Whether or not you plan your marketing with millennials in mind could be the success or failure of your business in the years to come. Time called it, estimating in 2014 that come 2017, the buying power they hold would surpass any and all other generations, which is saying a lot when you consider how much baby boomers are known to open their wallets.
According to Millennial Marketing, a company that dives into some pretty amazing research on millennials’ mindset and spending, they fork out over $200 billion each year on travel alone. Yes. Billions. On travel alone. Every year.
But in order to successfully market to millennials, you’re probably going to have to completely rethink the way you think about advertising and marketing. They may have the money and they may soon have the most buying power, but don’t think earning their trust or loyalty will come easy. But if you do, they could easily become your new secret weapon against your competitors.
Millennials are socially and technologically driven like no other generation. They grew up online, connected to everything with anything they want basically at their fingertips. At the push of a key or touch on the phone screen. Most have a decent-size following on at least one social media platform and they’re greatly influenced by their friends on social media… and vice versa. Their friends are influenced by them.
They will rarely hesitate to share their experience with a brand or company, so give them a great experience and chances are they’ll be out there spreading the word for you. They will virtually become a brand ambassador for your business.
But by experience, I mean more than just a smooth transaction or a giving them a great product. They truly want an experience. They want to feel like they’re part of something bigger. They want to be part of shaping your product or be involved in some way like they’ve never been with any other company or product.
Max Thorpe from Waterfall talked about a few awesome examples of companies getting it right. The one that caught my eye was Drink Easy. He learned about it from a friend (see, there’s that free word of mouth marketing at work). He texted a shortcode to the company in order to opt in to receiving messages from them and every week they send him details about a craft drink that’s not available at any store. If he’s interested, he texts them back, they ship it and that weekend he has the drink in his hand. BUT, if he’s not interested, he tells them why and never gets an offer for similar drinks. He is part of the service and gets to experience drinks he would never been able to otherwise.
To understand millennials even more, Cue Connect conducted a survey and found that there are five types of millennial shoppers – as shown in the image below. You can also get their ebook with the findings here.