Millennials – the generation that is slowly but surely taking over the workforce and on route to hold most of society’s purchasing power as well! Born between 1981 and 1999, millennials are ‘for the culture’; engaged and interested in reshaping the world and how it functions. This age group may get a bad reputation from others for being too sensitive, or too idealistic, but don’t let that take away from the impact and purchasing power this group possesses. By 2030, 2 out of every 3 AU$ earned will be making its way to a millennial’s pocket!
The repercussions of the financial crisis of 2008 (a time where many millennials would have been joining the workforce) explains the economic beliefs and behaviours most millennials exhibit today; a surge in entrepreneurial ventures, a decreased interest in accumulating assets, and views that value social issues above financial gain. And all of this is accompanied by a general mistrust for MNCs and traditional marketing tactics. Let’s try and step into the millennial’s mind- but remember – she/he might end up blocking us; millennial’s are suckers for privacy.
How a Milli Operates
Understanding the key factors to have affected the millennial timeline helps one gauge how the average Milli (let’s just call them Milli’s now – it’s easier isn’t it?) operates. The largest of these factors was the advent of the Internet; dial-up Internet was made available to the Australian public in 1989. The fact that the Milli’s are the group most skilled at technology creation and consumption is not news.
But what is worth reflecting on is that the smartphones and social platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have warped the milli generation’s sense of time; the sheer speed at which information travels has transformed daily life into a barrage of visual mania and fragmented stories. What this means is that nothing can stay relevant for long – the world is too caught up in what’s about to come.
So, what should your business do in regards to this rather bleak reality? Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds – happiness research (Australia ranked 10th in the 2018 Happiness Index) surmises that we’re happier these days than we were before.
Keep It Fresh; no country for old posts
Moving on, what this tells us is that as a business you must continue to reinvent yourself. Shed your old skin and slither into the digital world as a new snake everytime. Millis struggle to care about what happened yesterday, let alone that cute business video you posted a year ago. Pokémon reinvented themselves with the release of their augmented-reality game Pokémon Go(2016). The genius of the game is that you can connect to nearby friends through Facebook; this is why you may have seen jittery teens running around with their phones held out at absolutely nothing (remember, it’s augmented reality) a couple of years ago. People thought the franchise would die as Nintendo’s game boys did, but Pokémon came back with a bang.
Post new content as often as you can, and think of innovative ways to tackle common problems. An example of this is popular discount airline JetBlue’s twitter handle- they provide 24/7 real-time customer service on their twitter feed; it’s not merely an online space they use for promotional purposes. Ensure that your marketing strategies are original and non-promotional; this goes back to the earlier point made about the underlying distrust Millis have towards the usual ‘look at us, look at our brand, we’re the best’ type of approach.
Encourage Customer Involvement: Millennials are heavily influenced by their peers
An insightful survey conducted by Barkley and Boston Consulting Group, “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation” shows us that millis are highly influenced by their peers; a number of the decisions they take are talked out with friends and/or guided by advice and info they find online.
Where does this leave you as burgeoning business trying to make waves online? As an entity doing its level best to get connected. Alongside whatever you choose to post on your social media handles (whether it be an infographic, a video, or a happy customer’s reaction) make sure that all the necessary share buttons are nearby. Encourage people to respond to the content you create and the opinions you share online (by default this means that your online presence must be challenging, not passive). There is no better way to get a Milli’s attention than for them to see that other Millis have also been engaging with your product/service.
Millennials Respond to Incentives
Judging by how Millis are the most represented demographic online, consider incentivising your business’s social media outreach.
As per recent research conducted by Yahoo’s parent company Oath, upwards of 60% of Millis would be likely to ‘check-in/log-in’ to your business if they knew they were receiving a coupon or a discount.
Perhaps try the gateway strategy; provide customers a full service or free product if they share your page a certain number of times. Generate interest and that will generate the online buzz needed to take your business off the ground.
Successfully serving customers online goes a long way, especially if they have the ‘sharing-power’ most Millis possess.
The millennial generation is simply too big of an online player for your business to ignore. You’ve probably received a lot of tips on how best to approach the millennial audience online, but there’s no need to get carried away and end up overcompensating. Play it smart; step inside the shoes of your average Milli customer – is what we’re posting going to make them click? Are we telling/showing the people something new? Remember to advocate action on behalf of your business; ask people to review your good/service – keeping the conversation alive is your responsibility, not the customer’s.