How To Win Millennial Customers In 2017

Millennials are now the largest and most important demographic in the US. They’ve officially surpassed Baby Boomers in size and their purchasing power equals $200 billion a year.

It’s not surprising that they’re on the radar of top brands and pretty much every marketer today.

To reach them, however, is not an easy task. A lot of the traditional marketing advice can prove to be obsolete. Millennials simply have different values, interests, tastes, and expectations.

To successfully market to this demographic, you want to apply some of the following advice.

It’s Time to Go Mobile-Centric

With the dominance of mobile over the desktop, marketers have long been advocating going mobile-friendly. That’s not enough anymore.

According to a recent survey by Bank of America, 40% of millennials interact with their smartphones more than they do with their friends and family. That includes their significant others, parents, and children.

While they only represent about 30% of the entire population, they account for 41% of the total time Americans spend using their smartphones, according to Experian.

Let’s not forget that mobile now represents 65% of digital total media time, including the use of applications. In other words, it’s not about having a ‘mobile strategy’ or becoming mobile friendly. The desktop has become a secondary touch-point and it’s time embrace that.

Millennials Trust Content over Advertising

Ad-blocking software grew to over 250 million users last year. Millennials, who represent over half of its entire user base, are the key drivers behind this dramatic growth.

The vast majority are millennials. In fact, only one percent of Millennials state that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more, in a recent survey by Elite Daily.

They don’t care about ads and forced brand messages; they care about authentic, relatable content. In fact, a recent AdAge study shows that millennials spend over 25 hours consuming online media every week, as they feel empowered by all the remarkable content out there.

That, by the way, is great news for small businesses and startups, who don’t typically have access to big advertising budgets. Unlike starting a PPC campaign, content marketing can cost virtually nothing to start.

Video Content Plays a Pivotal Role

2016 was a huge year for video. Let’s have a quick look. Snapchat got to 100 million daily active users, Instagram and Facebook both made a big shift towards video features, and Periscope reached over 200 million broadcasts.

Facebook has already seen 400% growth in live streaming since launching the feature in May 2016. This along with effective Facebook application and advertising options, provides the perfect dish for Millennials.

Again, it’s been Millennials driving the trend. Compared to the average Internet user, they spend 48% more time watching online videos, according to comScore.

Email is Alive and Well

Over the last decade, many pundits denounced email as soon-to-be obsolete. So, no one expects it to play a central role in Millennial marketing.

Once again, data shows otherwise. According to Adobe, the majority of millennials (58%) prefer to interact with brands over email than any other channel.

It turns out email marketing is a way to engage Millennials too.

According to an Epsilon study, Millennials have been responding to emails more than any other demographic over the past six months.

They also frequently share content from marketing emails on social media. In a survey by Mapp digital, 44% said they were likely to do so in 2016. That’s a huge jump from 19% in 2015.

So What are the Lessons Here?

The consumer market is evolving and millennials are becoming the dominant force. For marketers, it’s time to adapt and build a strategy around the key channels and content that matter.

The message is clear: mobile, social, email, and content are the way to go. But let’s not forget about the values you communicate. Millennials are different to boomers and no amount of marketing will help if they can’t relate to your brand.

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