Millennial consumers are expanding their influence, but targeting them in the same-old ways, with the same-old tactics may not be the best way to reach them.
“The way they are purchasing products is different from how Generation X and Baby Boomers did,” Megan Maquire, vice president of client strategy Mom Central Consulting, which recently completed a survey of 1,100 Millennial women, tells Marketing Daily. “They take a much more circuitous path. They are very comfortable taking information from any source that’s available to them.”
According to the online survey, the key influencers for Millennial consumers are peers, friends and co-workers. When making a technology purchase, for instance, two-thirds (66%) of Millennials rely on their friends advice, more so than their spouse or significant other’s advice (59%) or their parent’s advice (37%).
Still, the personal connection is important when it comes to recommendations. According to the survey, Millennials said in-person, word-of-mouth recommendations influenced decisions ranging from food and beverage decisions (68%), vacations (67%) and household products (63%).
Though half of the Millennials surveyed said a bad online review wouldn’t stop them from shopping for or buying a product, nearly three-fifths of them (59%) make product recommendations to share highly positive or negative experiences. To Millennials, Maguire says, the product and the experience are one and the same.
“[Brands should] give deeper meaning to products and how the experience feeds a certain lifestyle,” Maguire says. “You really want to talk more about the lifestyle and what that experience means to their lives.”
Despite all their social sharing and living, most Millennials view social media as just another channel of information to consult, Maguire says. Only 5% of the survey respondents use social media as a platform to establish themselves as an expert in some area, according to the survey. And because of the immediacy of the channel, they expect brands to react as quickly as they do.
“Millennials are used to having information at their fingertips,” Maguire says. “If they’re asking for information, you want to be sure the brands are responding quickly.”