As we were working through the discovery process with a client the other day, they stated that they wanted to reach out to younger people (young families or couples 'starting out') as potential clients. As it happens, we have a number of Millennials on our staff, so I asked them to describe how they made their buying decisions. Here's what I found…
They will use the internet, and social media to research companies, brands and prices. They'll look for recommendations or faulty product reviews. They grew up with the Internet and they're savvy; they know an ad when they see one, so marketing disguised as 'research' is only tolerated when it informs.
Millennials are busy; they work a lot, and many are still in school while they do it. Even when relaxing they're connected, so information travels FAST. They don't mind advertising, but it better be worth their while. A sale that isn't really a sale won't go over well.
While they are happy to walk up the street to have a coffee, they're likely to buy goods online. So while they're in the coffee shop, they'll do their research, and then make their purchase. If you want to sell things to Millennials you need to make it easy for them to buy it online. If you don't, they'll buy it from someone who does.
For most commodities, Millennials will go with the best price, time and time again. They don't have loyalty to companies; instead they demand that companies be loyal to them by offering the best price, or a superior product or service. They expect these companies to work hard to retain or capture their business. And in the end, you still may not keep their business. Remember, this is a generation who not only accepts that they will have more than one 'career' in their lives; they embrace it and will actually leave a job without having another to go to.
Millennials are a growing and important part of the market. They may not yet have the spending power of baby boomers, but they will. Companies looking for younger clients may need to adjust their marketing strategies to attract this influential market.