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June 22, 2017 Blog
The millennial generation is more than 75 million strong and makes up about 25 percent of the U.S. population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials have $200 billion in annual purchasing power and influence on $500 billion in indirect spending. This makes them a demographic that simply cannot be ignored.
Marketing to millennials requires an approach that is custom-tailored to the unique demands and preferences of this generation:
1. Establish and maintain an online presence
Millennial consumers grew up with computers and cell phones. The Pew Research Center found that 96 percent of millennials consider their mobile phone to be among the most important parts of their daily life, and 83 percent sleep with the device right next to them. The internet is one of the most significant parts of daily life for 88 percent of consumers in this age group.
Consequently, the internet is the first place they look to find and engage with retailers and dining establishments. Make sure your website is up to date, mobile responsive, and has the product or menu information these customers want.
Engaging millennial customers through social media is also an easy and effective way to market to them. Encourage them to share images or social posts about your business using specific hashtags and respond or comment to engage them.
2. Offer a more personalized customer experience
More so than when targeting baby boomers, marketing to millennials necessitates tailoring the shopping or dining experience to reflect individual preferences. Promotional offers and loyalty program incentives must be personalized based on previous purchases or orders.
Attempts at suggestive selling online, in retail stores, and at restaurant tables, must also take these preferences into consideration. You can leverage mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) solutions to access information about customers’ buying and ordering histories to make offers more relevant.
In addition to being personalized, millennials want customer experiences to be quick and reflect your understanding that they value their time. Use mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) devices for line busting; buy online, pickup in store capabilities, mobile food ordering, self-service kiosks, and pay-at-the table technology can all appeal to this demographic. For your e-commerce or online ordering site, consider an online chat feature to both personalize and expedite the shopping process.
3. Show you value the same things millennials value
Understanding millennials’ values can provide some direction on how to market to them.
They aren’t swayed by traditional advertising, but can be influenced by reviews from your customers or other user-generated content. It’s important to encourage feedback, but to monitor comments for negative reviews and respond to them appropriately as soon as possible.
Millennials may also value experiences more than things. Market the experiences and added value your business offers, like tables where they and their friends can gather or in-store demonstrations that can help them learn new things.
They are also interested in doing business with companies that share their values related to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Be transparent about your activities and share how your business is contributing to causes your customers care about.
They also seek discounts and enjoy finding the best deal, so make sure you make offers your millennial customers can’t say no to.
Knowing your customers and offering the products and experiences they are looking for is always a good strategy. When it comes to marketing to millennials, their preferences and demands are different from previous generations, so it will require a shift in strategy to earn their loyalty. Learn all you can about this demographic, especially those in your particular market, to capture their attention and encourage them to return to your business again and again.