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When it Comes to Your Business, Millennials Matter

Written by Jaclyn Levi

While your traditional marketing efforts may still be earning success with Baby Boomers or Gen-X, don’t expect those tactics to work on Millennials. How do I know? Besides being a millennial and marathoner myself, the data proves that your traditional marketing or advertising efforts just don’t work for us. Now you may think this shouldn’t matter to you or your business, but you’re wrong. Here’s why...

As the baby boomer generation continues to age, us millennials are quickly stepping into the spotlight, becoming the world’s main source of consumer buying power. According to a Boston Consulting Group Study, “ U.S. Millennials already account for an estimated $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending,” with that number expected to grow exponentially as more of us come of age and start to reach the peak of our buying power. In the endurance industry alone we make up more than a third of overall participants. And while the differences between us and older age groups are striking, the gap is rapidly closing as our upstart generation continues to influence baby boomers and gen-x’ers in their purchasing habits.

The data is clear: the landscape where millennials are the number one market influencer is quickly becoming realized. That means it’s time to rethink your traditional marketing methods and reposition your strategy to one that’s focused more on delivering authentic experiences instead of the sale.

Come to Us 

Unfortunately this isn’t Field of Dreams. If you build it, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll come. Don’t just rely on your website to entice us. Rather, be active on the platforms we use most. Not sure what those are? Check out our usage in this Pew Research Center Report.

Create Authentic Engagement 

Whether through direct feedback or social media, give us opportunities to communicate with you and take the time to respond in meaningful ways. The investment will pay off, as “62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. They expect brands to not only be on social networks, but to engage them,” according to Forbes.

We want to make real connections with you and feel like our voices are being heard. Respond and engage thoughtfully to create a culture of reciprocity and we’ll continue to participate.

Showcase Your Giving 

Socially conscious, environmentally friendly, and charitable behaviors will win major points with us. A 2016 poll for Fortune highlighted that Millennials are more likely to “buy products from a company that contributes to charity, or to recommend that business to a friend.” This makes sense, considering we rank purpose and fulfillment high on our list of life’s necessities. We want to feel like we’re contributing to positive change in the world.

If your events have charity partners or fundraising initiatives, let us know and encourage us to run for a cause. Think about offering discounted or comped registration costs if we commit to fundraising a certain amount. You’ll be sure to draw in more millennial participants by offering the purpose and value driven connection we’re looking for from the businesses we patronize.

Don’t Ignore the Obvious 

We’re a mobile first generation, with 91% of us owning a smartphone and 63% of us shopping on our phone every day. Our hyper-connected reality is reshaping the way we interact, consume content, browse, and buy. That means mobile is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but should be an essential part of your business strategy. Make sure we can easily register, get our results, send you feedback, share our experiences, and more, all on our mobile devices.

Know That Money Matters 

While we may feel comfortable spending $18 on Avocado Toast, don’t be fooled into thinking we’re not budget conscious. In fact, studies show our generation may be the most fickle-spenders. It’s not that we won’t spend, we’re just extra choosy about where we put our dollars, opting for better deals that optimize the value of what we spend on. We’re more likely than any other generation to pore over reviews and invest time in finding the best bang for our bucks. In fact, “56 percent will switch brands for a cents-off coupon”

What does this mean for you?  It means that offering discounts or coupons is likely to pique our interest. Make sure we know about available discounts by sharing it with us on social media and through targeted email campaigns. Offer us rewards, too. We’re more likely to keep spending if we know our dollars are going towards creating additional value.


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