There has been a lot of research conducted, looking into the consumer needs and desires of the Millennials. It’s well worth taking a look at the results of this research as we can learn a lot from it. From it we can refine and tailor our marketing strategies.
This is the largest generation, it is the most highly educated generation and it is also the most racially diverse generation. So, this is a huge consumer group, and their needs need to be met in a way that engages them. Research shows that the majority of the generation is not religious, they are optimistic about their future, but they are wary and sceptical. They are also getting married and having children later in life. This means that they are likely to have a larger disposable income in their 20s and 30s than other generations did at that time of life. Millennials in the US alone already account for 1.3 trillions dollars of direct spending.
Over half the US Millenials surveyed said they would share their consumer experiences via social media. If that’s a good experience, that’s a lot of advertising done for you, at no cost to yourself. It has also been shown that Millennials have a greater influence on the purchasing habits of friends and family than Baby Boomers do. Word of mouth recommendations are very valuable, but they can be hard to come by. Targeting this generation that is more likely to recommend than other generations is going to be well worth it. Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to share a link or a tweet with a brand reference than Baby Boomers. There is little reticence to aid a company in their advertising, if it is a brand they feel they have a connection to. And it gets better! 52% state that they share their favourite brands’ posts on Facebook, and 21% said they share the posts every time, or nearly every time. That’s a lot of brand loyalty, spreading your message for you!
The Millennials are also the blogging generation. These online diaries bring people’s personal lives into the public eye. 39% of Millennials post online product reviews, and 27% stated that they make reference to brands in their blog posts. Millennials are mainly influenced by their peers. A recommendation from someone their own age is more influential than that of an older person. They are also highly likely to avoid a brand if their peers have suggested that they do.
BCG research has shown that this online activity really does have a great impact on businesses. Brands that are highly recommended regularly out perform those that are highly criticized.
Millennials associate their generation with ‘keeping it real’. Down to earth advertising that represents an inclusive society will have a greater impact on them than more traditional advertising styles. This generation is also a generation that cares. Make your ethical and ecological stance known and it will be appreciated by the Millennials who have grown up in a world concerned about climate change and fair trading. They often use the hash tags #socialgood, #change, #impact and #sustainable on their social media posts. However, it is important to be open and honest. This generation is very savvy, they will dismiss anything they consider to be advertising nonsense. Your messages must be real and solid, they won’t take kindly to advertising they see as being patronising or fake.
46% of Millennials say they use search engines to compare prices when they are in a store, and 43% will use their phones to look for a discount code or coupon. Their mobile devices are never far away, and they use them whenever they can. Interacting with brands is something they do as a matter of course, on a daily basis, regardless of location.
Millennials also reported in the research that they feel that they are missing something if they don’t check their social media channels on a regular basis. This extended interaction with media gives brand increased opportunities to expose these users to advertising.
Millennials will switch brands more regularly than their predecessors. Brand loyalty is no longer as strong. People no longer use the same brand of washing powder all their lives, because it was the brand their mother used, and their grandmother before them. Now price, ethical behaviour and brand image are more important than habit and tradition.
Research also shows that the Millennials are less easily convinced to make a purchase. Advertising alone is less likely to sway them. They do their research, they look for other opinions, in real life, but more often than not, on the Internet.
In Part Three we’ll look further into how to make the most of the Millennial generation and how best to engage them with your brand.
Want to learn how to market to Millennials? Contact Ems @ LincolnMartin.com