Why Millennials are important
It is no secret that brands and retailers are clamouring for Millennials’ attention, as this generation’s growing buying power continues to be felt. At the same time Millennials are reshaping the offers and discount landscape, but inspiring ongoing loyalty and repeat custom from this generation presents a range of challenges to businesses.
Millennials interact with brands in new and unique ways, leading businesses to examine their strategies in order to engage with Millennial attitudes, priorities and preferences. The list of Millennial behaviours influencing brands and trends is expansive, but two should be of particular interest to marketing decision makers.
Millennials are digital natives. They expertly communicate and navigate across a range of platforms and being online for them is as natural as it is fundamental. According to a recent Deloitte report[i], in 2015, 90 per cent of 18-24 year olds in the UK owned smartphones, and 84 per cent owned laptops. In this environment, ensuring a strong presence on relevant and appropriate channels is more than good practice for brands and retailers – it is a necessity.
The key to success, however, does not rest in the number of “likes” a business, promotion or an offer garners. Millennials are a generation that conduct a considerable, and previously unprecedented, portion of their personal and professional relationships online, and they expect brands to reach out and engage them in direct and meaningful ways. Personalised, tailored engagement in a conversation, where brands actively court them online rather than maintain a passive presence, seems to be key.
Those brands that are proactive in their approach as well as responsive to the demands of their customers are best placed to be rewarded with loyalty – a one-size-fits-all approach to offers simply won’t cut it anymore.
The power of reviews
Given the sheer number of online resources at their disposal, it is little wonder that Millennials are adept at using a broad spectrum of online resources to research a product or an offer before committing to it. Unlike older generations, their first instinct is to turn to blogs, social media platforms and customer reviews to help make up their minds while they shop. A report by the Boston Consulting Group[ii] found that Millennial consumers are more than twice as likely to use mobile devices to read reviews and research products while shopping than their non-Millennial counterparts – 50 per cent versus 21 per cent.
There are two key reasons why Millennials value peer reviews and opinions: they help identify products that are authentic in so far as they are the ‘real deal’ and deliver exactly what is promised, but also to help sift through often hundreds of products on offer to find the one best suited to their needs. With this in mind, marketers must ensure their offers are constructed and targeted in a way that will stand up to this close scrutiny.
The significance and reliance of customers on exchanging knowledge cannot be underestimated as it highlights a craving for insight and information. Successful brands therefore recognise this need and use measurable insights to provide tailored offers that accurately reflect the demands and priorities of their customer demographic. Once again, creating communities and ongoing conversations seem to be the key to building the communities which help deliver success.
Millennial behaviours, attitudes and expectations are transforming the way companies interact with customers. Now more than ever, offers must be insight-driven and closely targeted to help deliver and leverage long-term engagement. At American Express, we want to help Millennials access the deals which matter to them, and work with businesses to create a personalised offers experience, delivered in way which is responsive to the needs of this ultra connected, ultra mobile generation.
For more information on Amex Offers please visit: createamexoffers.co.uk
Dan Edelman, VP Marketing, American Express