Note: This one is a bit ranty
There hasn’t been a week (possibly a day) that has gone by in the last 12 months without a blog or article published on how businesses need to be targeting millennials with a view to acquiring them as customers.
Newsflash. Millenials (as a ‘target market’) do not exist and targeting ‘Millenials’ is a fruitless task. I am also certain that I am not the only one that shivers every time sweeping statements are made about this huge (and I mean HUGE) group of INDIVIDUALS.
What are ‘Millennials’?
If you Google “definition of a Millennial’ you will be presented with this:
‘a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century’.
Broad description don’t you agree? Did you know that this population of individuals make up 1 in 4 of the UK adult population?
Narrow it down and this group includes anyone and everyone born between 1980-1995. We have an office full of Millennials, and we work with a large number of Millennials – I could not say that any one of them are the same, have the same ideals, beliefs or outlook; because they are individuals and that is key.
Why businesses need to stop targeting millennials
Businesses and brands that are chasing this huge group of people are not going to win. Trying to please everyone could do more damage than good to a brand. They say retaining a loyal customer is often more profitable than acquiring a new one so is it worth making this sweeping generalisation when it comes to communicating with your clients/customers?
Think about it. Would a 35-year-old who is possibly married, perhaps has a child or two, could be running a business or in the throws of their career, have the same priorities, experience, interests and needs as a 22-year-old old? Possibly not. And that is ok!
There is one thing that is right about millennials; they hate to be grouped together. They want to be treated as the individuals that they are and expect personalised services with the brands and businesses that they choose to spend their money with.
Here are some observations about this generation….
‘Millennials’ have different value expectations to those generations that have gone before. Forward thinking, innovation, personalisation and creativity is crucial.
People within this group have grown up with access to platforms to express themselves and will exercise that right. Especially on social media, especially when they have strong views on an event or product.
Recognition is essential. Brands that recognise and communicate freely with their audience will grow a huge following. Not only from the ‘Millennial’ generation but all of those following on from them. Responding to their emails, tweets and letters is key to keeping any customer happy, but certainly, those that are lumped into this ‘Millenial’ demographic.
Experiences. Millennials are more likely to spend their hard earned money on experiences rather than ‘products’. This is why the advertising landscape has changed vastly in the last six months. TV and online adverts are more emotive than they ever have been. The aim is to entice the viewer and give them a taster of what they can experience when they purchase their products or services. This is not a Millennial thing; this is now an expectation of everyone.
They are the first true digital natives. So ensure that you are online and giving your customers (regardless of age or generation) the same experience online as they would get offline.
So before you look at another article about ‘marketing to millennials’ ask yourself:
- Who is your target market?
- What do they expect from you?
- How can you add value to their lives?
- What experiences are you going to enrich your customers with?
Then build a marketing and sales plan around that. Now ask yourself…are you still going to waste time and money targeting millennials? And remember… age is but a number!
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