It’s the Millennials’ world
For Baby Boomers like me, demographics have in many ways defined our lives. There are a lot of us, and retail marketing has long revolved around our needs.
Along the way we’ve had a lot of kids. So many that we engendered an echo boom larger than our own. Today, 75 million Millennials now vie for dominance in cultural, political and marketing discourse. Not to mention our consumer economy — the 18-34 cohort wields $2 trillion in purchasing power.
The recent Shop.org conference brought together retail leaders and a cadre of experts in digital tech and unified commerce. In a presentation, “Beyond the Meme: How to Reach Millennials,” W. Hunter Thomas, a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Gabbi Baker, assistant account executive with OgilvyOne, delivered a Millennial’s eye-view of Millennials.
“We even have our own language,” said Ms. Baker, drawing both knowing and puzzled smiles from audience members when she asked who was familiar with the social media shorthand, “BAE on fleek.” (BAE = before anyone else; Fleek = flawless and sleek.)
In crisp, tag-team fashion, the two presented observations about how to market to Millennials:
- “I want consistency across channels, based on my smartphone.” Two-thirds say they use mobile apps in stores. This presents opportunities for store-based digital platforms and interactive displays.
- “I want content that engages me, not pushes me to buy.” Thirty-one percent of Millennials are more likely to buy if content is not sales-y.
- “I want to shop right here, right now.” Sixty-two percent use smartphones to shop. Innovators are embedding shopping tools within social media platforms to lessen friction.
- “I want this to be specific to my needs (which you should know).” Sixty percent provide personal information to sites they patronize, so they expect relevant personalization in return.
- “If I like you, I want a relationship.” Millennials are 1.5 times more likely to pay a premium if there is a mechanism for earning loyalty points.
“The best platforms will be the easiest to use,” said Ms. Baker. “They should accept all payment types and provide multiple forms of access.”
Last I checked, most Boomers liked those things too. Just sayin’.
- Millennials: The Next ‘Pig in the Python’ – Tenser’s Tirades
- Retail’s Digital Summit Recap – Shop.org
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Millennials assume dominance over the marketing landscape or are Boomers unlikely to give in without a fight? How can retailers and marketers design their offerings to satisfy the preferences of Millennials without jeopardizing their relationship with Boomers?