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Nowadays, Millennials have slowly taken over the world’s workforce and already outnumbered Baby Boomers in 2019. It’s the most diverse generation representing the most extensive consumer base.  Millennials are perceived as the nations’ biggest spenders. They’re entering the full-time workforce, purchasing homes, and seeking experience travelling while spending their income willingly. This fact makes them very desirable to B2B and B2C markets. When it comes to the B2B market, millennials handle significant authority in B2B purchase decisions. According to Demand Gen Survey, 56% of millennials hold director-level positions or above, and 42% hold managerial positions.

Millennials have changed the rules by reshaping cultural and consumption patterns like no other generation before.

Well, let’s get to know them!

Who Are Millennials?

Gen Y/Gen Why?, The Always-on Generation, Generation Now, or Echo Boomers. Those are the most commonly used terms when talking about millennials.  They grew up in a time of constant economic and global change such as the rise of women leaders, inclusion for ethnic and cultural diversity, including ecological awareness or technological expansion. These circumstances resulted in a complete shift in their buying attitudes, which marketers need to approach in a significantly different way.

Millennials generation demographics:

  • Born between 1981 and 1996
  • Children of Baby Boomers
  • The most significant demographic segment: 23% of the global population
  • 34% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • By 2030, their aggregate annual income worldwide is expected to exceed 4 trillion dollars.

Game Changers

Millennials had to face various challenging and moving situations within the time, reflecting in their unprecedented buying habits. Generally speaking, millennials are more sophisticated when shopping and know how to take advantage of technology to get the best price for the best quality. What’s more, they have elevated expectations regarding corporate ethics and content on online media.

Digital Generation

When talking about Gen Y, you can bump into the term “digital natives,” reflecting they’re the first generation growing up using technological devices and the internet daily. They grew up immersed in technology from the day they could walk. According to Millennial Marketing Research, millennials are 2,5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology. In 56% of cases, they’re one of the very first to try product innovations. Pew Research stated that 9 out of 10 Millennial have a smartphone. They use devices and apps to make purchases multiple times per week, even per day, instead of in-store shopping. That is crucial when optimising your strategy to make it as convenient as possible for them.

Social Media Shapers

Millennials are perceived as the most online connected generation ever. About 5 of 6 millennials connect with companies on social media networks. Thanks to their large social networks, they have a broader base of decision-making resources, which necessitates marketers to combine all platforms in brand building and reach their consumers.

Moreover, millennials value trust and shop collaboratively. They frequently seek out the information and opinions of their peers and visit user-generated review sites or blogs. And the widespread use of social media in their lives contributed to the fact that they are more likely to buy a product referred to them by a friend. They find social media a perfect way to connect with a brand they like or as a great place to score a coupon or discount. They perceive social media as one of the best channels to raise brand awareness and build brand loyalty. 

Responsible Adventurers

Since millennials grew up in a world where the attention concerning climate change and global threats arose, they’re committed to preserving the world’s natural resources. They value the green economy and take delight in supporting local businesses. They need to know what lies behind,  social causes that those products and companies support. Thus, they’re willing to spend more on socially conscious brands, which benefit the environment or community. According to Goldman Sachs Research, millennials also increase their focus on access rather than ownership. They believe it’s essential to take advantage of digitalisation to drive social change, and they helped shape the sharing economy.

Millennials are experience-driven people who crave adventure and taking risks. Whether it’s travelling worldwide, trying new food, getting to know other cultures, discovering niche markets, or setting up their own business, it’s all forms of adventure and endless possibilities. Millennials favour and support brands that capitalise on their desire for a new experience and a taste for adventure by differentiating their product offerings.

Information Seekers

Gen Y has tremendous information-gathering power, which they’re not afraid to use in their favour. It’s so-called showrooming behaviour that characterises them,  researching before buying, checking out products in-store multiple times, and then going online to buy them for the best possible price. And they master it!

