A New Wave of Consumers
Millennials have overtaken the baby boomers as the largest generation with buying power. Millennials now number 75.4 million while the boomers number 74.9 million. As a small business owner this is important information to know as you may want to change the way you market to the younger, more tech savvy generation.
While no two generations think the same way, many of the things Millennials are demanding from companies are also appreciated by Boomers and Xers. Shifting your marketing strategy may help you to better reach this ever-growing generation and market segment while still attracting new customers from other generations.
1. No sales pitch.
Millennials are especially turned off by the thought of some slick sales man trying to sell garbage to a garbage man.
This generation has grown up with a multitude of social media outlets, and the internet at their fingertips. They don’t want you to sell to them, instead they want you to tell them what the product or service will do for them. They enjoy photos and videos versus long manuals to read through.
Remember that they are used to following up on their smart phone to see reviews or uses for your product or service. Being upfront and honest about what it does and how it does it will come across better to this younger generation.
2. Make your brand about them.
The younger generation is more likely to do business with a company or brand that treats them well and reflects on their beliefs.
Things that were important to many older generations, such as how long you have been in business, or how big your company is no longer matter. They want to do business with someone that treats them right and follows through on their promises.
3. Customer services is number 1.
Going back to the internet is at their fingertips idea… If a Millennial has a bad experience at your company, you can be sure they have posted a review on Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter or some other social media outlet.
This is the reason that it is a must to be sure that your customer service is your number one priority. Be sure that your employees know how you want them to handle customer complaints or problems. If they don’t know, then it is time to teach them.
4. Social media is key.
In order to reach younger customers it is important to be connected. This means that your website needs to offer mobile viewing to improve experiences for those viewing it using smartphones and tablets. With many of your customers finding you by surfing the web it is important to invest in social media and a website that catches their eye. Hanging out online where your customers do, online, will help you to reach them better.
When revamping your marketing campaign, keep in mind who you are selling to. Millennials have access to more information than any generation before them, so be sure you give them the information they are looking for, not a sales pitch. It might not be a bad idea to ramp up your loyalty or referral programs to show your customers that you care about them and want to appreciate them for your business with them.
While all of this does in fact take time, when you find a loyal customer in a Millennial they are more likely to spread word of your company and your products. The hard work is definitely worth your time and effort.
About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.