Preparing Your Customer Experience For A Millennial Audience
With over 72 million, millennials have taken over baby boomers to be the largest group of consumers in the U.S.
Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are the first generation to grow up with social media, immediate real-time responses, smartphones, and constant access to information. As a result, millennials have come to expect brands to provide a robust, relevant, and innovative digital experience.
Here are a few statistics which digital marketers should find interesting regarding millennials:
71% report that the most important thing a business can do is value their time
83% of millennials want to buy from brands that share their values
68% require an integrated, seamless experience regardless of platform
Last year, millennial spending reached over $1.4 trillion
One of the most important things to remember about millennials is their power of influence. Whether it’s their favorite brands, latest trends, or important social causes, this demographic loves to share information with like-minded peers. With the tech explosion happening during most of their formative years, millennials are used to social media being a main element of daily life. Because of this, they’re also wary of being ‘sold to’ online. That’s why social influencers play such a huge important role in millennial marketing. For your brand, having a social influencer campaign could be an effective tool to reach this generation.
Millennials also tend to be well informed, savvy, tech-centric, confident, and very knowledgeable consumers…valuing experience over material products and goods. According to an Accenture report, millennials are extremely loyal to brands that personalize ‘their experience’ and treat them respectfully. It adds that millennials “demand a customer-centric shopping experience, one tailored to their wants and needs as valued customers,” and want their brands to actively “court” them.
In order to meet the millennial expectation, companies need to provide a dynamic mix of personalized engagement and authentic content on a variety of platforms to enhance their digital experience.
What Millennials Want
Millennials value flexibility, accessibility and usefulness. Through their actions and beliefs, they're community-minded and care about social responsibility, gender and racial fairness, and justice. Millennials also value word-of-mouth far more than the usual approaches to branding and marketing. For this reason, companies with a savvy use of digital and social media are at an advantage in reaching millennials…helping to both increase the brand's visibility while also satisfying the need for more personal recommendations from friends, family, co-workers and more.
As mentioned previously, social media plays a major part in how millennials connect with others and evaluate content and information. For example, recent statistics find that millennials spend an average of 15 minutes editing every piece of content posted on social media, and 42% of them will double-check information on social media to determine if it’s correct and original. To reach this savvy demographic (and keep their attention), it’s essential that brands have a continuous presence on social media, producing content that’s entertaining, informative, relevant, and interesting. Be authentic on social media and show humanity within your brand. When people comment on your post, let them know that you’re hearing them and act accordingly.
And Be Mobile
A recent Qualtrics study found that a quarter of the young millennial population looks at their phones 150+ times a day, as compared to less than one-tenth of baby boomers. In terms of the time spent on mobile, 25 percent of millennials spend more than 5 hours on their smartphone each day, and more than 50 percent spend at least 3 hours compared to a quarter of the boomer population. 42% of millennials haven’t gone more than five hours without checking social media during waking hours while 42% of boomers can go a week or more without checking their feeds.
A mobile-first strategy is the way to go if you want to win over millennial customers. Here’s what you can do:
Make your company website mobile-friendly. Millennials expect digital to be fast, responsive, and become impatient with a poor quality digital experience. In fact, visitors who have a poor experience on your mobile site may not interact with your business ever again.
Offer self-service management portals on mobile for better searchability.
Enable your customers to connect with you seamlessly by offering live chat support on your mobile app. Live chat enables real-time interaction between your agents and clients in a personalized environment, leading to better experiences and potentially more sales.
Go omnichannel over multichannel. Millennials expect the same level of experience on each touchpoint. It’s important to make sure that the service your company or brand provides is consistent with what you offer on mobile or social media.
To capitalize on the interests of millennials, focus on matter-of-fact messaging that appeals to their sense of flexibility, usefulness, and consciousness. Make sure your brand meets your millennial audience organically at the right place, right time. When considering your product announcements, be sure to make them especially applicable, friendly, and vibrant for posting to social media — preferably across multiple platforms.
Having a blog is also a good way to communicate your brand ethos and viewpoint. In fact, millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites than other generations. Blogs can revitalize your millennial marketing strategy because it gives your audience a glance at the people behind the business. It’s also an opportunity to present your brand’s goals, which this demographic appreciates. Millennial consumers look for blog content that offers advice, reviews, or a credible assessment of trends and technology.
Personalize The Experience
Every individual is unique, and this is abundantly clear regarding your millennial audience. As the new generational saying goes, ’one size does not fit all’. For your business to succeed with this market, this means customization of your products and personalization of your marketing message.
Brand differentiation from the rest of the pack is as important to millennials. How does your brand stand out, can your product be customized, and why is it relevant in the life of a millennial shopper? In addition to offering product differentiation, you need to utilize a personalized approach to your digital marketing. Personalization refers to the incorporation of personal information, such as name, title, organization, purchase history, etc. to your client communications.
Yet, that's not enough. Today, you need to hyper-personalize your communications based on user data to deliver messaging that’s relevant to a specific customer. Your brand should leverage analytics data to share customized offers and promotions, based on past shopping behavior to create a rewarding experience for your customers.
Stand For A Cause
Cause marketing resonates with a millennial audience because it builds the idea of a community and develops a deeper brand and consumer connection. According to research by Deloitte, 76 percent of millennials now regard business as a force for positive social impact. Millennials won’t hesitate to change their shopping habits for a brand that they feel has a genuine commitment to change.
On your website, social channels, and digital communication, let your audience know your commitment to the community and social causes. By creating an inspirational digital campaign that showcases and explains the social cause your brand supports, you can solidify a connection with your audience and share relevant content that reinforces your brand’s vision and philosophy.
Representing the first digitally savvy generation, millennials comprise the largest population in the US and spend over $1 trillion annually. Millennials crave an experience that’s honest, authentic, personal, and informative. For businesses to survive and thrive in the digital age, it’s important to understand this highly-informed group and then provide a dynamic and unforgettable digital experience for their millennial customer.