Millennials are the first generation of digital natives and have never known a world without the Internet. They depend on mobile devices more than any other demographic for information, communication and entertainment. They also make up a high percentage of the students to whom many colleges are marketing. Reaching millennials is a challenge for numerous reasons. First of all, they have a different view of their relationship with brands. They want to identify and engage with the brands they use, more so than any other demographic. Secondly, they take longer to make a buying decision. With so much fragmentation in the marketplace for this population searching, it is important to not remain “stuck” on utilizing only channels that provide direct lead generation. Brands who maintain this mentality will see their marketing suffer. Third, multi-screening (using more than one media channel at the same time) is not a trend, it’s a way of life for millennials. According to Google Education, statistics show nearly half of this population uses smartphones to research education options.
What does this mean for marketers?
Investing in more upper funnel channels, such as online video, online radio or display advertising, brands are making a conscious choice to be present more often to prospects earlier in their research as opposed to limiting their focus on those who are in the decision phase. Marketers must adapt a multi-screen approach to be present where potential customers are if they want to reach the millennial marketplace. They must be willing to employ strategic campaigns to include multi-screen, texting, television and radio.
Mobile trends worth noting:
- Mobile searches are projected to surpass desktop in 2015
- Mobile impacts search, organic, social, web design and even forms of traditional media
- Organic visits from mobile have grown 58% year-over-year
- Mobile ad conversions from paid search have increased 16% year-over-year
- 71% of users access social media from their mobile phone vs. desktop
- 70% of marketing professionals state that video converts more efficiently than any other medium
Welcome to the mobile first world.
While mobile will never replace traditional advertising, it can work in conjunction to expand the audience, engage the consumer, and build the brand. Brands refusing to embrace the necessity of strategic mobile marketing are missing an opportunity to reach millennials, and convert prospects to customers.