Today’s guest post is a ripping article by George Mackenzie from Sydney-based digital agency Octos. Millennials are possibly the hardest of all market segments for brands to engage with. The group is diverse in age, interest and the way they self identify, making them something of an enigma for many brands.
The guys at Octos have clearly got a handle on this important audience and have written a very insightful piece which they’ve allowed us to republish. I hope you get plenty of value from the read and if it speaks to you and your brand, why not give them a call.
Wondering why your brand is not able to reach the most powerful consumers of this century? Millennials are a generation that grew up with the Internet and digital advertisements. They are old hats and “pro’s” at spotting false claims, misleading information or invalidated claims.
While it is tempting to classify all millennials into one homogeneous category with similar preferences and quirks, this could be the biggest mistake most brands make. The only thing that is common to all millennials is probably the very term “millennials!”. Ranging from an 18-year-old student working part-time to a 35-year-old executive who is also a full-time mom, the group is as diverse as any other population group.
Besides, the millennials are a smart generation. If you are trying to pull a fast one on the millennials, you may land up missing out on the huge opportunity of reaching out to the most powerful spenders of this century. As Charlie Munger said, “A business model that relies on trickery is doomed to fail”.
Here are five reasons why your brand is not able to target millennials effectively
1. Not segmenting your audience
If the word “millennials” conjures up images of hip youngsters immersed in heavy metal and texting on smartphones, you may be outdated! There’s more to millennials than their mobile addiction or preference of music. In fact, the most common mistake brands do is to oversimplify the image of millennials into one stereotyped category. Millennials can also mean working young mums, dads and career-oriented youngsters with diverse interests and cultures. A millennial could be anyone from a 16-year-old schoolboy to an employed parent in his or her 30s.
2. Lack of values
A faceless brand that engages in hard sell without engaging the millennials is doomed to fail. If your brand has the only agenda of pushing products to a millennial, you are definitely missing the mark! Millennials not only do not identify with an impersonal brand that only does the hard sell but also do not trust brands that glorify their own products.
If brands do not create a sense of the company’s culture, ethos or values, they are missing out on targeting the most captive social media audience.
If you want to connect better with the millennials, tell a compelling story, sell an experience and offer genuine values for them to identify themselves with.
3. Poor engagement
Millennials are very “hands-on” and like to express their thoughts, opinions and provide online reviews. They prefer to be involved with the brand image at a more personal level and a high level of engagement at multiple touch points. Inviting them to share their experiences, images and success stories are some ways of building more engagement levels.
A sure way for brands to succeed is to invite more user-generated content, reply to comments and online reviews and repost relevant content.
While it’s all about how engaged this age group is, it is also important to remember while millennials appreciate all efforts of interaction, it needs to be meaningful. If the entire experience of engaging or the ad itself does not provide something they value, they are likely to quickly lose interest. The digital natives expect to be treated in a professional manner, with ‘straight talking, no messing’ that does not involve gimmicks.
4. Not providing a seamless integration
The only two reasons millennials come to social media are to connect and interact. Traditional modes of hard sell will fail miserably, and so will time-consuming processes of navigating through the website or registration process.
The generation of echo boomers has little time to waste and apparently always on the move! When you reach out to them through social media or online, ensure you make the experience a painless, hassle-free and a smooth one. Seamless integration from exposure to the brand to the actual purchase is what this generation wants. Research and analyse the number of clicks your ad gets versus the number of people who exit your website without making a purchase. Confusing landing pages, complex registration process and difficulty in navigating are all costly mistakes to make!
5. Not providing social proof
According to a study, millennials read at least ten reviews online before buying a product. 82% of millennials read reviews and seek opinions of other users before making a decision. If you are not providing validation in terms of social proof, you are losing out on a major influence!
The bottom line is to not take the millennials for granted and to understand that they are as diverse as any other population group! Online reviews are powerful tools to use but only if they are genuine. Overall authentic and genuine content that goes beyond selling the product is what will appeal to this generation!
Octos is a Premier Google Partner agency based in Sydney and exclusively working in the Australian marketplace. The services include SEO, SEM, Analytics and Web Development. Octos is helping businesses of all sizes & industries to grow their online presence with the deep-seated experience and expertise.
Header image courtesy: gratisography.com
Other images courtesy: Octos