Are you guilty of the following: sleeping with your phone, texting your friends instead of calling them, or constantly multitasking on your mobile? Then, chances are, you are a Millennial. Millennials make up the first generation that has always been connected to technology. They are generally not afraid of technology and have embraced it in their everyday lives from an early age. Trends show that Millennials are diverting from traditional media like TV and gravitating toward mobile communication like texting and social media. With these trends already becoming prevalent, it is important to understand how fundamental marketing practices need to change and how you can use these insights to ensure the success of your marketing efforts.
Make it interactive
Given that most newspaper subscriptions are declining and more than 80 percent of Millennials watch TV online, according to a 2012 study by Accredited Online Colleges, it becomes more and more important to find new ways to continue the conversation on a long-term basis instead of relying on traditional media to deliver on impressions. The challenge with traditional media, in most cases, is that it relies on continued exposure to the same messaging to deliver on brand engagement. With fewer Millennials interacting on a regular basis, marketers need to be creative about how they use these placements to engage their brand followers long term. Instead of having a television commercial with a simple brand message, make the experience interactive. Include additional value-added content like contests or promotions that can be received using messaging based programs, or conservatively use QR codes when the timing of the placement permits. According to Nielsen's 2012 "Cross-Platform Report," almost half of all Millennials have their phone in hand when watching television daily, so use this opportunity to build your opt-in list so you can continue to deliver content after the fact.
Brand your voice
Millennials like to build trust with a brand before they buy. This trust is developed through interactions with social networks and directly through the user-generated content that is posted regarding products and services associated with the brand. As reported by Mashable, in 60 percent of cases, Millennials are researching online ratings, reviews, and other relevant information during the purchase cycle. In addition, 93 percent of this same audience is connected to social media networks, according to MediaPost. This means that your voice online counts, and like anything else, it must be carefully planned. We also know that more than half of all Millennials want to actively contribute content, which means your customers don't want to just view advertisements anymore like previous generations. Instead, they want to personalize their brand experience by sharing and creating their own content. There is an opportunity here to build in mobile interaction points to solicit feedback from your customers throughout the purchase funnel. Give your Millennial customers the chance to share and voice their feedback throughout the purchase cycle. Just make sure your process is sound and you are delivering on a satisfying customer experience to create a positive voice for your brand.
Deliver on demand
Millennials want information now. It's no longer acceptable to wait five days in the mail for a coveted magazine or product catalog. The way content is consumed has also changed; this is especially true as it relates to a Millennial audience. Digesting large quantities of information is no longer the norm for this audience, due to the amount of media exposure, which is typically more than seven hours per day, as reported by Pew Research. Millennials have developed a mechanism to filter content in sound bites. With both these trends in place, there is a great opportunity to identify and deliver short bursts of content in real time to this receptive audience. For instance, allow the user to seek useful information about a brand while they are on the go via mobile, like information on product locations or sending promotional offers when they are in store. The mobile experience does not need to contain all pieces of relevant detail -- as in most cases, it will rarely be used. Figure out what your customers are looking for, and make it easy to digest in short bytes of content to obtain the best results.
The key to engaging Millennials is to get their attention, provide them with opportunities to opt-in to your brand, and keep the conversation going in small bursts of information. There is no better way to accomplish this than fusing the mobile and social experience together so the conversation can happen on demand and anywhere on the go. Incorporating these opportunities throughout your touch points is the key to long-term success with the new tech-savvy Millennial generation.
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