Millennials are one of the most coveted demographics in marketing. These consumers number 92 million (nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population) and spend about $600 billion every year. Because Millennials tend to value experiences over material things, they also tend to have more disposable income than other generations. (According to Statista, Millennials have a mean disposable annual income of $70,000.) When treated right, Millennials also tend to be loyal to the brands they like. They are a valuable market!
Like any other demographic group, Millennials are not homogenous. Many sub-groups think and act differently. Even so, there are some overall qualities of this generation that you should pay attention to. Here are a few that you should keep in mind.
- Millennials are experienced-focused and time-pressed. Millennials tend to value experiences over “things,” but they are also squeezed for time. Get to the point quickly. Make the shopping experience easy. Focus on convenience. Millennials tend to be willing to pay for convenience options.
- Millennials spend more time researching their purchases. This group of shoppers grew up with online research. They spend 30 minutes more on research per purchase in certain categories than GenXers do and nearly an hour more than Baby Boomers. So get the information out there for them to find. Be intentional about creating a content marketing plan. Encourage online reviews.
- They love direct mail but are more likely to buy online. Despite being the original digital generation, Millennials gravitate to direct mail, but they make most of their purchases online (particularly on their phones). Creative, engaging physical mail is highly effective in this demographic but ensure that their online purchase experience is positive, too. ICSC found that 74% of Millennials would switch to a different retailer or brand if they had a negative customer experience.
- Personalize. Experience-driven and out to change the world, Millennials appreciate the extra effort put into personalized communications. Make them feel special, noticed, and appreciated.
- Invest. Millennials can be fickle shoppers, and they love a deal. But give them what they want, and Forbes has found that 60% of Millennials are loyal to their favorite brands. According to Yes Lifestyle Marketing, rewards programs are critical to this loyalty.
Millennials are a powerhouse generation, but like any key customer group, they want to be catered to. Invest in them, and they will invest in you.