If there was ever a time for brands to take the millennial audience seriously, it would be now. The millennial generation is nearing its prime spending years. And when it comes to spending, no other consumer group makes a statement like the millennials.
This highly image-conscious group is as varied as they come. From tattoos to charitable giving and clean living to jewelry, millennials are making a statement with every purchase they make.
So how can companies better understand the demands of millennials and engage with them to create a lasting impression? By tailoring their products and services with the aid of digital technology. Millennials seek out experiences rather than material goods, so meet them where they are, and let technology help along the way.
Here’s a look at five ways, complete with actionable tips, that technology is enabling businesses to better engage with the selfie generation.
1. Maximize Data Potential
Brands looking to strategically engage millennials must understand the importance of data. Data is key to understanding this cohort’s consumer behavior and preferences. Leveraging available data will enable brands to make informed decisions on strategies that entertain and engage millennials.
Millennials seek personalized engagement. From customer service to content marketing, personalization plays a crucial role in increasing brand loyalty and driving millennial-generated revenue. To glean information that empowers brands to offer a level of personalization that millennials expect, customers must turn to data.
Actionable Tip: Data analysis will play a role in how brands understand millennial preferences to create target-specific and personalized deals and promotions. In today’s digital era, data analysis is one of the most effective methods to drive higher engagement and reach your target audience. Invest in an ERP software with built-in business intelligence solutions to help your organization make faster and smarter decisions.
2. Tell Your Brand Story
If data is a powerful tool for brands to effectively understand millennials, content especially through compelling copywriting is how brands can build, influence, and retain millennial loyalty.
When it comes to content, it pays to avoid attempting to sell. The amount of bombardment millennials face in regards to advertisements makes them distrust brands motivated by corporate greed. Their lack of trust in traditional advertisement makes them hesitate to engage with a brand motivated to sell.
Instead, brands should use content to inform and entertain. Conversation, not conversion, should be the primary consideration when engaging with millennials. When millennials are engaging with your content, conversion will follow.
Actionable Tip: Provide value with your branded content. Highlighting corporate social responsibility initiatives and demonstrating social proof through your content can add an element of trust necessary to build brand loyalty. Leverage the power of user-submitted content to create greater reach and greater engagement.
3. Meet Them At Their Phones
When it comes to weekly time spent online, millennials are more likely to engage with businesses online than any of their counterparts in any other consumer group. Growing up in a time of rapid change, from the introduction of the internet to the proliferation of smartphones, millennials have a natural affinity for technology. As such, brands must be willing to engage with them to provide instant access to products and services.
How millennials access brands and retailers through mobile devices plays a large part in reshaping brand engagement. Brands with dedicated store apps, ones that create an immersive experience for their customers, have seen strong engagement with millennials. The experience offered through dedicated store apps is driven in part by app-specific discounts, sales, loyalty programs and peer-to-peer recommendations.
Actionable Tip: It’s not enough to reach them through their smartphones. Brands must meet them through their mobile devices, offering engagement through specific app design and development, fostering a relationship with millennials through various engagement strategies.
4. Get On Social Media
No other consumer group engages with social media like millennials. Millennials spent their formative years on these social platforms. And now that they are in their prime spending years, tools like Instagram and Snapchat are crucial to brand interactions with millennials.
Brands must understand social media’s role as part of the buyer journey. Social platforms are great tools to reach new audiences and strengthen current ones. The substantial amount of time millennials spend online and on social media makes it an important tool for brands to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and influence brand loyalty.
Actionable Tip: Coordinate your social media marketing efforts with the rest of your marketing strategies. Truly grasping the significance of social media will enable your brand to establish a strategic marketing plan that will drive engagement and build your customer base.
5. Exceptional Customer Service Is Key
When it comes to millennials engaging with customer service, it’s more of a do-it-yourself approach. Google has become a primary tool for millennials with customer service problems. Peer-to-peer recommendations are essential to millennials and social media is their way of spreading the word about your business, good or bad.
If a particular millennial has had a really poor experience with your brand, it makes a big difference.
Millennials are looking for a customer service experience that goes beyond the traditional form of engagement. Technology has to be at the forefront of your brand’s customer service experience. From integrating a social experience to creating a seamless one, millennials expect brands to create a multi-channel approach when it comes to customer service.
Actionable Tip: The right customer service experience for millennials requires a multi-operational approach. Human employees and technological services must collaborate to offer a customer service experience with added value. Data will also play a role in how brands will employ customer service technology, ensuring any complaints or issues are resolved with lightning speed.
Millennials’ hierarchy of needs differs from those of previous generations. As such, brands must develop engagement tools and opportunities that specifically target this niche and growing consumer group where they are.
The natural distrust millennials have towards traditional marketing and selling mean brands must employ new strategies to create engagement that has a long-lasting effect.
As millennials move into their prime spending years, brands must ditch the old-school marketing playbook. The ability of millennials to reshape the economy for years to come means businesses must now take steps to create an omnichannel approach to engage, to attract and to retain the interest of millennials.
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