The millennial generation is the topic of many tech and economic discussions these days. They are the group of young adults born between 1980 and the mid-2000s and many are in the prime of their lives and careers. Not only are they approximately 1/3 or the world’s population, but they are a very diverse group that grew up with the Internet as an intertwined part of their lives.
Because of this, millennials have technology wired into their DNA. They live and breathe for the latest gadget, and are especially fond of their smartphone. Most of these tech savvy millennials’ daily routine revolves around using their phone to schedule, email, search, consume news and video, and interact on social media.
Another interesting fact about this young generation is that when surveyed, many expressed an interest in starting their own business. This is in part due to the advances in technology and the fact that the cost of producing many digital products has fallen considerably, opening up a whole world of creativity and exploration. Millennials are also very socially-conscience individuals who want to make a difference in the world.
So, as business owners from an older generation, how do you think these young adults effect the economy? In a mind-blowing way! At this point, they have already lived through a recession in which jobs were scarce and attending college very expensive, putting them into debt to the point of living with their parents while searching for a job.
They also value creativity above other employment characteristics. As a business owner, when you hire a millennial you might have to step out of your comfort zone and realize that they have a lot to offer, but their way of thinking might distress you and the older employees. If bringing new ideas to the table scares you, don’t hire a millennial.
Another key point for baby boomer business owners (born 1946 – 1965) is how to focus your marketing campaign on these mobile shoppers that are constantly on the go. Mobile shopping-related searches increased by 120% in the last year, so it’s crucial to consider this as a huge part of a marketing push.
In this article from Google Think, some great concepts are discussed to help move into the mobile age:
Recent Google search data and mounting third-party evidence has given us new insights into how marketers can engage shoppers in these micro-moments. Here’s what we’ve recently learned:
As location searches grow, are you there in the moments that matter?
- Smartphone shopping has created a new “front door to the store.” That’s the phrase the retail giant Target now uses after learning that three-fourths of its guests start their shopping journey on mobile, and that one-third of guests who click on a mobile search ad take a trip to a Target store. Similarly, the telecommunications company Sprint discovered that one in four people who click on their mobile search ads end up in a Sprint retail store.
- Consumers are hungrier than ever for local information. Google searches with “near me” have grown 2.4X year-over-year. In fact, according to research, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day, and 18% of those searches lead to a purchase.
- Ads that show local inventory drive shoppers into stores. One in four people who avoid stores say it’s because they don’t know if a product is in stock. If you’re an omni-channel retailer, showing shoppers the items you have in stock at nearby stores can be half the battle. After adopting Local Inventory Ads, which show actual store inventory to online searchers, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores saw a 122% increase in store visits. Furthermore, Local Inventory Ads drove eight dollars of in-store sales for each dollar invested.
- Smartphones are the new in-store research advisor. Eighty-two percent of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store. Amazingly, nearly one in four shoppers say they have changed their minds while in a checkout line after looking up details on a smartphone. The beauty and body-care retailer Sephora has been a leader in treating in-store mobile behavior as a major opportunity: They encourage in-store customers to scan products into Sephora’s mobile app to receive product ratings, reviews and other key information.
- Omni-channel shoppers spend more. According to MasterCard, customers who shop both online and off with a specific retailer buy 250% more on average. Macy’s discovered that its omni-channel shoppers are 8X more valuable than those who shop in a single channel.
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Understanding the mind of a younger adult is obviously a huge part of gearing your marketing methods in favor of this interesting generation. Having a conversation with someone in this age group might help you to better understand their point of view. Sitting down with your kids or grandkids and listening as they share their point of view on how they like to learn new things may very well be enlightening.
In an article clip from Fortune Magazine, data is showing millennials are less likely to own a car and instead use public transit.
Millennials are migrating to cities and driving the success of the shared economy
This generation is moving to cities after college, and they’re staying there indefinitely. For the first time since the 1920’s, U.S. cities are growing faster than everywhere else in the country combined. This trend is impacting transportation, housing, and home ownership across categories. Millennials are using public transit 40% more and cars 23% less. Plus, they are twice as likely to participate in the sharing economy – from ride-sharing to apartment rentals.
In the same article, it discusses the way millennials absorb media. I’m sure you would find very few individuals in this age group that have a landline phone, let alone purchase cable or satellite television. Putting yourself into the shoes of this generation would go a long way in figuring out what advertising will work now and in the future.
They’re leading the shift in media consumption habits
The media landscape has drastically changed and will continue to do so. Millennials can access content anywhere, anytime and on any device, which has huge implications for traditional TV and cable. It also shouldn’t be surprising that with the rejection of traditional formats comes the rejection of traditional advertising. Indeed, 70% of people under 30 use ad blockers, and traditional TV commercials are increasingly irrelevant.
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