If you’re thinking about millennials, you should be thinking mobile. Though millennials are defined as Generation Y’ers born after 1982, the fact is that even highly ranked sites freely admit there’s no set-in-stone marker for age groups within this demographic. The one marker that does set millennials apart from any other generation is this: they’ve never really known a world without internet technology.
The question is … just how ingrained is technology in the life of a millennial?
To quote Micah Solomon in his Forbes article titled “Millennials, The Biggest Generation of Customers Ever, Don’t Care About the Internet,” millennials “are young people for whom connective technology, the internet, the web, smartphones have pretty much always been around.” The internet doesn’t hold the same level of amazement for this group as it does for say, even someone like me – born in 1980 and raised in a relatively internet-free environment until college. To a millennial, as Solomon notes, “it’s just the norm. Like flush toilets. Like electricity.”
As September rolls through and hundreds of thousands of students are heading to college, consider the one thing they’re not taking with them – a television. Most may not even bother with a desktop itself anymore since the iPad handles just about everything you need to do. What millennials do have with them are their mobile devices, their various tablets and smart phones. A StreamingMedia.com article by Troy Dreier quotes Joanne Waage, Senior VP of Business Development and Programming for MobiTV, who says this:
“I think that you have to be where people are, and you have to make a product that services the different screens based on what the expectation from that screen is…[and] Millennials are really untethered.”
‘Untethered’ is perhaps the best way to describe this group. Just as nomadic tribes in centuries past always carried their yurts with them, today’s untethered group is never without its smartphone.
A Nielsen infographic shares how 85% of Generation Y owns smartphones – that’s 85% of 77 million. US News adds to that in an article titled “Millennials Choose Mobile Phones over Toothbrush and Deodorant,” writing that “96 percent of millennials think their phones are the most important product in their daily lives.” In fact, it’s such a personal and relevant product, that if stranded on a desert island, a smartphone would be the one thing they’d want with them.
This is one of the reasons why Solomon feels that the “deeper implications” of a millennial mindset, at least for marketers, is that they should embrace what he calls an “omnichannel” presence. Solomon encourages marketers, “to stop defining the experience you offer a customer based on the customer’s initial choice of channel, only grudgingly, if at all, adding support from other channels. Instead, you should be taking a viewpoint that starts with the customer rather than the channel.”
The next question really comes down to targeting millennials on mobile. Of course, you can place ads on mobile and have mobile-friendly content. You can (and should) also create targeted content that millennials will prefer. But how do you create brand loyalty?
That question is answered by Chantal Tode, in a MobileMarketers.com article titled “How to Build Loyalty with Millennials on Mobile.” She quotes Robyn Hannah, VP of PR and Communications and PunchTab, who says, “Millennials trust brands less than they trust each other and regularly check user reviews before they make a purchase – sometimes right from your store. Make sure that user reviews are easy to find and share.” Tode also reference as a recent study by Punchtab that underscores the millennial reliance on social reviews. According to study, 58% of millennials check user reviews, 57% compare prices, and 24% seek opinions from their social network.
Pairing data with strategy to increase brand loyalty among mobile-reliant millennials, Tode offers a three-pronged recipe for mobile marketing success: (1) reward social behaviors, (2) offer hyper-targeted content, (3) and have a comprehensive strategy that connects millennials with each other through your brand.
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