Your customers: make way for the Millennials
By Michael Shapiro |
Quick – picture your customer. Male? Female? Young? Old? Well… maybe not as old as you think. You might have to knock a few years off that image – if not now, very soon… like later this year.
According to our friends at the good old Pew Research Center, U.S. population projections say that very soon (if it hasn’t already happened by the time you’re reading this):
“Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult population.”
They are already the largest generation in the workforce, which means they’re making the money… and spending it.
Who are Millennials?
Lots of people are called “Millennials.” Anyone moving back in with their parents, for example. But, technically, Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996. They are the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. (Sometimes they’re called “Generation Y”… even though they came after Generation X… which should make them Generation Z, no?)
It doesn’t matter what other people call, them, you’ll probably need to get used to calling them Customers, or Clients, and certainly Prospects.
Not your Boomer’s marketing plan
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that all these Millennials have different shopping habits than the Boomers. They don’t watch traditional media – and they don’t respond to traditional marketing methods.
According to Entrepreneur.com, they’re “searching for authentic, local experiences with brands that share their values, encourage social sharing and listen to their customers.”
They respond to digital media – to marketing that feels like a conversation.
How millennials find you
Millennials are searching for you differently than their Boomer predecessors. Yes, sure, of course they search online, with Google, Yahoo! And Bing – but it’s more than that. And, yes, it includes checking out your website – do you look trustworthy, like someone they’re comfortable doing business with?
But they’re looking for interaction – communication from and with other customers.
Today’s “SEARCH” can start anywhere online – with a post or an ad on Facebook, seeing an image on Instagram or a video on YouTube. Looking for local services today includes checking reviews – seeing what your customers are saying (that’s part of the conversation). It includes seeing the images and posts on your social media… finding out who you are… not just what you offer.
It’s a different world today, my friends, and if you’re only focused on reaching the Boomers… you’re going to go bust.
It goes without saying, but if you need help reaching Millennials (and Boomers and Gen-Xers), start with this video about today’s local customer journey — then talk to us about making sure your customers can find you everywhere.
Pew Research Center reporting; 2018
Entrepreneur.com article on Millennials; 2016