Millennial Principle - The Shopping ExperienceYour own 2017 New Year’s Resolutions are in full swing. I know – you’ve already lost those 10 pounds.  Keep it up! However, there’s still time for your business to shape up.  And one of the best things you can do for your business’ fitness is to learn how to market better to the Millennial generation this upcoming year.  As the fastest growing population in the United States, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers, and will continue to grow in numbers throughout 2017. Due to the shift in numbers, you can expect changes in how marketers are able to reach this generation, and what will keep them coming back for more. With a little reflection on Social Media Today’s article, Marketing to Millennials in 2017: 5 Things to Change in Your Business, here are our tips to keep up with this fast moving generation:

Throw What You Know About Sales & Marketing Out the Window

Well, maybe not out the window, but definitely put some of your past ideas about marketing aside. As consumers, it is estimated that U.S. Millennials will spend approximately $10 trillion in their lifetime. 2017 is the year they start becoming real consumers in the industries across the country. Millennials want your product or service, but they just don’t want to work hard to find it. So how do you reach them? How do you make them want to choose your product or company? And how can you keep them coming back for more?. Make it easy for them to want to do business with you. Things like creating an on-line chat for problems; having a site that is as easy as possible to use on-the go, or even rebranding all together, are just a few fresh ideas to keep your company on the forefront of the minds of Millennials.

Use Social Media, Duh.

Millennials use social media.  You knew that.  In fact 90 percent of them do and a third of that number say it is their preferred channel to communicate with businesses. So you post to Twitter about your company, and you post pictures on your Facebook, you’re good, right? Wrong. Social media for Millennials means conversation. They want you to engage with them through these channels. Post questions for your followers to respond to. Do a trivia question about your product or service, offering a free giveaway of your product to the winners. Reply to mentions. I know it can be time-consuming, but if this generation feels like you care about them, they are going to show your company some love in return. Lastly, keep it fresh. Change your background, update your cover photo, make it interesting and exciting for people to visit your social media outlets. Side note, there is nothing Millennials love more than a cute picture of a puppy with your product.  Just sayin’.

Offer an Entire Experience

If you are selling abroad trip experiences for college students, this is easy for you. If you are selling consumer products, it may be a lot more difficult. However, finding ways to make your product a total experience can help your product take off in the eyes of Millennials. Over 75 percent of Millennials say that they would rather buy an engaging experience rather than a product. So, you want to make your product into more of an experience.  But, how do you do so? Create an experience on your website. That may be as simple as making it easy to get through the purchasing process.  I know personally, when I go on to a website to buy a product, if it’s easy to find, I buy.  If  not, I close the tab and look elsewhere for that product. Millennials are looking for interesting websites that show them something different. So if you are using those cookie-cutter designs, it is time to go Picasso on your website and give it a fresh face.

Also, although it is a popular thought that Millennials only shop online, they have not totally strayed away from shopping in stores. Creating a fun engaging atmosphere in a brick and mortar store still intrigues us.  Think about Jordan’s Furniture for example. This New Haven furniture retailer has actually built a giant adult playscape in their store.  They have created an entire experience around selling products in their stores. Their experiences are not only fun and unique, but they tailor to a broad spectrum of people. You want this generation to feel like they aren’t just shopping for something, but that they are also having fun doing it. And, if it’s really fun, we’ll not only keep coming back to shop, but we’ll bring our friends along for the ride next time.

Think Outside the Box

Tailoring to all 81 million Millennials all at once isn’t possible. Millennials are considered the most diverse generation in the country, which means that even if your product isn’t for everybody, it most likely is for somebody in this category. Often times, marketers spend a majority of their time trying to reach too many people, instead of solidifying their target market. Eighty percent of Millennials say that they wouldn’t use a product without reading reviews on it beforehand. This is why finding new, creative ways to separate your brand from the pack is crucial for drawing in this generation. Millennials want to be able to relate to your brand., They want to be able to picture themselves using your product or service. For example, last summer, L’Oreal made a Snapchat filter where you could give yourself “cat eyes,” a type of eyeliner look. This was a fun and innovative way for a person to see what one of their products might actually look like on. Whatever you decide to do to reach out to your target market, make it something they will remember. Now the last thing to do is to solidify your market, and go get em’ tiger.Millennials are asking, without telling marketers that they want this to be the year of creativity. We want more engagement with our favorite companies. We want you to separate yourself from the pack. We want to be offered experiences in addition to our favorite products. And ultimately, this will make us want to choose you.

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