What To Do To Win The Millennial Buyer

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Millennials seem to be getting a lot of attention lately, and it’s no surprise. This generation’s numbers are pretty impressive. To start, there are 76.6 million of them, larger than those famous Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and Gen Xers (1965-1980). Today this age group makes up half the work force, and are on pace to be a full 75% by 2020. And then, there’s this tidbit — Millennials account for $1 trillion of annual consumer spending.
Certainly enough motivation to try and win them as customers.
That starts by learning a bit about what this age group is all about. This generation has a unique sense of self, an optimistic outlook and a not so traditional approach to the stages of life. They buy, but they don’t do it the way many brands today still think they do, because people this age are becoming adults in a different world. Growing up without need or want, with technology and resources, they see limitless possibilities to create the life they want.
How millennial are you? Pew Research has a 14-question quiz to help you find out. This might be a smart first step in seeing how close (or not) you are to understanding these potential customers. How willing you are to get past the idea of this generation needing to “grow up”.
For the most part, they already have.
What you must to understand as a marketer is that milestones of growing up (getting a job, buying a house, getting married, having kids) aren’t the same for the Millennials as they were for earlier generations. The world is a very different place. Recognize the shift and embrace it, then find ways to be engaging and relevant in the new reality and you’ll see your brand do well.
This calls for companies to get creative about reaching those of this age group. Research suggests brands will succeed when they reach out using the same tools Millennials do. A tech savvy generation, this approach sets you up to build a relationship, a chance for two way conversation.
Here are a few ways to do this…
1. Sharing videos (or photos) is the simplest way to engage potential customers in this age group. Use your own technology to take photos or videos that are compelling, of interest to your most likely customer but that do not “feel” like advertising. Taco Bell used SnapChat (30 million active users) to successfully introduce a Dorito-flavored taco.
2. Engaging games are a great way to reach this age group. WhatsApp, an online messenger service that works on all types of phones, is an ideal platform. You can create groups, send unlimited images, video and audio. An Israeli chocolate maker used WhatsApp to launch a game that involved the product and photos or videos.
3. Host an online discussion with LINE, a messaging app from Japan that’s been used by big name TV shows to host a talk that drew 30,000 fans. Not to suggest you’ll get this kind of audience that first time out, but you can use this approach to show your expertise, build awareness of your company and your own commitment to quality.
More and more big companies are embracing mobile messaging apps to reach millenialsSnapchat, WhatsApp, Viber and so many others serve as that all-important platform for communication. With some thought and planning, they might do the very same for your own business.

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