Millennials. As the future (and present) of purchasing power, it’s no wonder they’ve caught the attention of marketers. In 2015, the Millennial generation emerged as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and they’re prepped to play with an annual purchasing power of over $200 billion by 2017. Unfortunately, capturing the attention of this group could be a challenge for many digital marketers.
The fact that Millennials have grown up in the “online” world, means that they’re savvy to current advertising methods. In other words, if you want to appeal to the new generation, you’ll need to focus on UX – user experience. In today’s market, modern businesses must create a seamless platform of engaging, social, and simple CRO (conversion rate optimization) opportunities for brand interaction – both online and offline. This means establishing a better understanding of the Millennial customer, and creating an experience that appeals directly to their needs, values, and expectations.
Make the Move to Mobile
So how should brands get started? By making sure they’re using the right technology. Millennials don’t spend much time watching TV (they prefer Netflix), so advertising in televised commercials won’t get you anywhere. Instead, you’d be better served utilizing the true addiction of the generation – mobile. Research suggests that around 80% of millennials own a smartphone, and around 41% opt for cellphones over landline connections. It’s not just the number of millennials that use mobile that makes it such an important medium — it’s how devoted they are to it. In fact, more than four out of five currently sleep next to, or with their cellphones.
Simply adjusting your website so that it can be accessed on a tablet or cellphone isn’t enough. Millennials expect to access a polished, quick, and optimized user experience from their mobile devices. Slow sites, wordy page titles, blocks of text and complicated landing pages are the bane of user experience, which means that optimizing for mobile should be your first step in creating your site, or improving CRO. Unfortunately, though mobile is important – you can’t just rest on your smartphone laurels, 30% of millennials are using more than four devices a day, so you have to create quality across the board. In fact, 60% of millennials suggest that their brand experience should be the same wherever they go – from in store interactions, to phone browsing or computer searching.
Simple and Seamless Encounters
With millennials, technology is the norm. It’s only natural that they assume their digital experience should be seamless, simple, and without flaw. While the millennial generation are quicker to embrace new technology, they are unlikely to make much effort with a system that doesn’t work as it should. That means that it’s up to you to ensure your websites, applications, videos, games, and other marketing strategies work perfectly.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do everything for your Millennial customers. In fact, while they prefer easy-to-access customer service, they also enjoy being able to “do it themselves” when it comes to online purchasing and other matters. Give a millennial the resources they need to fix their own problems, purchase upgrades or deal with concerns and they’ll be happy. That’s why CRO is often boosted by self-service solutions such as:
- Discussion forums
- Monitored communities
- Self-help tutorials.
- Troubleshooting services
Embrace Social and Sharing
The latest generation loves to share everything — especially experiences. According to research, around 30% of the time that Millennials spend on media is used on user-generated content. As a social generation, millennials express their thoughts and opinions both online and offline – from discussions in coffee shops to Facebook and Twitter posts, Snapchat images, and opinions posted on Yelp, Amazon, and other testimonial sites. If you want to get on the same level as your millennial customers, you need to give them the option to share: try placing sharing buttons on your website, or engaging with fans on everything from Instagram to Facebook.
The social behavior of Millennials is a big deal for brands, as customers need a platform to connect with others in order to make purchasing decisions. For example, 93% of female customers need to read a review before buying a product, and 86% consider user-generated content to be a reliable measure of your brand quality. When it comes to user-generated content, make sure that you diversify with the platforms you use. For example, Instagram – which has a huge Millennial following – is a perfect way to capture customer experiences and repost them for personal and fresh content. At the same time, YouTube is a great way to take advantage of video, and encourage your customers to get involved in your marketing strategy by posting their own video product reviews.
Speaking the Millennial Language
Although Millennials want an experience that offers instant gratification and convenience, they also look for meaningful personal engagements and relationships with brands. Everything from user-generated content, to CRO websites that offer self-service platforms and analytics for cookie data can help to create a more personalized experience that shows Millennials you understand them, and their values.
As Millennials change the structure of business marketing strategies, it’s important to develop a user experience that not only makes use of the latest technology, but deploys it in a way that brands and customers can access. Show your customers that you understand what they want, and they’ll reward you for it.
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