They use their cell phones to text, not to talk. They watch TV on their computers and tablets, not on television sets. They don’t click on banner ads and don’t open mass emails. They are the Millennium generation. ‘Millennials’ is a term used to describe a diverse group of people born after 1980 and before 2000. This group grew up in a world that encouraged technology to lose its cables and cords and become mobile.
According to a recent study by the Wall Street Journal, 77% of Millennials own a smartphone and they spend nearly 15 hours a week texting, talking and on social media. Millennials also love to shop online. In fact, more than 35% of them would buy everything on the Web if they could, according to a Yahoo infographic. But, they do more research than anyone else, before they even begin the decision process of buying a product or service.
They’re very good at using the Internet and social media to find what they want. If a company has a bad product, customer experience or corporate culture — Millennials will see right through it. With the rise of private peer-to-peer messaging apps (WhatsApp, Snapchat among others) which offer little opportunity for interaction with brands, and – crucially – no advertising options whatsoever, they abandon established public networks and step away from public forum. Perhaps more than any other generation, Millennials understand how marketing and advertising work and they are adept at ignoring it, or even finding ways to turn it off completely.
This makes Marketers very uncomfortable as ads are measured by instant action, clicks, views, likes and more. Marketers now understand that Millennials don’t like brands that explicitly “sell” product or content to them; but that brands which sell by providing new, solid and relevant information will have more success and create repeat engagement. Marketers work hard on building a loyal community that will follow and purchase their favorite brand. Measuring by brand awareness and how much consumers purchase is not enough anymore. ‘Loyalty’ has to be initiated on the marketer’s side as well. Offering value, relevancy and authenticity alongside a long-term plan that is based on consumer behavior before and after they purchase, will help marketers get their attention.
Millennials choose wisely with whom they interact. Marketers who wish to raise awareness and stay relevant to them, need to change their status to “in a relationship”.
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Boris Shurp & Tsur Shraibman are part of the Digital Marketing team at dmg.