Making yourself clear to every demographic you target is no easy task, particularly this last generation, the Millennials. They are uniquely different and previous traditional methods simply will not connect with them. They represent the immediate future and they are steadily taking over the ground vacated by the retiring Baby Boomer Generation. They are now the largest part of the workforce. Like every generation that came before, they come with their own set of characteristics that make them unique. No business can afford to ignore their energy and resources. Here are seven things you need to know about connecting with millennials.
1. They Are Not The Same This is the number one thing you need to know about millennials. They are not like other generations in that they are a simple demographic. You have to drill down deep into the millennial mindset to come up with the right campaign to reach them. Millennials are the most diverse generation to have ever existed. You’ll find millennials consisting of everyone from single mothers to middle class professionals. You’ll find them in every single social class and industry from apps to fashion trends and marketing. If you are serious about reaching them, think in terms of these segments, rather than demographics.
2. Millennials Are Forever Connected The millennial generation was the first to grow up with technology at their fingertips. They are used to always being connected. The majority of millennials will be connected to multiple tech devices at the same time. Without constant access to the Internet they’re going to feel helpless, so make certain connectivity is good, and explore ways to use it instead of fighting against it. To develop relationships requires maintaining constant communication with millennials. Organizations and businesses that want to connect with millennials need to be able to provide a lot of support whenever millennials want it. The 9-5 lifestyle is dead. To them.
3. This Is A Sharing Culture Millennials are spending more time on social media than ever before. To reach this audience you must be on social media. It’s symbolic of the sharing culture that has grown up around millennials. Organizations on the cutting edge are always sharing and always looking for new ways to engage in the social arena. Providing a way for them to connect with one other and you can spur growth through dialog and connectedness.
But not every social media site is right for you. Go back to thinking in segments and consider where your segment is likely to be hanging out.
4. Forget About The Hard Sell The hard sell has become something of a piece of satire in the eyes of millennials. They don’t respond to the hard sell. Tell them what is in it for them and let them decide for themselves. The hard sell is gone and when millennials decide they like what you offer, they may become your best advocate. For example, in the fashion industry shops are employing influencers to promote their products. Seeing others wearing something is much more powerful than a hard sell to them. Restaurants that show real people enjoying a shared meal connects with them. Why is this the case? Millennials value authenticity over everything else. They’re more likely to listen to a fellow consumer, and trust a review from someone they don’t know than trust a piece of promotional copy. Personal invitation and testimony carries greater weigh than ever.
5. Millennials Are Moving Fast The reason why millennials are moving fast is partly because of the mobile revolution. The rise of mobile has meant that they can stay connected wherever they happen to be. Businesses can no longer assume millennials are searching for their website through their desktops. Many millennials seldom even use desktops. Mobile websites and apps are vital for growing businesses. What it all means in practice is that connecting with millennials has turned into an omni-channel issue. Forward thinking businesses need to adapt to this. There’s no such thing as online, offline, and mobile strategies. They’ve all been merged into one.
6. Loyalty Is Hard To Win Millennials are not going to stick with the same business just because of image or past connections. The baby boomer generation, on the other hand, would do this because they felt more secure in sticking with the safety of a familiar business. Boomers tend to be more forgiving of a less than best experience. Millennials may leave and not return over just one negative experience. Winning them back is extremely difficult. The rise of millennials has forced businesses to stop relying on the idea that they can expect to gain loyalty because of trendy marketing or spaces. Organizations need to proactively win loyalty and pursue excellence in their offerings to retain loyalty.
This plays into the stereotype that millennials are disloyal and they won’t stick with anything for any length of time. That demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding, though. They may be harder to win, but when they do become loyal they tend to be the most loyal consumers around.
7. Organizations must realize that retaining loyalty is a constant process. Forward thinking organizations need to adapt to millennial families making up the bulk of their demographic. Give them excellence and service that makes a difference. Offer a cause that is bigger than you. For instance, a restaurant that feeds the needy in some way, or a shoe store that helps provide shoes for particular needs may be what helps retain the loyalty of millennials. Get feedback and learn what they respond to and what matters to them. It could just be the breakthrough you need to change your world. When you consider these tips, it really is just about tanking your organization to the next level. Go ahead! Take that next step and pursue the possibilities.