Millennials are America’s largest generation ever—bigger than both the generation of Baby Boomers and Generation X. By 2020, Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans. It is estimated that by 2025 they will make up as much as 75 percent of the U.S. workforce. This emerging set of consumers born between 1982 and 2004,look at life differently than previous generations, and how they consume goods and services is no different.
According to the latest Brookings research, Millennials desire pragmatic action that focuses on results over today’s emphasis on imagery, ideology, and polarization. They care more about social responsibility, their communities, the environment, and a host of other do-good programs that advance the welfare of society.
Many marketers view this demographic as a threat because of their unique consumption habits. A majority of Millennials, called “Spend Shifters,” typically look for businesses they can identify with, like niche brands and startups. This group tends to reject Corporate America, and their supersized franchises, preferring local SMBs and brands that align with and reflect their values.
Marketing to this skeptical group of young adults poses a challenge to even the best advertisers, but there is an experienced set of people that knows how and where to target them…their Millennial peers.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with commercialized Internet, social media, and pocket computers. They didn’t adapt to these technologies, they learned to use them alongside the alphabet, which puts merchants and marketers of this generation a leap ahead of their generational predecessors.
A whopping 66% of Millennials make purchases on the Internet via their mobile devices, and with only 4% of advertising budgets being allocated to mobile, there’s a huge disconnect between most businesses and their ad spend on this demographic.
According to BIA/Kelsey, performance-based marketing programs, such as pay-per-call, are expected to grow prolifically because they match the expectations of millennial consumers, who want to find their niche brands and local businesses with the results-oriented expectations of the Millennial merchant.
Performance marketing, the notion that you only pay for the leads that you get, forces advertisers to be relevant, particularly if the consumer’s intent is understood. This is easier to do than ever with today’s mobile platforms. The Millennial can simply speak or type their intention with the degree of specificity they desire, giving them a degree of choice much greater than previous generations. Mapping this intention with a specific call-to-action is the cornerstone of click-to-call and other performance marketing programs.
Click-to-call is already gaining traction on both Facebook and Twitter, spaces already heavily trafficked by Millennial consumers. Facebook currently allows businesses to host a click-to-call button on their singular pages, and Twitter confirmed in March that beta tests were being conducted on using click-to-call in promoted tweets. This implementation is logical, as it could be a huge revenue generator for both sites.
Relevancy with these kinds of lead generation tools is less about being attention grabbing, and more about being of immediate value. Millennials seek deals and coupons, so performance marketing programs must find a way to incorporate them as a part of their call-to-action. Sponsored ads and promoted tweets with click-to-call buttons would allow Millennial consumers to take immediate action, which is a common behavioral trait of this generation.
Sharing, liking, commenting, and reviewing products and services are ways that Millennials stay up-to-date and relevant. Businesses can leverage this high-level of consumer social media engagement to their advantage by following what consumers are saying, which is something that Millennial business owners know, and are taking advantage of.
As click-to-call builds momentum on social media, businesses will see more lead generation coming from these platforms. The growth of click-to-call has been astounding in recent years, as a result of increased smartphone penetration. In Q3 of 2013, smartphone penetration reached 65% of all U.S. mobile subscribers, and that number will continue to climb. So, implementation of click-to-call on social media is going to be an exciting time for both consumers and merchants alike.