One of modern marketers’ biggest challenges is nailing down the elusive buying persona of the Millennial.
Drawing generational lines is always a difficult task, but Millennials are typically seen as the age group incorporating those born between 1982 and the early 2000s, which means anyone aged between 15 and 33.
With over 80 million members, it’s not an especially narrow or precise demographic for marketers to be looking at. But Millennials already possess $200 billion in annual buying power, and their influence in corporate buying decisions is growing rapidly. They’re simply too valuable to overlook.
When marketers and marketing recruiters study Millennials we’re frequently looking at younger consumers who are striking out on their own and making choices for the first time about the brands they buy. On paper it seems like a golden marketing opportunity.
But this generation of young people consistently prove themselves to be thrifty and resourceful in the way they shop. They often behave unexpectedly, regularly defying digital behavior expectation and taking to trends not favored by other consumer groups.
So what do brands need to know about the youth market to ensure they make the most of this small window of opportunity– where young people make choices about brands that could stay with them for a lifetime? Here are some key takeaways marketers need to keep in mind, drawn largely from a study done by Ucas media.
They still buy retail goods like clothes (69.8 %), books (61.6 %) and holiday purchases (66.3 %) in brick-and-mortar stores in malls, shopping centers, and on main street.
Despite growing trends in ecommerce and mobile buying, Millennials remain on-location shoppers first, digital buyers second.
One of the reasons for this trend is that for people of all ages, shopping is still an experience and a social venture. An entire day out shopping with alone or with friends and family is still a common occasion, which is one of the reasons that some online-only retailers such as Asos have struggled.
Millennials crave instant gratification and fast feedback from their networks, peers, employers, brands and more. Marketers must put themselves in the shoes of young people, where they may make a snap decision to go out that evening and want a new outfit or impulsively go on a short trip and need immediate supplies. This means that waiting for delivery, even next-day, is not an option.
Millennial and Director of Marketing for Budget explains the value of quick responses and feedback to her generation
The lesson for brands is that offline is still as important as online, even to a generation of digital natives.
Discounted price upfront matters most to nearly half of Millennials (42.5 %).
Loyalty cards and club cards fundamentally don’t appeal to young people, who are looking to save money instantly as they make student loan payments or get by on modest entry-level salaries. For many, buying into a brand loyalty scheme may also feel like too much of a commitment of time and personal information to keep shopping at a particular store for groceries or other regular needs.
However, they will pay attention to the fact that they get consistently cheaper prices upfront from a particular retailer and so keep returning to its stores. Specific offers targeted to certain demographics (like, for instance, student discounts) are often a good way to offer these benefits to Millennials in a way that works for them.
A third own tablets, but they prefer to shop via a PC more than any other device (74.0 %)
A multi-channel marketing strategy (eg PC, tablet, mobile, in-store) has become an important feature on any modern marketing plan. However, it’s important for brands to consider that young people may well be priced out of these markets.
While increasingly glued to their phones, most of those still in education will be spending long periods of time on their laptops or desktops, where they find it easier to make purchases. In this instance, top-of-the-funnel branding activity (efforts aimed at brand awareness) will work well on mobile, but direct-response marketing is likely to perform best on desktops.
92 % are on Facebook, 42.1 % on Twitter and 37.5 % on Snapchat
It’s crucial for brands to understand the way young people use social media and take a nuanced approach to market to them across different platforms. For instance, while the overwhelming majority of Millennials report Facebook activity, recent research from GlobalWebIndex suggests that around 40% of the site’s user base now use it in a largely passive manner, rather than constantly engaging with their Facebook network. This number is on the rise.
However, relatively new platforms such as Snapchat encourage active use and are rapidly increasing their brand offering with innovations such as Discover. These could be a more successful route for brands to pursue.
Meet Snapchat’s new Discover feature
video from Snapchat
The fact is that social media usage is high among the Millennial market and growing in the generations beyond, so marketers need to get their heads around each platform in order to connect with young people.
Article source: The Guardian
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