Marketing Millennials 10105/31/2013
Millennials are the generation born between 1980 and the year 2000. The Millennial generation is even larger than Baby Boomers who were born from 1946-1964. Millennials revel in and excel with technology; they seem to be able to absorb the nuances of a new gadget faster than any previous generation. The group is also seen as very confident about themselves and what they can accomplish.
Studies show that Millennials change jobs often, are highly educated, and are extremely connected via technology. Many other traits are prevalent in this group but conclusions regarding their meaning run the gamut from entitled and narcissistic to balanced and more tolerant than previous generations. As a group they are both conformists and accepting of people that are different from them. They love big brands but are cognizant of the need for a budget.
Now that we know about the Millennial generation how do we market to them? Millennials tend to be skeptical of general advertising and like most generations prefer word of mouth, however they are connected in ways that previous generations never dreamed of. The average Millennial sends 88 text messages a day; many use apps such as snapchat to send multiple photos of themselves to friends each day as well. FaceBook, twitter and Google+ have altered the way people communicate and Millennials embrace the connections.
The old rule of thumb was, “upset or disappoint a customer and the message would be spread to 250 more people”. The new marketing rules should consider the fact that many people have thousands of friends on FaceBook alone. Granted, not all of them are close friends but an individual can spread the word about a business before they even walk out the door. This same connectivity can be used to our advantage as well.
A personal recommendation or referral has great impact on any generation and Millennials have the technology to inform thousands even millions of people without a large ad budget. The ability to influence is important in any generation but the Millennial generation can promote themselves and the products and services they love in ways that previous generations only dreamed of.
As the largest generation ever it is easy to see why so many businesses are targeting this age group. What ever you do, don't under estimate this market. Millennials have the lowest debt to income ratio of any generation and are quick to purchase. The technology available allows them to research a product and make buying decisions in record time. Like the generations before them they value customer service and quality products (some things never change) but they will purchase throw away items if they are cheap enough. They absorb knowledge quickly and are eager to share the information with their friends especially if prompted.
The future looks bright as the Millennial generation comes of age. The group as a whole are excellent problem solvers and innovative thinkers. They have seen so many technology changes that it isn't difficult for them to imagine anything. They embrace what ever works and are always looking at ways to improve things. You could think of Millennials as micro ad agencies with the greatest ability to influence their peers in history.