The millennial generation (made up roughly of people ages 18-34) is your future pool of customers. They may or may not make up your largest customer base now, but they will soon. So it’s important to appeal to them as well as the slightly older and more traditional group of potential customers that you are marketing to now.
One major aspect of millennial culture to keep in mind – they were the first to truly grow up with the Internet and social media at their fingertips. They are accustomed to having constant access to information, as well as the ability to express their opinions online. So not only is it important to have a website and an active presence on social media when marketing to them, but you’ll benefit from going beyond those basics. Some suggestions:
- Upgrade your website to a responsive platform if it isn’t already. Millennials (and non-millennials) use phones and tablets to access the Internet more often than they use desktop computers, so it’s important that your website looks good and functions well on any device.
- Engage your followers on social media. Don’t simply post about new inventory or sales promotions – ask your followers questions, host events, hold giveaways. Get people involved!
- Make customer service a priority on social media. For millennials especially, who are most active on social platforms, the first place they will go to for questions, complaints, or praise is your social media account(s). It provides them with a quick and easy way to reach you, and there’s an expectation that you will be fast to respond. However, most businesses don’t even consider the customer service aspect when it comes to social media. This creates a big opportunity for error – you should learn to expect customer service-related questions and comments on your social media pages, and you should be prepared to answer (quickly!) when they arise.
Millennials want to feel like they matter. This age group knows that they are not (yet) considered the target demographic for big sales, and with that sometimes comes a lack of care or respect. The stereotype of a millennial may be a lazy and selfie-obsessed twenty-something-year-old, but this stereotype is simply not accurate. Millennials are also, arguably, the most “in the know” generation to date. They’ve had access to the Internet their entire life, and are constantly absorbing news and information through social media, mobile apps, and the unlimited options available on TV. They want to be heard, and they will express their opinions.
Millennials aren’t always enticed by traditional marketing. Unlike the generations ahead of them, millennials have had access to resources other than print, TV, and radio when it comes to entertainment, and therefore advertising as well. They have higher expectations, and if you only use traditional marketing techniques, you may not get your name in front of them at all.
Millennials expect more from you. They want transparency, yes, but they also want you to try harder to earn their business. They respond well to businesses that implement creativity, stepping outside of what’s expected. They respect businesses that get involved with charities, or work to bring communities together. They want to feel a deeper bond with the company they are buying from.
This is a generation of people that will soon have more buying power than anyone else – so it’s in your best interest to form relationships with them now and acquaint them with your brand. The good news is that they are, by nature, open and ready to welcome you. With these characteristics of millennials in mind, it’ll be easier for you to connect with them too.
Lauren McLean is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.