Hey! Welcome back to the 3XM Blog. We’ve got a great one lined up for you today! We’re going to be talking all about marketing to millennials.
But before we start, be sure you’re up to date with all of our marketing tips. We’ve got some great recent posts on blogging, Google analytics and most recently on creating an effective buyer persona. Check them out and let us know what you think.
OK, shameless plug over! Let’s get started.
First off, we’ll have a look at what we mean when we say “millennial”.
What is a millennial?
The definition of a millennial is pretty loose. It generally includes anyone born between roughly 1980–2000. Obviously this is a vast berth of people so feel free to narrow the parameters based on your needs.
Basically, millennials are anyone who came to adulthood in the first decade or so of the 21st century.
Millennials, or Generation Y, have long been assigned certain characteristics – they’re lazy, narcissistic and selfish. But, seeing as the term covers such a broad range of people it would be careless to attribute characteristics to the group as a whole!
So, let’s focus on what we do know!
Difference Between Gen Y and Gen X
We know that in the UK they make up a whopping 13.8 million of the population. They are the largest generation in world history!
We know that they differ greatly from the previous generations (Generation X, 1960-1980; Baby Boomers, 1940s-1960). They are the first generation to grow up in the digital world and so, they inevitably live a digital life.
It’s not a surprise to hear that they live their life on social media. In fact, a business that neglects it’s online presence runs the risk of being invisible to this group!
Their habits have also changed. They value a healthy and active life. They also marry and have kids later than previous generations.
So, what are they doing with this spare time?
Well, many are in university.
Gen Y are the most educated generation. It’s estimated that up to a third of millennials aged 26 and up have achieved at least a bachelor’s degree.
So what does this mean for your business?
Well Gen Y are the biggest spenders in the modern world and a millennial’s buying habits are fully ingrained with their digital life. They also came of age during a recession and this undoubtedly affects their process.
They are price conscious without being frugal and big spenders without being lavish!
How to market to millennials
Millennials have some key characteristics when it comes to brand research and buying. Let’s go through them.
First of all, as we mentioned earlier, they are a digital generation, and they are social media buffs!
They are very much a social generation with social media embedded deeply into almost every aspect of their lives. From interacting with friends to making a purchase, Gen Y lives a digital life, they spend an enormous amount of time online.
It is therefore imperative that your business has a strong presence on social media with paid advertising campaigns to attract new business.
Research has shown that Gen Y are more likely to trust a brand that has a strong social media presence. They key here is to produce content that is both relevant and unique.
See, this generation has seen it all in terms of advertising. They want a brand that is interactive and willing to adapt to their customer. If you’re not donating some real time to improving your social media presence you really do run the risk of losing out on customers.
You need to make them feel special. Gen Y love to feel a personal connection and crave exclusivity. They care much more about the “experience” than previous generations. They are also emotionally charged and tend to make decisions on the spot.
Social media can also be a wonderful source of referrals from happy clients when they share your work on social media. More than previous generations millennials pay attention to what their friends are doing. A recommendation or referral within this group carries enormous weight. A shoot or album shared online could be the reason you get your next piece of business.
Millennial brand loyalty
Given their short attention span, it is a common myth that Gen Y just hop from brand to brand looking for the best offer, they are actually surprisingly loyal. Loyalty rewards are a big incentive and nearly half of Gen Y are willing to promote products, brands and services through social media in exchange for rewards.
This is where branding really comes into play. How you present your business makes the world of difference to millennials. In today’s digital age the world is a much smaller place. Everything your company does needs to be on brand and be the best representation of itself.
One last thing about millennials
They’re trendsetters. They’re much more likely to be early adopters of new products. And this doesn’t go unnoticed. Generation Y play a key role in influencing their peers, inspiring Gen Z and influencing the different generations before them when it comes to brands and buying.
Millennials and Photography
Ok, by now you have a decent understanding of millennials. So let’s take a look at how you can apply this information to your everyday photography business.
Our research has shown that people, particularly this generation, like physical objects. They may be the most tech savvy crew but they see the digital aspect of a package as just a given. The real tangible object is something that triggers their emotions and makes them feel special.
The most successful photographers use this knowledge to design their sales process which always includes a print viewing.
The impact of touching, feeling and interacting with printed images should not be underestimated. Once the prints are in your client’s hands, it will be very difficult for them to leave them behind.
You’re far more likely to get the sale when you present your photos in this way versus showing them on screen. Having said that, many photographers also include a video slideshow to music or some behind the scenes footage of the shoot during the viewing session. This is a perfect emotional primer prior to showing the prints.
Have a go and see what works best for you!
So there we have it.
Millennials are a wide and varied bunch. They account for a massive percentage of the population and simply can’t be ignored. They’re a unique entity and so your marketing must be unique also.
It may be the digital age but millennials are still drawn to the physical. They want to create memories. It’s your job to make sure they create them with you!
As always, thank you for reading. We’d love to hear from you, so if you’ve got any questions on millennial marketing be sure to get in touch.
Some of this information first appeared in our brand new EBook, How to Increase your Sales. Download it here and give it a read!