The millennial generation has officially become the largest generation to date according to the US Census Bureau.  These numbers are a whopping 75.4 million people just in the United States!  If you are not factoring their choices into your business marketing, you are missing a sizable chunk of potential sales. Marketing to Millennials is not that much different than other generations

The key to opening your business to this generation is to get to know how they approach shopping.  What the millennials are demanding may also be appreciated by previous generations as well. Each generation goes about communicating their wants differently. Learning the common patterns amongst the generations and the approach that is most appealing may help you to reach other customers.

Millennial MarketingMillennials grew up with information literally attached to their fingertips.

In the age of smart phones, a person is never without a plethora of data at a moment’s notice, depending on Wi-Fi speed!  Previous generations are not lacking in these skills either as Baby Boomers are equally as tech savvy.  Therefore, your customers do not need to know what makes you good; they want to know how going with you will benefit them.

While your brand is important, do not get wrapped up in constantly marketing yourself.

Customers want to see that you do what you say.  They do not care as much about how long you have been in business as much as if you are trustworthy.  Do you do what you say?  If your claim is locally owned and operated let them see you out at community events.  It is important to look at your business through their eyes.  Read your marketing items and see how your customers notice these things without your words.

When marketing to millennials, utilize technology to create personal engaging marketing communication. Get to know your frequent customers by name, create that personal connection that builds loyalty.  Pride yourself on delivering good customer experiences.  If customers have a bad experience, they are likely to go online to voice their disdain as well as tell those they know. Take time to make customer service a priority.  Do your employees know how you want them to handle customer complaints or problems?  If you are not sure… they do not.  Teach your staff the importance of the customer and how to handle sticky situations when they arise.

Customers not only walk through your door they also research your online presence.

If you do not have an online presence this works against you.  You need a website that is mobile friendly and enticing.  Remember when marketing to millennials, social media is how they communicate. However every generation enjoys this social media just as much.  Social media marketing is far more advanced than throwing an ad on your personal Facebook page.  Running business through social media is not a constant sales pitch, people do not want your sales pitch, they want to know who you are.  Allow social media to be a channel that customers can also communicate with you.  Using a social media marketing consultant to manage this end of the business will improve your presence and allow you to put your focus on the store front.  Social marketing takes constant monitoring and interaction, it is far different from how a personal site is run.

Presentation to your customers is also important rather it is online or in person.

If you advertise you’re a friendly business, then be that with each encounter.  Each generation wants to be appreciated, respected and feel important.  It is up to you to give them the reasons to brag about you to their friends. It takes effort to build an experience worthy of talking about, but it is worth your time especially, if you rely on referrals.

Even though the different generations of shoppers react differently to marketing, getting to know the common areas will help to build a diverse consumer base.

US Census as of July 1st, 2016.

  • 18-29: 53.7 million (16.6%) 
  • -18-34: 75.5 million (23.4%)   MILLENNIALS
  • -18-49: 136.9 million (42.4%)  GENERATION Y
  • -35-49: 61.4 million (19.0%) 
  • -50-64: 63.3 million (19.6%)   GENERATION X
  • -51-68: 72.6 million (22.5%)  BABY BOOMERS
  • -65+:    49.2 million (15.2%)  TRADITIONAL