You’ve probably heard the term used a hundred times, but who the heck are the Millennials and what do they mean for my business?
The “Millennials” are categorized as the generation born during or just before the new millennium, making them teens and early twenty-somethings today. Social commenters have noted how different this new crop of Americans is compared to their parents and grandparents in just about every way. They speak different, learn different, and buy different, mostly because they are not immigrants to the digital landscape — they are in fact its first true natives.
Millennials have grown up with a digital device in hand or staring at some form of electronic screen. Social networking via the Internet is almost second nature and few of them could imagine life without it. They spend about 14% more time on their mobile device than older generations and use these devices in unique ways. Their phones are out when they’re shopping, watching movies, and even driving! But the biggest difference for marketers and businesses is how the Millennial Generation responds to advertising and shopping patterns.
Having grown up in an age of Terrorism and Misinformation, the younger generation distrusts everything, including politics, the media, and corporations. This means slick ad ploys and mass pandering won’t work on them. They’re more savvy than that. But if they’re so darn clever, how do you communicate with them?
Experian Research suggests that Millennials have a short of list of basic expectations in regards to the media they consume and the brands they follow. These include:
- Recognize me
- Treat me as an individual
- Make it easy for me
- Anticipate my needs
- Give me a voice
If your brand marketing can capture these basic principles, you’ll have a much easier time connecting with the next wave of consumers populating the globe. Today’s marketing is about offering valuable information and resources that go above and beyond just informing the public of your product of offerings. Not only do you and your brand have to be humanized and approachable, you also have to bring that level of personal respect to your audience and contribute value to the digital conversation.
This means the bar has been raised for brands and marketers the world over. You can’t just be good at targeting and communicating with your consumers, you’ve got to be Incredible.