Whilst capturing the attention of millennials is perhaps easier for startups than it once was, keeping it is another thing entirely
Targeting and positively influencing the millennial generation – those that are far too well acquainted with digital – is without doubt one of the biggest priorities for any brand marketer at the moment. The media is awash with comments, studies and reports on best how to appeal to the now 2.5 billion people that fit into the millennial or digital native category. The trouble is that the majority of this noise is heavily focused on the most effective ways to market to them. Attracting millennials is an important first step but keeping them engaged – and more importantly satisfied – is a different ball game entirely.
We know that millennials expect frictionless online experiences that not only provide them with what they need but go above and beyond to make their experience as smooth and engaging as possible. However, they also want them to be instant and to evolve in real-time.
Thinking about balancing all of these elements is enough to give anyone a headache but it shouldn’t. Crafting a great brand experience across all your digital touchpoints and getting millennials' attention isn’t as hard as it may seem. In essence, there are six core values that millennials look for in brand experience – and six ways to help digitally engage a tech-orientated audience.
The six millennial maxims
Speed of service – Brands need to make sure they are creating an experience that millennials can understand. They also need to identify and rectify any limitations with their technology or if they’re failing to deliver a compelling and valuable service. Ultimately, providing honest, up-to-date information will ensure a smooth experience, which will only serve to ensure that millennials continue to engage with you.
Time to browse – Through our own research, we found that a third of millennial consumers have more fun browsing for items than they do purchasing them. Getting millennials to move from the browsing phase into the purchase phase is a key requirement for brands.
Integrating experiences – Three-quarters of millennials want brands to provide the opportunity to receive more life experiences. Brands therefore need to be far more innovative in how they use digital to not only reach millennials but also to enrich their lives.
Online communication – Millennials simply won’t bother with a service if they can’t use it on all their devices. We found that almost two-thirds (64%) want brands to offer more ways to communicate online. However, whilst this may be true, they generally prefer to use automated, convenient experiences over one-to-one human service.
Imagery and video – With four-fifths of our survey sample claiming to have posted at least one photo online, rich media content can and will continue to be a core way for brands to drive engagement.
Becoming part of the creative process – Our research highlighted that 40% of millennials want to be able to influence a brand’s product, whilst one-fifth want to connect to other brand advocates or fans. Therefore, creating opportunities which enable these interactions should be a high priority. Getting millennials involved in your brand process through co-creation can not only help create a better experience for them personally, it can also provide valuable insight into what matters to them the most.
Putting this into practice
We know millennials command a huge slice of the purchasing power in the market today and that is only going to get larger. Brands who understand this seemingly elusive generation, capture their imagination and engage them on a personal level will ultimately garner more success in years to come.
The digital environment is no longer considered to be an afterthought and cannot be ignored if you want to engage the millennial audience. Thetrainline.com is one example of a brand that is flying the flag for digital innovation and development in this regard. Not only has it relaunched a mobile-first site, it is pioneering a new way for customers to buy tickets, providing passengers with a ticket on their mobiles. As a result it is removing the need for people to engage with a human in order to get a paper ticket.
This is absolute convenience, totally digital and exactly what people love: taking out all the process usually associated with travel. Services like these – that provide real-time updates, transparent information, integrated experiences, online communication and the opportunity to be part of the creative process – will keep millennials coming back time and time again.