What is Your Millennial Sales Strategy?
WHAT IS YOUR MILLENNIAL SALES STRATEGY?
One of the largest concerns in the PR, marketing, and advertising sectors today is how to reach millennials, anticipate millennial shopping behavior, and ultimately take advantage of one of the most potentially lucrative portions of consumers out there. The only problem is that there is more data and less insight into what makes millennials tick than was the case for any previous generation. One of the biggest mistakes that any company makes when determining a millennial marketing strategy is painting millennial consumers with one broad brush. As you will see, there are three big factors that you should also take into consideration when marketing to the millennial consumer.
Does Your Strategy Take Regional Factors Into Consideration?
There is a huge difference in the millennial shopping behavior of those who live on the east and west coasts vs those who make their homes in the interior. According to Forbes, there are distinct differences in marriage rates, homeownership, and stated values based upon these regional factors. The top stated value for “heartland” millennials was faith (54%) while the majority of “coastal” millennials stated that social responsibility (55%) was more important. There were also differences in preference for social media consumption, with Facebook being the top social media site of the interior whereas coastal millennials preferred to check Instagram. Keying in on these regional preferences should be an important part of your overall strategy.
Does It Account For Differences In Cultural Background?
Millenials are more ethnically and culturally diverse than any preceding generation, and this underscores more than anything the failure of any strategy that groups millennials too closely together based on factors such as the use of technology or theories based on an assumption of indulgent parenting. There have been many tone-deaf responses to millennial shopping behavior, such as Tim Gurner’s “Avocado Toast” flap in early 2017. It equated falling homeownership with overspending rather than other potential factors such as career uncertainty or skyrocketing home prices in relation to rather stagnant wages. It is equally clear that this attitude toward millennials does not give adequate weight to cultural considerations outside of generational origin.
Do You Address The Concerns of the Younger Generation?
There has been a huge focus on reaching millennial consumers solely by investing in leveraging the technology that they are using, such as the recent effort by CNN to launch a daily news update show on Snapchat. While these methods may realize short-term effectiveness, they fail to do what must really be done to reach these consumers: address their concerns and anxieties about an uncertain time. This is a generation that is constantly being blamed for ruining things simply by living their lives the way that they want to. Often these assertions are overblown, knee-jerk reactions to insufficient data but thanks to the blogosphere the millennial consumer gets to read about it as a top story every time they log into their email. These industries that are feeling the pinch as a result of a lack of interest from younger consumers are doing nothing to reach out and discover what the concerns of millennials are, much less how to address them.
What Are the Successful Components of a Millennial Marketing Strategy?
Now that we have taken a closer look at some blind spots that brands have had in dealing with millennial shopping behavior, what are the truly successful components of an effective millennial marketing strategy?
- Expand into new social networks and apps only if they are a fit for your target consumer rather than just an assumed millennial audience.
- Strive for authenticity. Social media can be a more personalized experience than more impersonal methods of advertising in the past. Pandering is much easier to spot.
- Use the opportunity to provide inspiration first. Younger consumers have a desire to learn, grow, and experience. If you can find a way to tap into that you can create a powerful drive toward action.
- Story driven content is the key. What story does your content tell? How does it reflect the true experience of using your brand or product?
- Leave room for interactivity. Give the consumer a way to engage with your brand and add to the story. If you don’t there are other outlets such as Yelp! that will be more than glad to provide the outlet for this energetic engagement.
- Use data realistically. With all the data available, it is easy to think that cracking the code to effectively marketing to millennials is to be found by just crunching the numbers, but it is only part of the puzzle that you should use to frame the picture before filling in the middle.
With these factors taken into deeper consideration, you will be able to create a cohesive, realistic, and effective strategy to more closely engage with millennial consumers on mutually agreeable terms. Remember, everyone likes to be seen and heard, no one likes to be spoken down to, and everyone likes to be appreciated as a customer. And those are some tips you can bank on!