Millennials: Re-Shaping Marketing
Referring to individuals born from the 1980s to 2000s, millennials are anticipated to change how companies do business. Being one of the largest generations, it is anticipated that they will have a significant impact on the economy in the near future and the years to come. Their importance is further underscored by the fact that they tend to be highly influential and therefore, even impact the wants and needs of the older generations.
Given their importance, businesses are working hard towards understanding the unique preferences and expectations of this generation. This has become especially important as many businesses are finding that traditional methods of marketing and advertising tend to have low rates of success with millennials. The millennials grew up in a time of rapid change and evolution, and the way they think and function is a reflection of this.
In an attempt to gain a better understanding of how this cohort functions, more and more marketers are turning to market research. While conducting a personalized market research study aimed at gathering information as relevant to your specific product or brand is ideal, general insights as pertaining to this generation can assist in the initial stages of drafting a marketing or research strategy.
- Technology: Characterized by a high affinity to technology, millennials tend to be extremely digitally engaged, with social media playing an especially important role in their lives. A research study conducted by BCG reported that 37% of surveyed younger millennials in the US believed they were “missing something” if they did not use Facebook or Twitter every day. Given their affinity for social media, perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials also prefer to engage with brands via social media.
- Experiences: Millennials place great importance on experiences and are willing to spend money and time in the pursuit of them. For this generation, contentment is (at least in part) measured by the type and quality of experiences experienced and additionally, the ensuing memories captured and potentially, shared.
- Influence: In addition to being influencers themselves, millennials are also strongly influenced by others when considering brands or products. Influenced by their families, friends and peers, millennials are also likely to seek out the opinions and advice of strangers via blogs and reviews. Additionally, celebrities are also more likely to influence millennials than other older generations.
- Authenticity: Millennials tend to value authenticity, opting not to consider information portals that they believe as not being authentic. Millennials tend to be attracted to brands that they perceive as having authentic and unique personalities. Their preferences are for content and information that appears to come from other humans (and thus, feels authentic) as opposed to traditional self-promoting information from brands.
While general insight such as these can be helpful in scratching the surface in terms of what appeals to millennials, engaging millennials can be challenging, especially as they do not always represent a homogenous group. As millennials change the way customers view and interact with brands and products, successful marketing strategies must be rooted in a thorough understanding of the preferences of this important generation and thus, gathering of in-depth insight is crucial.