Entitled, demanding, out-spoken, and flighty; there are a lot of negative stereotypes associated with Millennials. But if you look past these generalities, you will find that this generation wants to change the world and feel empowered to do so. They know how to harness and use technological resources both for their own benefit and to reach a very broad audience for their concerns.
Marketers need to understand what makes them tick - their aspirations, behaviors, frame of reference and most importantly their relationship with the technology – in order to truly connect.
Device is a proxy for the desire to consume content differently
It’s not news that Millennials constantly look for ways to consume content. They are always on the go, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this tech-savvy bunch prefers alternative consumption methods for particular situations.
Marketers need to make sure that content is relevant to the medium with which it is being consumed, whether that be mobile, tablet, or desktop. For example, if your company is a non-profit and the goal of your online video is to appeal to this crowd on an emotional level, smartphones with tiny screens may not be your best bet. Millennials are more likely to engage and connect with your brand with the use of a bigger screen like a tablet or laptop.
It’s imperative for marketers to have an intimate understanding of each device and the goals and objectives for a brand’s message in order to be effective.
Generation Y consumers are collaborative
With the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and their attractiveness to Gen Y, marketers need to engage in social media. This is not a surprise, and there is no out. This generation has come to age with their voices being heard online, and their desire to share their thoughts and opinions with others drives their daily activities.
Gen Yers are crowd-sourcers; they seek information and approval from peers and strangers alike through social sharing. It’s imperative for brands to provide reliable and timely information consistently on social platforms to meet this need. Brands should also engage, and entering into conversations is only the first step. Marketers must capture insights they gain from these conversations and be flexible enough to adapt their services and communication strategies to meet the expectations of these new consumers, who are very different from the generations that preceded them.
Expectations are higher than previous generations
Based on years of sharing their opinions online, Gen Y consumers expect to be heard and understood. They expect brands to tailor their products around their needs, especially if they see they are not the only ones who want changes. Millennials won’t stick around if your product doesn’t perform to their expectations; seriously, an alternative is only a Google search away.
Millennials also expect to being entertained. This plays back into their habitual daily communication and connection with others online. When Millennials are alone, even for a few minutes, they instinctively reach for their devices. Why? Because there is something going on somewhere, and connecting is as easily as tapping a button.
Millennials will not be satisfied with blanket communication strategies. Marketers need to make sure content is personalized and adds value for consumers in their campaigns. Without continuous adaptation based on analysis of social trends, efforts will fall short.
Brand loyalty is not their strong suit
Keeping a brand relevant is tough for this crowd. Millennials like engaging brands, but gravitate toward ones that change and offer new opportunities - just like what they expect from their technology. Whereas previous generations may have made purchases because of the brand, Gen Y consumers care more about the value and functionality. Look at tablets and smartphones; this cash-strapped generation is willing to pay to keep up with their peers. Millennial don’t want to be left out looking in, they want to participate.
Brands need to evolve with this audience and latest technologies if they want to keep up. Millennials will continue to take center stage as technology defines today’s marketplace. Marketers need to think different about Gen Y and adapt their messaging and strategies accordingly to maintain relevancy. This will only intensify with generations to come.