What Your Business Needs to Know About Marketing to Millennials
Knowing your audience is fundamental for marketing, and has been since, well, forever. In that regard, taking your business online, on social, and on mobile shouldn’t be too unfamiliar a task. However, casting a wide net — that is to say, starting a Facebook page and Twitter account and kicking up your feet — isn’t enough to reap the benefits of digital marketing. If you don’t know where your segments are, or why they use the internet and social media the way they do, you’re missing the whole point. This is not only because digital trends change frequently, but also because certain segments use digital media differently — which brings me to Millennials.
Lauren Friedman and Anna Johansson, both of Forbes online, each published some interesting pieces in late 2016, both commenting on the expected digital consumer trends that would begin this year, and which will greatly change the online behaviors of younger target audiences. Though the articles are about half a year old apiece, their predictions, which agree on a few main points, appear to already be supported by research as well as general observable patterns.
So what’s going on with younger consumers in 2017? For starters, and if you’re among the 18-34-year old set you already know this, but Millennials are awfully fond of ratings. They, more than any other age segment, buy in to the power of retrieving accurate and trustworthy consumer opinions coming from all kinds of sources and reflecting all manner of consumables and services. This is a great insight for businesses like restaurants, retail stores, hotels, and many, many others. It means a few things for small businesses in particular. Perhaps the most important takeaway is that being aware of consumer sentiment matters. Your business needs to pay attention, especially if you market to Millennial consumers! If you own or operate just about any kind of business, chances are you’ve already been reviewed on Google Reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List, or even digital markets like Amazon. Bear in mind, you are being talked about whether your business is active online or not. Also, you’ll never be able to control what’s being said about your business online, but that’s not the objective — rather, this is why businesses need to be mindful of their online customer service. You and your business should be responding to customers who email you, or comment on your blogs and social pages. Why? Well, just consider a few striking statistics:
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for only 1 unresolved negative experience.
- News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.
- It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
The hardest hitting part? Those are just general customer service statistics. The damage that poor customer service is capable of is only amplified further online and on social!
Another important reality is that Millennials are generally dialing back as well as simplifying the role of social media in their lives. Friedman and Johansson seem to agree that social media natives are the first major demographic to have tired of the rampant social comparison and “chronic unhappiness” caused by overusing social media, especially on channels such as Facebook. Further, they’ve fled these spaces in favor of channels that cater to simpler social networking and “vanishing media”, like Snapchat and Instagram, both of which, according to Forbes, are becoming the go-to havens for social-media-weary Millennials. This is an important trend to be aware of because it makes younger audiences a potentially more difficult-to-reach segment than before, if only because it now demands an extra perceptive brand of marketing outreach.
Because digital isn’t going away any time soon, businesses will continue to adapt, and although younger consumers may move away from bigger social channels, other spaces will become their preferred places to interact with brands and shop for all manner of products and services. In fact, Snapchat now reaches 41% of all 18 to 34-year-olds in the U.S. daily. Further, 68% of users engage regularly with brands on Instagram as compared to 32% on Facebook. That’s not all, either. Millennials have begun to show a preference for video above all other content types.
All this is to say that the tide of social media, at least for Millennials, has just begun to shift significantly, and that businesses who are online would do well not to treat digital as a passive marketing space. The trends that 2017 have shown us so far have proven that active, thoughtful marketing is what wins the loyalty of segments, and that knowing where they are and how to reach them is a 24-hour, year-round task.
Don’t lose customers and money just because you’ve lost track of the pack! If your business needs help keeping up with marketing trends, or reaching its audience online, consider enlisting a digital marketing agency. Contact Atlanta Digital Studio if you want to learn more about target marketing online, and let us help you make the best of your time, effort, and budget!