Besides, millennials are highly-educated and a bit sceptical generation. Their hunger for knowledge reflects not only garnering information about the brand’s story but also within the buying process itself. They tend to double-check (on social media, review sites, webs, blogs, or forums) every purchase to ensure they find a product highly recommended and worth their investment. Vice versa, they also feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies and their peers after both good and bad experiences.

Millennials are a content-focused generation that is keen on customer-driven and personalised marketing. They think outside the “advertising” box and force conventional marketing tactics to transform significantly. For marketers, it’s thus essential to adjust strategies to their habits and connect with the millennial audience on a deeper level.

Grabbing Attention of the Gen Y or How To Reach Them?

📱Digital Marketing Is the New Black!

Let’s get it straight;  it is hard to please millennials. They are overloaded with news and information, and they know how to select them precisely. Considering how challenging it is to engage their interest, come up with relevant, informative, unique, and customised content that provokes a response. Concentrate on content marketing, social media, video marketing, apps, and text marketing. Compared to mass marketing, social media platforms represent an excellent place for personalisation and mutual engagement. Don’t forget that their peers heavily influence millennials. Make sure your reviews are pleasant and your response is appropriate on every platform!

As mentioned above, millennials consume content across multiple devices and have the highest smartphone ownership rates. Thus, having reliable mobile optimisation is paramount. Besides, providing an engaging, elaborated, and user-friendly website is vital for your success.

❤️ Be Authentic

Your brand’s not just a logo, business strategy or portfolio of the company’s products and services. A brand is a living organism consisting of everybody involved, including their work. Without them, a brand would be nothing. Don’t be afraid to show a bit more from the “backstage” and what lies behind all that magic. Millennials rank authenticity over catchy content. They look for transparency, openness and emotions. You must always stay true to your brand identity and communicate your devotion. In a world of spam and deceptive advertising, the truth is what shines through.

Your shared content must be post-worthy, honest and realistic. Then it’ll become a valuable asset determining your consumers’ buying motives. When creating such content, casual and personable language can also help. If your product stands out, millennials will be eager to share it everywhere, which provides you with effortless brand promotion. It’ll bring in organic engagement, increase your reach and catalyse word-of-mouth marketing.

Millennials are advocates of trustworthy brands. Show them a reason why they should choose you. Never hide anything and don’t forget that actions speak louder than words. Don’t speak about authenticity; prove it! 

🌍 CSR is a Must-Have

The shift in millennials’ brand perception is caused by a significant shift in their preferences, values and lifestyles.  Millennials like brands they could trust, and they demand personal connections with those that connect to their principles, standards, and feelings. They are willing to purchase from socially responsible companies that support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying more. Brands that actively support the green economy have an excellent chance to attract millennials who’ll acknowledge them more credibility and overall better reputation. 

Millennials favour companies committing to Corporate Social Responsibility and Cause-Related Marketing. They love the idea of being a part of a story and participating in the co-creation of brands and products. When you allow your millennial consumer to impact the world together with you positively, you hit the jackpot.

🤗 Cherish Your Customers’ Loyalty and Engagement

Building loyalty with millennials might be exhausting. On one side, they put price above quality and brand’s reputation and look for brands online to get a discount. On the other hand, the alignment with the brand and customer-centric experience forms their attitude. Although the price can sometimes overshadow branding, capitalise on loyalty programs to build lasting relationships.

Millennials need a reason to choose a brand. However, if they finally decide and identify with the brand’s values, they remain loyal for many years. So, always ask them for opinion and never take their interest and feedback for granted. On the contrary, you have to direct your attention to their insights and communicate so they will be listened to and understood. Show them you care for them, and they will care for you.

“Thanks to their large networks and strong social ties, millennials are empowered to participate and engage in the process of building brands as well as tearing them down. Companies must be vigilant in monitoring what is being said about their brands and be willing to participate in the conversation.”

Jeff Fromm, Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are not one homogeneous group. It’s the diversity that characterises this generation. But once you find a way to gain their attention by using the right Millennial-centric approach, you’ll start building a loyal relationship over time that will pay in return. Indeed, Gen Y represents the most lucrative market since they have not reached their peak spending potential yet. You cannot afford to miss out on them. 

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