Posted by: Marsha Nix

Selling to Millennials

Also known as Gen Y Born around 1981 to 1996, Millennials are in the age range of 25 to 40.  They are one of the 6 generations you are selling …

Posted by: Marsha Nix

Selling to Millennials

Also known as Gen Y Born around 1981 to 1996, Millennials are in the age range of 25 to 40.  They are one of the 6 generations you are selling …

Also known as Gen Y

Born around 1981 to 1996, Millennials are in the age range of 25 to 40.  They are one of the 6 generations you are selling to.  Each generation has its unique attributes, and each has some specific emotional components that you need to understand when marketing to them.

Understanding each audience helps us craft the right message on the right channels, and a deep demographic dive is especially important if young people comprise a big portion of the audience you market to.  For marketers and business owners, understanding the nuances and personality quirks of each generation is part of the fun — and part of the challenge.

Only 50.5% of Millennials say they are particularly loyal to a certain brand. It should come as no surprise considering how e-commerce has widened their choices, along with various price comparison tools and special deal websites that are competing for their attention.

With an estimated purchasing power of about $600 billion, Millennials don’t rush into spending all their dollars with one brand. So, how can you build an effective sales funnel for this crowd?

Read on to get to know the essential pillars of success for such an endeavor.

  1. Understand how Millennials communicate.  Showing them a standard ad with a smiley face and catchy slogan won’t make you a sale. The decisive factor for a Millennial purchase is a personal recommendation from friends/family or social proof generated by their peers and information found online.

You need to think about how you can tap into the existing private conversations if you want to spread your brand. The Center for Generational Kinetics has discovered that Millennials prefer to communicate in this order:

  • Texts and texting apps like WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn
  • Email line (the subject line is very important here)
  • Social media
  • Phone calls
  • In-person interactions

Keep this hierarchy in mind both when outlining your sales and marketing funnel, and when you think of customer support as well. Self-help portals can not only reduce the overall customer service costs but improve customer satisfaction rates as well.

  1. Offer help instead of a sales pitch. Millennials have all the tools and time they need to make a purchase decision. They can analyze your brand from head to toe, find all the dirty laundry on social media and other blogs and keep comparing the prices even when they are literally standing at your storefront.

So, how do you retain their attention and loyalty? Turn your brand into a helpful resource.

Saying that your product is the best out there or that it is the cheapest one will get you nowhere– a Millennial won’t just buy into that or can easily prove the opposite with a quick Google search. Instead, you should focus on educating your customer as to why your product is the best possible option for them specifically. Pet their ego. Talk about their unique pain problems and how your company can help them solve them. This strategy is universally applicable to any kind of product or service out there:

  • They don’t know what to wear for a graduation party. Show what outfit their peers are into.
  • They don’t know how to buy a house. Create a detailed guide explaining all the paperwork involved.
  • They want to choose some new wall paint. Teach them about various toxic components to watch out for.
  • They need to buy printing.  Help them understand the process and give them ideas that make their job easier.

Millennials have higher expectations for customer service and the customer experience — and they’ll pony up the cash for it. In one recent survey by Salesforce, 66% of Millennials said their standard for the customer experience was higher than ever.

Deliver value and get your brand spread by what is called a “second customer”- people who may not have purchased your products yet but fell in love with what you are doing and trumpet the horn for you all the time on social media and other platforms.

3.  Blend in the emotional component.  Millennials care deeply about more things than other generations– economic inequality, animal rights, water contamination, recycling, and a bunch of other socially important causes.  Millennials were an optimistic generation that’s often seen as being pandered to by parents and adults in their lives. Evidence: the proverbial millennial participation trophy.

Do you think the Starbucks Red Cup controversy was ever possible if not for millennials who love to voice their opinions? Gathering them to rally for a similar cause and bonding over it is another smart move to win their affection. This could be played two ways:

  • Through storytelling Don’t be afraid to get personal and spill your heart out. It could be a rant. It could be a personal issue that deeply affected you. It could be a “learning from my mistakes” kind of post. Give your brand a distinctly human face that consumers can easily relate to.
  • Choose a cause you’ll stand by.  Obviously; you shouldn’t just pick one for the sake of raising profits. Fakery is a killer for your brand, and if you get busted with this– there’s no route back. So, choose something you really care about and wish to support.
  1. Be transparent. Brand transparency may be much more important to a Millennial than you think. According to the latest research from Label Insight, 94% of respondents said they would act more loyal towards a brand if they promoted absolute brand transparency.

Everyone is tired of ads offering them the magic pill. With dynamic pricing, social media retargeting, and other smart marketing tactics, consumers are constantly feeling chased and duped by ads.

Millennial moms are particularly leading this change as 86% of them admitted that they don’t mind paying more for a completely transparent food product. In fact, up to 73% of surveyed consumers don’t mind paying more if the manufacturer discloses everything on the label.

  • 37% are okay with paying 1%-10%
  • 16% will cash out for extra 11%-25%
  • 10% will pay a whopping 26%-50% more for a completely transparent product.

So, what exactly goes into the demands for brand transparency?

  • The company provides a complete list of all the ingredients.
  • The company enlists respectable certifications and claims.
  • The company clearly states how the products are produced, handled, and sourced.
  • The company offers a list of known allergens.

Apart from the obvious food/cosmetics industry, the transparency card could be played for almost any niche.

For service-based providers that stands for disclosing all the involved processing/recurring fees well before the checkout; clearly outlining terms and conditions in plain English and being transparent about the kind of customer data they collect and store.

  1. Keep your sales pitch short and sweet.  Millennials do their business and life chores on the go from smartphones. Their attention is constantly torn apart by various updates, notifications, and phone buzzes.

If you fail to deliver “what’s in it for them” from the very first line, you may never get a second chance. Good marketing slogans are important, but not in the way they used to be, a.k.a. to show how great you are. Instead, yet again, they should immediately convey what value is in it for the customer and entice the user to slow down and pay attention to what you are going to say.

Let’s take a few popular ones as an example:

  • GoPro: “If life is a dream, then why not see it as one.”
  • Freshbooks: “Small business accounting software designed for you”
  • Converse: “Make your mark”

Selling to Millennials is easier than you think as long as you are capable of tapping into their mindset and accepting the motives behind their decisions. The hard-core advertising era is coming to an end–today you need to put a bit more effort into your sales funnel to win over the Millennial’s mind.

What are your thoughts on selling to millennials?  Are you a millennial?  Would love to share you thoughts and ideas.