Connect with us

Business Marketing

The ultimate guide to reaching millennials

Published

on

Millennials and buying power

Although one in three millennials rely on their family for financial assistance and many have moved back in with their parents due to this demographic having the highest unemployment rate, this will not always be the case. Millennials are aged 18 to 29 and various studies say their buying power has already exceeded the baby boomer generation, despite economic struggles.

This generation is highly connected, with almost the entire group owning a device that connects to the web (laptop, smartphone, computer) and they are extremely brand aware with some opining that this generation is more socially conscious as a whole than past generations.

Three reasons millenials are a challenge

Millenials are not difficult to reach, they are almost all online, but getting this generation to latch on to a marketing message is trickier than simply mailing a postcard. The digital natives grew up with computers and are far from impressed with technology as it is something they have always lived with. This sentiment of being unimpressed applies to digital marketing as well, as this generation is cynical but not in the way Generation X is cynical, no, millenials tend to be cynical of all marketing not because it is part of the corporate or government machine, rather, having grown up in the era of email spam, everything that contains a marketing message is seen as dubious. Being part of the email spam generation and never knowing life without it, millenials are also part of a generation that had a cell phone in grade school and got in trouble for responding to spam text messages promising them fun ringtones but not making it clear they were signing up for a $9.99 monthly fee.

The amount of spam that millenials have had to learn to distinguish from legitimate marketing messages has made a generation that is dubious of all forms of marketing, even traditional forms. Additionally, because millenials grew up with Google and some grew up with Wikipedia, so the generation is conditioned to be internet researchers which often comes across to non-millenials as a “know it all” attitude and professionals find it annoying that every detail they share, Google is how millenials verify. This is not because millenials do not believe you, rather, it is because they are conditioned to use the web to verify everything from what device they’ll buy next to what the service is like at a restaurant they want to try, to what this rash is, all the way to how much they should be saving to buy a home.

Further, millenials have very short attention spans having grown up surrounded by digital devices delivering various messages, combined with diverse and complex video games and the rise of cable television with thousands of channels. This very theory is why Twitter initially experienced mass success as 140 characters is a reasonable amount of content for a mind used to taking in thousands of marketing messages every day.

Overcoming obstacles

How do you as a business professional market in a climate where every message is suspect, everything you say is validated via Google and attention spans are short? Millennials do not want your instructional DVD and they do not want you to blog about how to tweet or when a local carnival is, they want straightforward facts. This generation is drawn to minimalist design after growing up being bombarded by clunky websites and spam over text and email.

Combine straightforward facts and minimalism in your message, and mix in some of what is appealing about video games and digital publications in the form of humor or pop culture, and your message could get through.

The secret ingredient, however, is still the same secret ingredient that has worked since the dawn of time – getting face to face with a millennial will cut through the clutter and improve your chances of doing business with this large and soon to be wealthy next generation of buyers. How do you get face to face? You do not have to go to concerts and hand out your card, you are not required to go to hipster coffee shops and offer to buy coffee for trendy dressers, because millenials are dubious of any forced marketing.

Having a strong online presence and presenting yourself as the expert in something specific will set you in a position to be discovered and vetted online first and then closing the deal in person. While it doesn’t hurt to be where millenials are, like young networking events, the generation is still being primed for major purchases and when they are ready, they will start online with any purchase before emailing or texting, they will read through your blog to see what you offer and “creep” your Facebook and LinkedIn to see what you are like as a person. Getting millenials to buy from you means showcasing a specific expertise, being concise and cutting out the fluff and cheesy marketing messages, and through that expertise, earning their contacting you which should then be converted to an offline meeting as soon as possible to finalize the trust bond.

Millenials – data

As told by a millennial below, the generation is well educated, hopeful, but held back by the current economy. In the next few years, when the generation improves its buying power, it will be a force to reckon with and you will be ready by knowing about the generation (below) and understanding that they are a dubious generation that vets everything online and has a short attention span which has nothing to do with you, but must be considered in your marketing.

This article was penned by a millenial to give you a better understanding from an insider.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
92 Comments

92 Comments

  1. Ryan Schattner

    December 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Finally an accurate article.

  2. ARG

    December 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I found this fascinating. We have representatives from each generation in our office (except the "Silent" one) and we all found this infographic fun and interesting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Marketing

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

Published

on

Snapchat's video

Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

Published

on

small businesses new tech

While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

Continue Reading

Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

Published

on

skilled worker

The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!