Selling to Millennials - the Rise of Y!
Traditional media and the traditional rules of marketing will not work across all four generations. In my last post, I discussed the four generations that are now occupying the buyer's chair. Because they are the newest workers and more and more are becoming your buyers, I'll discuss Gen Y'ers in more detail.
You'll need to focus on keeping their attention. They will be multi-tasking.
Your traditional PowerPoint won't cut it with them. Primitive technology will lose them. Gen Y are digital natives. They grew up with a screen in their hand and jumping quickly from task to task.
They prefer communicating via technology instead of face to face. So you're frustrated that they won't answer or return your phone calls? Get over it. Adapt. You won't change them, so you better change your approach.
They communicate through photos and videos. Their phone has always had a camera on it. They turned YouTube into the second largest search engine. They find that email is too slow. It's an old technology to them.
How ironic! Despite the high tech communication style, relationships are highly valued! Don't rush to judgement. They love people and they love diversity. Including the diversity around age. Don't assign your generation's value system to them. They will value your contributions if you bring them value.
This may surprise you but who do you think they view as a hero? It's not some rock or rap or even sports star. It's their parents! They understand the world around them and they demand a lot.
How do they buy? What do they want?
My generation (Boomer) used to love the old saw: Quality, Price, Service—pick two!
We thought buyers could not get all three. Well, the expectations of the Y Generation is even more demanding! They demand FOUR things—low cost, good quality, fast service AND an experience. Keep in mind what kind of experience you can create that will make your offering stand out.
They value peer reviews from social media sites. Only 14% trust marketing messages but 86% trust online peer reviews. They will favor companies with cultures around enduring values—Green, Social Responsibility, Cause Marketing, Humanitarian, Meaning.
They spend over $20 billion on online purchases every year. Online research, online price comparison and social media all play a role in their purchase decisions. So where do you think they go when they have a project that could use a promotional product element? How do you think they determine what they feel a fair price should be?
Forget your traditional marketing to reach this generation. Make it easy for them to reach you and your information online. Focus your efforts and resources on Social Media, Viral Marketing and relevant information. Appeal to their ego, sense of meaning, edgy humor, trends and creativity.
This isn't something waiting to happen. Today, there are more Gen Y workers than Boomer workers. And 96% of them are on social networking sites.
(This is the fourth part in a series on the New Rules of Marketing. Read part 1, part 2 and part 3. In the next post, I will discuss how this changes the rules of marketing and how we can be more relevant in this new age.)