Marketing to millennials – Is this generation actually different?

On March 3, 2016

Marketers the world over are forced to divide their attention among a number of different developing trends, but few are receiving the same focus as the impact of millennials. 

Millennials make up a unique sector of the market.

Now, the generation that Goldman Sachs is referring to as one of the largest in history has come of age, bringing with it a world view that many researchers are declaring to be unique. From their enthusiasm for new devices to a brand loyalty that is much harder to win over, millennials are gradually making a name for themselves as a unique sector of the consumer market. 

However, is there actually any weight to these arguments, or is the concept yet another indulgent buzzword? The answer could drastically shape B2C marketing strategies in the coming years as this group continues to grow in both size and influence. 

Millennials want different things

In very simple terms, marketing is about matching people's needs with the products and services of a business. While most generations have exhibited similar habits such as the desire to own a home and a car, millennials are indicating these are trends that are slowly losing their relevance. 

Marketers can't assume that this generation is going to continue to exhibit the same trends as its ancestors, and the idea that these people aren't as concerned about home and vehicle ownership is one of the biggest signals of this. 

However, the biggest advantage for businesses is that they're the first generation that can claim to be "digital natives". Goldman Sachs published research in an infographic which noted these people are much more likely to head online for entertainment, giving businesses the perfect audience for expansions into digital content. 

Millennials exhibit unique desires.
Millennials exhibit unique desires.

A question of loyalty

Not only are millennials' desires for products and services different, the features of a business that encourage loyalty are unique to them as well. Marketing analytics provider Aimia investigated what makes a millennial customer loyal, finding that these consumers prefer to receive some sort of reward for their ongoing commitment to a brand. 

The organisation found that 81 per cent of millennial shoppers participate in a loyalty or rewards scheme of some sort. On top of this, a further 46 per cent would become part of the promotional process for brands by sharing their experiences on social media in exchange for tangible rewards. 

It's also important to consider the appeal of innovative uses of technology for this group. For example, MasterCard unveiled the next step of its Identity Check payment method that enables people to use their selfie as a form of security check. 

To find out more about targeting your marketing strategy to different demographics, contact the team at The Prospect Shop. 

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