In order to engage the millennial generation, companies should utilize various forms of social media and incorporate new means of marketing. Forbes highlights the importance of connecting with millennials (born 1980-1999): “There are eighty million millennials in America alone and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power.” This demographic has tremendous influence across all industries.
Devices to Engage the Millennials
This generation is extremely tech-savvy and digitally native; they are familiar with the latest innovative technologies and continually purchase the newest models of digital devices. Marketers and brands that want to connect with millennials must understand their media-consumption habits.
To begin, millennials spend roughly eighteen hours a day absorbing various media content. The vast majority of their Internet usage comes from smart phones. Three out of four millennials own a smartphone, where they access various forms of social media. This generation heavily relies on social media for communication, information, entertainment and personal use.
As a result, they want to engage with businesses on social networks. According to Dan Schawbel of Forbes: “62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.” However, this does not mean to flood their email with daily advertisements. Rather, they expect brands to be present on blogs, costumer reviews, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Businesses need to update news feeds and blog posts on new platforms in order to establish a loyal following. It is important for companies to keep their brand relevant and appealing to millennials. Although connecting with consumers may require extra effort and time, the pay off will be well worth it.
How Millennials Shop
Although Millennials are experienced online customers, they still frequently shop at brick-and-mortar venues. They often use online and mobile channels as helpful tools to find the best products and services. Christopher Donnelly of Accenture comments on Millenials shopping patterns: “Many hone their shopping skills on the Internet, checking product ratings and reviews or feedback on retailers, for example, to confirm that both product and vendor provide the best value and service, respectively.”
In regards to shopping, they prefer to utilize their smartphones to access coupons or in-store promotions. They want to easily transition from their smartphone to personal computer to physical store in their search for the best deals. Online retailers interested in attracting millennial consumers should incorporate a more sharable and social shopping experience.
It is crucial for companies to offer products and advice via social networks so their consumers can promote their products online. Make content sharing easy and accessible by creating mobile applications that let their consumers upload photos and reviews directly to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. As consumers post their opinions, brands have an opportunity to gain a reliable reputation and loyal following. If they share their suggestions online, it is essential for companies to respond to their feedback: “They expect responsiveness and empathy to questions, comments and complaints.” As digital shopping becomes more popular, companies need to make profound changes in their approach to attracting Millennials shoppers.
Securing Brand Loyalty
In efforts to secure brand loyalty, marketers spend a lot of time and energy to appeal to milllennials. Because millennials are a very tech-savvy generation, companies must utilize online avenues to extend its influence in the marketplace. With a rise of ‘social influencers,’ millennials can quickly gain information about various goods and services from a trusted source–their favorite blogger. For example, bloggers cultivate an active and authentic relationship with their readers. They voice their opinions on new products and brands, ultimately influencing the purchase preferences of their followers.
Through following and interaction with influencers, millennials are aware of a product’s issues or a company’s faults, and they tend to value companies that include social responsibility and corporate ethics. According to Social Media Today, companies should reevaluate their priorities: “it is worthwhile for companies to approach marketing to this [millennial] demographic with a renewed focus on appealing to their values, identifying their influencers, and strategic social media engagement.”
Clearly brands should direct their focus and means of marketing to appeal to the millennial generation. With such a profound appearance on social media, millennials can easily influence global purchasing power. Companies ought to incorporate various digital devices on different platforms of social media to help secure brand loyalty among this influential demographic of consumers.