effort to meet the millennials’ standards is your ticket to breaking through this market, which will greatly help your business in the years to come. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and above all, do not underestimate the millennials – they have the power of technology in their hands, and they now control the trends.
Article contributed by Dana Mia Kim
- 3 Ways to Automate Your Business in 2017
- Top 5 Ways To Grow Your Small Business In Today’s World
- Small Business Infographic – Will Your Startup Business Fail?
- Trust = Sales (Here’s How To Do It)
- The Most Useful Small Business Marketing Strategies