Millennials: 5 Ways to Convert the Most Coveted Consumer Segment in History

Millennials, those hyper connected consumers born from 1980-2000, are now responsible for generating $600 billion in sales revenue each year (Accenture). And in 2018 (that’s only 4 years away!) Millennial earnings are expected to outpace those of Baby Boomers (AdAge), driving the lionshare of market revenue across the globe.

So how do marketers effectively engage consumers who possess the digital prowess to tweet, text and talk at the same time? What’s the best way to establish relationships with customers who share social updates via their mobile phones while still in-store? And how do you grab the attention of users who have been inundated with billions of marketing messages each year since before they could talk?

Raised with direct and immediate access to information, brands, and fellow consumers, the Millennial generation is the first of its kind, and it’s now or never for marketers to start zeroing in on what it takes to move them through the purchase funnel. Here are 5 ways to engage, convert and retain the most coveted consumer segment in history.

1. Keep things easy and accessible.

Remember looking words up in actual dictionaries, or combing through the local library for research data? For just about as far back as Millennials can remember, those types of answers have only been a search bar away. There is no faster way to get Millennials to abandon your site or app than if it’s unnecessarily time-consuming or complicated. Reduce barrier to entry and streamline the registration process across desktop and mobile by allowing consumers to login with the click of a button via their existing social identities, and leveraging single sign-on for multiple web properties.

2. Personalize featured content.

As they share terabytes of personal data across mobile, social and digital channels, Millennials expect brands to know who they are, and will quickly tune out if they are presented with content, information, and products that don’t align with their real-time needs and interests. In fact, 25% of Millennials express irritation when they are targeted with irrelevant content (Campaigner). Marketers must implement databases that collect and aggregate consumer data across channels in a way that can be easily and strategically leveraged to personalize experiences.

3. Go beyond “mobile-friendly.”

Now that their grandparents are Skyping with them via iPad, Millennials are on to the next mobile frontier: commerce. According to Edelman, 41% of Millennials have made a purchase on a smartphone, and Google reported that there was a 28% increase in Millennials planning to make purchases via their smartphones in holiday 2013 (Marketing Land). Marketers looking to keep pace with this on-the-go generation must go beyond building mobile-friendly user experiences to streamlining the mobile conversion process with solutions like Google Wallet.

4. Empower valuable feedback.

Social marketing has given consumers direct, real-time access to their favorite brands, and Millennials take this privilege seriously: 70% consider it their responsibility to share feedback about brands, good or bad (AdAge). And in a world where they are constantly bombarded with ads and marketing messages, 67% of Millennials trust peer reviews more than expert reviews (Havas). Implementing Ratings and Reviews builds an interactive community of trust around your brand, and coupling this feature with Social Login ties consumer feedback to social identity, effectively validating and promoting quality user generated content.

5. Do something different.

At this point in the game, Millennials have seen just about everything, from location-based mobile alerts to items tagged with RFID chips that trigger interactive in-store shopping experiences. Brands that stand out from the pack are creating totally immersive user experiences that bridge channels and devices. One example of a brand that has leveraged this omni-channel approach to create transformative consumer experiences is KLM; its Meet & Seat mobile app allows participating fliers to choose seats next to each other based on their social media profiles.

As Millennials continue to overtake the consumer landscape, marketers must leverage the latest technology and invent groundbreaking strategies to effectively reach this one-of-a-kind generation with the most relevant, timely, and convenient experiences possible. Is this challenging? Yes – but just wait for Triennials.

By Rachel Serpa