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How to Market to Millennials

According to Forbes, Millennials are currently the largest generation in the United States. They’re taking over the buying habits of our beloved Baby Boomers, tearing them apart, and turning the leftover pieces into completely new consumer patterns. It may sound scary, but these fragile new customs can actually work to a business’ advantage when handled with care. Here’s how:

First, I am a Millennial. And although I find some of the stereotypes downright offensive, I simply cannot ignore them. Neither should your business. If you do, you’re missing out on experts’ estimated $1.68 trillion purchase power held in the hands of these 19-36 year olds. Individually, we may not have much, but together, our band of Instagrams and 140 character Tweets speak volumes.

You know where to find us, but do you know how to keep us there? Raised in a world of endless choice, grabbing the current consumer’s attention for longer than a 10 second Snapchat is certainly not an easy task, but someone has to do it.

Insert, Digital Marketing 101. The first assignment is fairly simple, yet overlooked too often: One must understand a typical day in the life of their consumer.
Millennials as Consumers
We love college.

For the most part, there is the college student Millennial, the young professional, and the married-with-children Millennial, and they have absolutely nothing in common with Al Bundy. While we try to avoid the stereotypes at all costs, the one characteristic we probably each share is complexity. This modern world we live in is one monstrous mosaic, and we are exposed to every shining piece of it at all times. It’s hard to see straight, and not just because our vision is impaired from too much screen time.

By learning just a little more about us, I think we’ll find that the average American business owner and Millennials have a lot more in common than an everlasting love for cheap barbecue and bucket challenges. Behold:

The college student Millennial is definitely buying more than books. They’re out on their own for the first time, their freedom flags flying high before their worlds quickly become erupted by those post graduate pains. They want food, drinks and places to go for both fun and relaxation. They need a bicycle to get to class, a new physician and the best rental property on campus.

The young professional Millennial is suddenly seeing their surroundings with a new set of specks. They long for the trendiest happy hours, hot yoga studios and the latest technology for both work and play. They need gas perks to get to and from their jobs, a credit card with the lowest interest rate and furniture that hasn’t been infested by unidentified Craig’s List characters.

We love brunch.

The married-with-children Millennial now has more beings to care for than just his or her self. They wish for activity centers that really are fun for the whole family, an affordable escape and the latest and greatest series on their Kindle and Netflix accounts. They need a friendly lawn service company, auto mechanic and child care providers.

And yes, despite how different all Millennials may be, it’s true: We really do love brunch.

But the best part of all of this is that nearly everything the Millennial is seeking, the Baby Boomer once sought after, too. We just go about it in different ways. Luckily, we can summarize that difference in one word: The Internet.

So, is your business where it needs to be to fulfill the country’s largest consumer group’s sought after commodities? If not, that’s your next assignment, and the truth is, it never ends.

The Millennial’s consumer habits take place on their smart phones, tablets and laptops. There’s a good chance that their home page is set to Google, and whether they need a new dentist or dog park, they’ll probably begin their search there. Generally, there are three ways your business can be found on Google: local search, paid search and organic search.  An Internet marketing agent can help you with this.

But, that’s just the beginning. There’s also Bing, Yahoo and the Earth-friendly version of YellowPages. Be there. It’d be wise to begin building a presence on the hundreds of other directories out there, too.
Millennials
We can’t forget about Yelp, where word of mouth takes on a whole new meaning. Every business needs reviews. I repeat: every business needs reviews. Fortunately, new tools have emerged with the sole purpose of helping business owners retrieve, respond and monitor their reviews. And guess what? We’re developing one now. Stay tuned. This is one miraculous game changer, because even if my friends and family members recommend a business, I go online to fact check and do some of my own research before making a final decision.

I’m not alone. In a recent study, at least 60 percent of Millennials are engaged in rating products and services via the Internet – That’s nearly 15 percent more than non-Millennials. The same study found that the top five purchases Millennials won’t make without available, user-generated content are electronics, cars, hotels, travel accommodations, and credit cards. That’s right – no matter the size of the spend, approximately 29-45 percent of Millennials, the country’s largest consumer base, simply will not make a purchase without online content and ratings from users other than their crazy Aunt Cathy. Your business needs a review strategy. We’ve got it.

We love selfies.

After all, the Internet never lies. Just kidding – has your business ever moved locations? If so, the Internet is probably lying about you right now, giving your old address to potential consumers in need and losing them before you can say, “Wait, let me take a selfie."

We’re living in a world where consumers are even going online to look up a restaurant’s menu before their reservation time, simply because they can’t wait until they get there. They won’t call a salon without comparing the full service list and prices on their website, even if it’s where their BFF goes. That website better also be mobile friendly, because this discussion of favorite Frappes and fingernail polish is probably happening over brunch.

Then, after they find what they need online, take a picture of their meal and choose the best filter, maybe they’ll go shopping. Can they check into your store on Facebook? Because not only do Millennials like to share their experiences with those around them, they also have the opportunity to build a life with their 987 friends on the Internet by sharing anything they want. Whether they had the worst customer service experience or found the greatest deal in town, they’ll probably find a way to tell their online network.
Millennials vs. Baby Boomers
The previously mentioned study also noted that Millennials are 2.5 times more likely than Baby Boomers to share a social media link that references a brand, and equally more likely to be influenced by those same blogs or networking sites. More than half of Millennials are talking about these brands on their mobile phones, and it’s not through their vocal chords. Either way, keep them talking – And more importantly, make sure you’re there to talk back.

We can help. RevLocal places you with a skilled, strategic partner for life… Or, at least for as long as the Internet is around, but we’re starting to think it’s immortal. Your personal Internet Marketing Agent allows you to truly connect with this ever changing consumer behavior and conquer the chaos together. Our strategy today may be transformed tomorrow, but we’ll be sure to call you first – We’re ahead of the curve like that. Contact us now, and we’ll help your business reel in those Millennials before that next video goes viral.
               
Content Writer: Jenna Backus Jenna Backus Former RevLocal Employee

Brilliant

Not only spot on...but exceptionally written.<br />Killer stuff.

Friday, September 05, 2014 by Jackson

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