Running the same marketing campaign to your entire audience doesn’t work anymore.
Segregation of your target audience into different demographics is the need of the hour. Different segments of a brand’s target audience have different requirements. So brands need to separately and specifically cater to each segment’s needs.
A segment of the demographic that figures prominently in many brands’ target audience today is the millennials.
So who are millennials?
Millennials are generally defined as those people who are born in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This section accounts for 25% of the US population at more than 105 million.
The Extent of Millennials’ Influence
How far does the hand of the millennials reach?
One hand clutches their smart phone and the other their tablet or laptop. This is the quintessential millennial for you…This kind of simultaneous exposure to multiple media gives brands different avenues to reach them on. Millennials spend a lot of time on their smartphones (59%), tablets (35%) and laptops (70%) and they are also much more open to early adoption of technology. According to the 2013 Digital Marketer Report, 52% millennials are far above or above average when it comes to early adoption of technology.
Millennials also spend quite a bit of time online (25 hours/week). Millennials have literally grown up with the internet. This exposure explains the easy familiarity with which they use the internet and social media. 84% millennials consider themselves to be frequent users of social media with 79% using Facebook and 20% being Twitter users (Tier 10 lab). Millennials not only spend time on social media, they also share content. 75% millennials like, re-tweet or share content on social media. So millennials not only have access to a variety of modern devices, they also have a strong presence on social media. Their social media presence means that this demographic can reach out to many people (average number of Facebook friends in 2012 was 262). The right approach with the right content can mean high chances of virality for brands that target this demographic.
Millennial Purchasing Power and Habits
Where do millennials spend their money? How do they spend it?
Millennials are worth $200 billion in spending power. It’s not only that they have money, they also don’t seem to mind spending it even during the recession. In a recent Hanover research, only 20% of millennials spent less on clothing compared to 32% of non-millennials.
Millennials also ponder less when it comes to taking purchase decisions. They are more likely to make impulsive shopping choices and deal with the consequences of their choices later. In a survey, 52% millennials were seen to be more likely to make impulse purchases than any other generation. They may be impulsive but they do their research too. 50% millennials using mobile devices to research products and reviews compared to just 21% non-millennials. With a high penetration of mobile devices and familiarity with the Internet, it’s understandable why they research products before making their purchase.
Reasons for Millennials’ Brand Preferences
What brand qualities/incentives makes millennials tick?
A recent study conducted by Media Post on behalf of Hago shows that millennials tend to form their perceptions around brands and to be heavily influenced and loyal to brands introduced to them by their parents.
Millennials are not only loyal to brands introduced by their parents, they are also more loyal to those brands than their parents were. Another study by Hanover found millennials to be more loyal to brands compared to their parents.
Along with parental influence and their own perceptions, another reason that influences millennials’ brand preferences are loyalty and reward programs. The same Hanover study also found 78% millennials to be more likely to select brands with loyalty/reward programs than to go for brands without such programs.
Engagement with Millennials
How can brands communicate best with millennials?
Analysis of the media, devices and brand qualities that millennials prefer reveals that the best ways for brands to communicate with millennials is to focus on social media channels and mobile devices. Given the millennial penchant for social networks and online sharing, brands can not only reach millions of millennials, they can also aim for virality. Developing products that directly address millennials’ needs would help in building a special bond with this audience and it’s a valuable segment too. Given their willingness to engage and share online, brands could do well to co-create new products with inputs from millennials. With this audience such an initiative may not be as tough as it seems.
Examples of Brands Being a Hit with Millennials
Which are the brands that have been targeting millennials with the ‘Pow’ effect?
Chipotle, the Mexican food brand is termed as a ‘millennial-friendly’ brand. It has released an animated video ad titled ‘The Scarecrow’ and a free, downloadable game about the same on iOS targeting millennials. Both the video and the game have hardly any mention of the Chipotle brand. However, the brand hopes that its tech savvy target audience will help its message go viral and increase the brand’s goodwill.
McDonald’s recently launched a new food item called ‘McWrap’ to target more millennials. The fast-food brand also launched a new breakfast sandwich with egg whites with the hope of drawing more health-conscious customers which includes millennials.
Macy’s, the department store is launching/expanding twenty new brands to attract millennials.
What do you have to say about the millennials and their influence on marketing today?