Have you noticed more and more businesses are jumping on the Millennials bandwagon?
Companies seem to have concluded by targeting Millennials, the generation born from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, this solves any business shortcomings now and ensures success for the future.
In many cases, companies, without research run by people much older, are pinning hopes, plans and resources behind those who are much younger.
Are they doing it for the right reasons?
To help separate right from wrong, here are 10 bad reasons to jump on the Millennials bandwagon.
- MILLENNIALS ARE THE BIGGEST GENERATION EVER. At 75.3 million in 2015, Millennial are the largest generation in U.S. history. They are also the most diverse. Share of Millennials born in foreign counties is the highest since 1910. There has been a 20% rise in the Hispanic population in the Millennial generation (source: White House). Millennials are a melting pot. Before concluding bigger is better, a little market segmentation is likely to go a long way.
- MILLENNIALS HAVE THE MOST SPENDING POWER: Millennials spend $200 billion dollars, annually, the most of any generation. But they make less money and actually have less spending power than older generations. On a per person basis, they are the smallest age group in spending today and won’t be the largest for another five years (source: Goldman Sachs). Student loan debt is also at a record high. It jumped from over $12,000 for the class of 1993 to nearly $27,000 for the class of 2012 (source: NPR.) If you’re going after the disposable income of Millennials, you’re chasing a small amount.
- MILLENNIALS ARE SHAPED BY TECHNOLOGY: Although Millennials can figure out how to use an app or site that is a clunker, they probably won’t take the time to do so. They are experts at finding alternatives. This means technology from smartphones to websites to mobile apps need to provide the most usable, self-guided, hiccup-free, efficient user experiences in history. Don’t think your online experience is going to win favor with Millennials unless it’s great.
- MILLENNIALS ARE REACHABLE THROUGH DIGITAL MEDIA: 3 out of 4 Millennials own a smartphone. They are inseparable from their smartphones — and Facebook specifically, followed by YouTube and Pandora. Snapchat is the other notable mobile platform among Millennials and has grown 102 percent over the past year (source: Neilsen). If mobile isn’t central to your business strategy for Millennials, you’re not going to reach them.
- MILLENNIALS SEARCH ALL OVER THE INTERNET: 40% of Milleninals use product review websites before they shop (source: Edelman). 33% of Millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines and books (source: Forbes). If you’re business doesn’t have a presence in these channels, Millennials are not going to find you.
- MILLENNIALS ARE BRAND LOYAL: 67% of Millennials believe it’s their responsibility to provide brand feedback (source: Edelman). A good customer experience and a “quality product” are the two most cited reasons for what influences Millennials to share information about a brand online. 62% expect a brand to engage with them on social networks to become a loyal customer. 43% say Facebook is the social network with the most influence on their spending habits, followed by Instagram at 22%. (source: Millennial Branding) If you want to connect with Millennials, you’re going to have to rethink the way you market your product.
- MILLENNIALS ARE INFLUENCED BY THEIR PEERS: 68% of Millennials agree their peers’ social posts are ‘somewhat likely’ (or better) to influence them into making a purchase. 25% share online shopping content to their social networks; a rate of 4X that of the average user. They also share 2X more content than the average user (source: Adweek). These facts say Millennials trust people over brands and trust is likely to be built on their social networks then your brand’s website.
- MILLENNIALS ARE CAUSE CONSCIOUS: 80% said they’d be more likely to purchase from a company that supports a cause they care about (if price and quality were equal); 75% would think more highly of a company that supports a social cause (source: TBWA) ; yet, they check prices twice as often as Boomers, 83% budget a specific amount each month to pay off debt; if given money, 42% would use it to pay off debt (UBS)
- MILLENNIALS VALUE COMMUNITY AND FAMILY: Millennials may be connected but they delaying marriage and babies and taking time to “find themselves” in their 20s. The average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960, according to a recent Pew Research. Some millennials — 34 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds — are waiting longer to get married for financial reasons.
- LET’S HIRE MILLENNIALS TO LEARN ABOUT MILLENNIALS: They are very hard workers; but they’re different from previous generations. 56% would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is changing the world for the better; yet, 71% don’t always obey social media policies at work and 56% won’t work at a company if they ban social media access (source: BarnRaaisers). Millennials work hard, maybe even harder, than the rest of us, but they work differently and have different expectations of the workplace.
Are these bad reasons to market to Millennials to you? Does your business need help marketing to Millennials for the right reasons?