Until a few years ago, no one had really heard of the term Millennials. But today it’s everywhere. Millennials are shaping the way marketers are targeting their message, largely because it is they who are driving the culture, and having the biggest impact across society.
At the moment, Millennials make up around 35% of the UK workforce and this is set to rise to about 50% over the next few years. Those are numbers that no marketer can afford to ignore. Forget about Millennials and you are potentially losing half of your business. But there are other reasons why any B2B business must focus on Millennial customers.
First, Millennials are, on the whole, well educated. They are generally tech savvy, ambitious and keen to improve their lives using technology. However, they are not necessarily the easiest to market to. That’s because they have short attention spans and are used to a world of choice at their fingertips. That’s why some more traditional marketing approaches do not have the desired effect.
Millennials are people born between 1981 and 1997, although there is some fluidity around these exact dates. What this means is that they are now in their 20s or 30s and in the key time of life when they have disposable incomes and a growing need for goods and services. Many of them are starting to have families and are taking on more responsibilities, which means they have specific needs which you can reach out and provide.
According to research carried out by LinkedIn, Millennials are responsible for spending about $2 trillion dollars every year, with an annual combined income of about $3.4 trillion. This is a simply staggering amount of money, and the number one reason why your business simply can’t afford to overlook this demographic.
In addition to this personal wealth, over the coming decades Millennials stand to inherit the accumulated wealth of their parents. This will see a further $59 trillion in personal wealth pass into the hands of the Millennial generation. In short, this is the generation that is set to inherit the world. And if that is not enough to modify your marketing strategy, then we really don’t know what will be. If Millennials don’t matter to your brand, then your brand is in danger of not mattering.
Whatever your industry, whether it’s tourism, tax advice or tricycles, a big part of your current and future market is Millennials.
So, just how do you go about appealing to this demographic?
Millennials are social creatures
The first thing to remember about Millennials is that they are the first generation that grew up with the internet and social media. They are closely connected to their friends and family online but also to other communities such as old school friends, favoured brands and more.
This is a generation that wants to feel connections. That is the key way they identify with brands. Unlike previous generations, they don’t want to be talked down to or explained at, they want to interact, have fun, learn and respond. All of which is why an active social media presence is such an essential part of your B2B marketing strategy.
Social networks are an essential part of Millennials’ financial decision-making processes. In fact, as many as one in five Millennials believes that social networks will be integral in all their future financial decisions.
So, whatever the nature of your business, even if you think social media is not part of your strategy, think again and make sure you are well represented online across various platforms.
Millennials are on the move
Millennials don’t browse or buy in one place. They are always on the move. Their brains have even developed to seek out information on the go. They don’t just sit at computers browsing the web, they are always on the move with phone in hand, and your campaigns need to be responsive to these needs.
Be sure that your website is mobile friendly. This is because a huge number of mobile searches lead to direct sales action within the hour. You also need to ensure that all your content is mobile friendly, so people can watch videos and other content wherever they are.
As we mentioned above, unlike previous generations, Millennials don’t want their brands to take a patrician or ‘we know best’ attitude. They want brands that they feel align with their personalities. You need to work out what is the Millennials want to say about themselves and target your branding and products at this area.
This very much ties in with the social media and mobile aspects above. Millennials want to check in to their favourite places online and have their choice of brands associated with them on social media accounts.
This means you need to have an intimate understanding of your brand’s identity and personality. You need to try and establish that you are a trusted brand, with reviews, testimonials and user generated content key to creating this dynamic. Try and engage with customers and use these interactions to determine what it is your customers want from you. But always remember not to do too much. You should be friendly and approachable but don’t ever forget that you need to be professional and present a brand that can be trusted.
Millennials are a huge part of any market for any business and you must take them into account when planning your marketing strategy and brand identity. But there is no mystery or magic to appealing to these people as part of your messaging. Once you understand what they are like and how they interact, you can take a few simple measures to establish contact and build relationships. And once you start doing this well, you will start to see the benefits where they matter most – on your bottom line. So, don’t put it off, start asking yourself the right questions.