Marketers Want to Engage with Millennials

By next year Millennials will account for about $2.5 trillion of global purchasing power, according to Paige O’Neil, Chief Marketing Officer, SDL.

During her session at Forrester’s Forum For Customer Experience Professionals East last month in New York City, O’Neil told attendees that Millennials (roughly defined as people born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s) outnumber Baby Boomers.

“Clearly, companies are looking to attract new customers, and Millennials are first and foremost in everyone’s mind in terms of how do you capture some of that spend?” she said.

O’Neil said that Millennials pose a difficult challenge because marketers have to earn their trust. But, Millennials are a key target demographic for brands because of their incredible buying power and their preferences for digital engagement.

“Millennials are very interested in creating an emotional connection with a brand, as well as learning if that brand is connected to environmental or other philanthropic issues,” O’Neil said. “Emotional connections are so important to driving that loyalty.”

As Millennials are disjointed when it comes to following any specific customer journey path, it’s crucial for brands to understand them and build meaningful relationships. O’Neil said nearly half of Millennials don’t trust digital ads, nearly 40% don’t trust emails, and 36% don’t trust information from branded apps.

That’s why, O’Neil said, traditional email is not effective with Millennials.

O’Neil outlined Five Truths for Tomorrow’s Marketers:

Campaigns are extinct: The conventional marketing funnel is irrelevant and traditional campaigns are extinct. Millennial consumers orchestrate their own brand experiences on their time, across channels and devices with brands that they trust. As a result, campaigns no longer start with a contact list and stop with an email blast. Instead, they are continuous exercises, consistent across channels. Brands have to understand customers and send relevant offers based on their information.

  • Your data trumps Big Data: It’s not about how much data we’re collecting, but being able to craft that data into relevant experiences. Show that the customer matters. Use their data to craft experiences relevant to them. You have to get to know your customers first and develop targeted messages using the data they’ve given you.
  • Channels are actually relevant: One of the top CEO priorities for the next five years is digital, finding consistent experiences across channels. Millennials are checking their smartphones an average of 43 times a day. We have to understand how to make and keep experiences consistent across channels. Create complete views of customer and be able to access that data across channels.
  • Only one language: Translation has become a big strategy. We have to make language part of our strategy and understand what languages our customers prefer.
  • Content will find the customer: Millennials first engage on social and last on email or search. They love to engage on social and they share six pieces of content a day on social. Engage them in their preferred channel (social) and understand where they’re going to share ideas on content and engage with them.

About the Author: Mark Johnson

Mark is CEO & CMO of Loyalty 360. He has significant experience in selling, designing and administering prepaid, loyalty/CRM programs, as well as data-driven marketing communication programs.

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