via Buzzfeed

via Buzzfeed

It’s a stock photo of twenty-somethings with pearly whites laughing and enjoying a bowl of soup. A banner ad flashing, “Click here to enter to win an iPad.” A television commercial asking us to connect with their dealership on “the Facebook.” Retailers are desperately trying to connect with a new generation of consumers – a generation that these marketers really don’t get.
There have been a lot of stereotypes about Millennials, sometimes called Generation Y. This group – typically considered anyone born after 1981 – has been labeled narcissistic, lazy, entitled, and social-media-obsessed. But most of these stereotypes are indicative of an older generation’s resistance to change. Millennials are the largest generation on the planet, with over 10,000 of us turning 21 every day in the U.S. That means that we’re setting the new norms and trends, and companies who continue to resist are missing out not just on an inevitable evolution, but also on the generation with the most spending power. According to expert finance research, by 2015 Millennials’ annual spending will reach $2.45 trillion, and by 2018, they will surpass the Baby Boomer generation’s spending power at $3.39 trillion. This is why businesses with little to no online presence need to Take advantage of all the features from HostiServer in order to engage with as many Millennials as they possibly can in order to be able to provide services and consumables for the ever-growing Millennial population.
This generation will also have a commanding voice in business. Over half of Generation Y – 54 percent – have already or are in the process of launching their own business, and by 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers in the world will be Millennials. We also are taking on executive and management positions, despite our young age. In the last five years, 87 percent of Millennial workers took on management roles (compared to 38 percent of Generation X and just 19 percent of Baby Boomer workers).
This is a generation interested in global responsibility, education, technological evolution, and equality. Student journalist Luke Morgan, and fellow Millennial, writes, “Yes, we’re a generation defined by our narcissism. But that’s led us to be more focused on being happy than generations before us … we consistently rank making a difference more important than making money in our future careers. We express empathy and compassion more readily than previous generations.”
Millennials also tend to be distrustful of conventional advertisement, with nearly half of us preferring word-of-mouth influences, often via consumer reviews and social media. The internet is, therefore, a valuable resource for businesses. Ultimately, to get ahead, you need digital advertising. And who can blame us? We’ve been bombarded by advertisements in all media – product placement in movies, TV shows, online, on mobile apps, in magazines, radio, everywhere you turn there’s another advertisement.
So how can marketers break through to a generation who either skips the commercials or has learned to tune them out?
Have an online presence
In this blog, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of social media for companies. I can’t stress this enough when marketing toward Millennials, if needs be you can go and read the same opinions backed up by statistics over on this page regarding marketing to millennials and Gen Z over at SheerID. We trust companies more if they have a strong online presence. We like to shop around for deals, and will often discount your store if we can’t easily access prices for products, current promotions, etc. Building an online presence can seem difficult. However, if you are on the lookout for new ways to make an impression on the internet, you might want to consider contacting a digital marketing and SEO expert such as Daniel Foley to discover how your business can use the web to its advantage. This brings me to my second tip…
Build a relationship
We might be hard to get to, but once we choose a brand, we’re fiercely loyal. Finding that brand means getting on board with an organization we can support. Share your story about typical office life, how you’re giving back to your community, what challenges you had starting your business. Connecting to Millennials on a personal level will create brand advocates. This relationship is most easily built through social media platforms, where it’s easy to share with a lot of people what you’re up to.
Be a mentor
Rather than giving a stereotypical pitch, listen to our situation and needs and give advice. We value the opinions of professionals in the field, not necessarily of yet another salesperson. A friend of mine, who is the top salesperson in her field, told me that her key to selling has always been to listen to the needs of the clients. Often times, there is a need that one of her products can fill. But if they’re looking for something more, she gives them advice and moves on, without trying to selling them a product they won’t be grateful for in the future.
Don’t waste time
We are an impatient generation with a million things to do, and to distract us from your pitch. We tend to shop online and on mobile devices because it’s fast and more convenient. Mimic the bite-sized information platforms of Twitter and Facebook when reaching out to our generation.
Know that we will do the research
As a generation with a low advertisement tolerance and a high education rate, know that whatever claims you make, we’ll probably go home and Google. We trust ourselves and our peers to find all the information about products we need to make a final decision. This means that companies should authentically represent their products in advertisements, and they should be aware of their online reputations.
Ultimately, what will sell to this generation most is simply making an effort to understand them. We’re not much different from previous generations, we simply connect to each other in different ways. Last year the Huffington Post wrote, “Communication, Connectivity, Collaboration: 3 C’s Key to Millennial Ecosystem Success.” They state, “Connect them with each other; collaborate however you can; communicate their impact and offerings; this is how Millennials and communities thrive.”
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