Generally defined as the generation born between 1980 - 2000, there are 92 million millennials in the United States, and annually they spend more than $600 Billion (Goldman Sachs, 2017). Unlike generations that came before them, millennials were raised in a digital world, and their consumer behaviors reflect this. In order to attract this powerful consumer group, your marketing strategy needs to understand their unique buying habits.
85% of Americans ages 18-29 own smartphones (Pew Research Center, 2015), and they are using mobile devices for the majority of their purchasing. They make buying decisions collaboratively; crowd sourcing on social media is popular amongst millennials. They trust what their social media peers tell them, even if they haven't met them in person. They prefer the companies they shop from to be online - 34% of millennials agree with the statement: "When a brand uses social media, I like that brand more" (Association of National Advertisers, 2017). Only 16% of people ages 36+ agree with this same statement. The bottom line for businesses? You need to be online with an interactive website and active social media pages, and be sure your website is mobile device friendly!
90% of millennials are on social media (Pew Research Center, 2015) and as mentioned above, they are a collaborative generation. When they find something they like (or don't like) they are quick to share it online through social media platforms. 51% of millennials say that seeing consumer opinions has an impact on their buying decisions (Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2016). Businesses need to keep pace by embedding social share buttons on their content and product pages. Encourage customers to leave reviews, and make them visible on your website and easy to navigate.
User-generated content is an increasingly popular and effective marketing strategy for brands. Unlike previous generations with a traditional buyer-seller dynamic, millennials consider themselves co-creators of brands. They like to interact and engage with brands (and, conversely, will be vocal about brands they don't like). This makes them more loyal to brands they like, and savvy businesses actively engage with social media influencers and bloggers to encourage collaboration.
65% of millennials start an interaction with a brand online (Parature, 2016), and they expect their customer service to be available online as well. Twitter reports that customer service interactions have increased 250% in the past two years. Businesses need to monitor their social media accounts for comments and inquiries and respond in a timely manner.
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