by Kieran Kern
When it comes to selling to millennials, intrepid marketers are often left with quizzical looks on their faces wondering how to solve this mystery wrapped in an enigma. You don’t need a super sleuth to find the answer – not when CraftJack’s Director of Business Jason Ashman is on hand. After decades of selling to Boomers and Gen Xers, marketers need to shift where and how they engage with audiences to improve conversion.
The status quo addresses the habits of baby boomers who are reached by print media, in-store or virtual experiences or a coupon or loyalty discount. Likewise, that status quo accounts for Gen Xers who conduct personal research and aren’t swayed by flashy ads. As the fastest growing generation, millennials have the greatest lifetime value, but their lifetime of being plugged in and their attitudes regarding ads, marketing and sales are challenging many conventional strategies and approaches. Peer reviews (aka word-of-mouth) are the key to unlocking their wallets.
Looking for the best play to invest your advertising dollar? Turn away from the screen on your wall and toward the screens on your desk or in your hand. “According to a BCG study, 26 percent of millennials watch 20-plus hours of television per week versus 49 percent of non-millennials,” explains Ashman. “Why spend millions of dollars on TV commercials when your audience isn’t even listening, or really even there?” He predicts that as outlets like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon continue to create great content, that percentage will decline at a more drastic pace.
The best overall platform for connecting with millennials is online, where they spent the most time.
“According to eMarketer, 68 percent of millennials are influenced by their friends’ social media posts when making a buying decision” he explains. “Simply put, follow the noise.”
This technique doesn’t mean employing a flashy stand-alone ad or a message that speaks only about “how cool” the brand is. Investing in a millennial audience requires creating a personalized, simple and extremely transparent experience. “Creating a narrative around the product or brand that shows a real story will go a long way,” Ashman notes. “The social channels are tremendously successful and influential as they come across as more sincere.”
When creating a compelling story, brands and products need to establish trust from inception and throughout the process. He likens the marketing and lead generation system to a giant funnel. It’s about establishing trust – not at just one point but the whole way through. Whichever platform or channel you use, the message needs to come off as helpful, genuine and transparent. Once the audience has entered your funnel, Ashman cautions that forging the connection doesn’t require an excess of special deals or promotions. “Less is more.”
Now that you have their attention, you must continue the narrative of how and why they came to your site is the driving force that converts browsers to customers. Ashman references clicking on an ad and landing on a standard homepage that showed him nothing of what the relevant ad showed. “Take them to where they are supposed to be, immediately,” he cautions. “This gives you trust and credibility.”
Want more? Learn how best to reach millennials in a genuine, transparent and organic way at “The Millennial Challenge: How to Build an Authentic and Quality Online, Social and Mobile Experience to Attract Millennial Shoppers and Build Brand Loyalty.”
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