Millennial consumers continue to be among the most misunderstood target audiences. Yet, they simply cannot be ignored as they rise in influence. The good news is that the more we learn, the better we can structure our content and marketing. There are some interesting behaviors exhibited by this group that can help marketers unclog their outreach efforts.
.. but you have to know about them first.
To gain more insight into Millennials, Mom Central Consulting embarked on a study of 1,100 American Millennial Women. The study focused on their purchase path both online and offline, how their deep connections with family and friends impact the choices in their lives, the effect of various types of media on this generation’s day-to-day decisions, and how the ability to share and crowdsource online in visual and instantaneous ways shapes their perspectives of brands, media, and relationships.
By the looks of it, it’s easy to see why so many marketers fail to reach them.
The findings include:
- Millennials have a distinctive path to purchase which includes: watching an ad on TV, searching online for additional information, comparing their top three choices based on online reviews and recommendations, chatting with friends who may have the same product, going to the store to compare pricing, and then choosing a product. Between each of these touch points lies an opportunity for brands to engage with this audience to assist in the decision-making process.
- While new social media platforms emerge, Millennials continue to use Facebook more than any other. More than 90% of Millennials have a Facebook account, with 42% logging in daily. Surprisingly, nearly 60% have yet to create an Instagram account. Facebook remains popular among Millennials because it is the one social media outlet that can replicate what all the others can from videos to images to shorter- and longer-range content. So, if you’re not engaging Millennials on Facebook, you’re likely not engaging them at all.
- Millennials (59% of them) make product recommendations to share highly positive or negative experiences. So, products become transformed into personal experiences. That’s why a brand’s customer service mechanism is so important. Brands need to understand that their products or services must be transformed into exceptional experiences from the moment of discovery to long after they purchase.
- Millennials have a strong penchant for sharing information. In fact, every purchase involves touching base with their core group. With that said, Millennials stand by their choices – one in two say that reading a bad review online about a business wouldn’t stop them from shopping/visiting. However, this same group will also be influenced by bad reviews and will happily share them with others. Still, there’s an opportunity build and maintain those loyal customers who make the personal decision to support a particular brand.
Millennials are smart, emotional and inquisitive. And the more we understand what makes them tick, the better we can avoid ticking them off. More importantly, a deeper knowledge will enable brands to build an intimate connection and establish loyal customers. But whether the experience is positive or negative, they’ll be sure to tell everyone they know.