Books? Archaic. Magazines? Old school. Advertisements in the newspaper? Please! Are we living in the Stone Age? Millennials have the world at their fingertips, 24/7, so you hardly ever see them with traditional mediums anymore. Even computers and laptops are being phased out by their smaller, more portable phone and tablet siblings. Hell, our phones today do about twice as much as the Communicators in Star Trek AND they fit in our pockets. Well they used to, at least. As our tech grows more and more terrifyingly advanced yet portable, traditional outbound marketing strategies are going the way of the humble VCR and rapidly losing their usefulness. Let's explore why that may be.
The name of the game is Instant Gratification , folks. Millennial marketing tactics need to impact audiences immediately and keep communication easy. Millennials don't have time to wait, and if something takes longer than they expect, they won't too impressed with you. I mean we live in a world where I can buy something on my phone and it will show up at my house later that day. WHAT. If you don't think that's wild, and a clear indicator that we live in the future, idk what to tell you. Millennials don't like waiting when they know they can get almost anything, immediately. None of this long term crap. If it isn't easily accessible, it isn't worth it. We even have more than one stream sites competing with Netflix for goodness sakes - everything is immediate, available from our phones and convenient. And if it isn't? Don't even think about it. "Old-media" advertising may snag an eye, plant an idea, or even get a one-time purchase, but converting leads into lifelong consumers is where the true success happens, and to do it right you need to update to an Inbound Marketing strategy. The world of marketing basically follows the Pirate Code from the Pirates of the Caribbean films... those who fall behind, get left behind.
So, how can your business tap into the power of Instant Gratification?
- Instant Research:
Millennials don't just "take your word for it." They research like they are going to write a thesis. That means when you call them or give them a pamphlet about your business, you can expect them to hop on their phones to ask around: ask Google, ask Siri, ask Alexa, text a friend, send out a group message, look up similar companies to compare, contact those companies with a "they offered me this, what do you have for me?" proposal, check, double-check, and triple-check reviews... Millennials are tireless when it comes to vetting potential business and saving money. How do you combat that? Get the information to them before they look around and talk to the wrong people, like your competitors. Know what information about your business is online, anticipate what info these prospective customers might find and answer their questions before they've even asked them. Find out their likes, dislikes, hobbies and obsessions (as a group that is, we don't officially condone stalking your prospects), then convince them on why they need you by providing content that helps them solve their problems. If you want to build trust, be sure to get amongst a variety of sources, folks are more trusting when they see your message echoed in many places.
- Instant Contact: If you receive a message, phone call or email from a prospect, you'd best respond in a matter of hours if not minutes if you want to keep their interest- millennials have an attention span that would put a particularly forgetful goldfish to shame. Heaven forbid you have a life outside of your business and are not available when they contact you! They will appreciate your immediate attention, but they will grumble if it takes you longer than 5 minutes to respond. A timely response shows you are easily accessible, you value them, and that you see them as more than a dollar sign. With old-school outbound advertising that just includes an attached email or phone number, millennials are left out in the cold. Alternatively, by using inbound marketing methods such as Social Media, they get a touch of human interaction and immediate attention to any concerns or questions they have. Important note though, that human contact can't come at the cost of slowing business- as we've established, when millennials want something, they want it now. As an added bonus, Social Media networks make the process
- Instant Time: Similar to what was touched on above, there is no constraint with "business hours." Not only can they contact you whenever they see fit, you can shoot them a "just checking in" message or a "I saw this and thought of you" article that relates to something they've expressed to you. You can keep the conversation going through many Inbound tactics, while old media would typically let the relationship grow stale. The only "business hours" you need to be conscious of is shipping, and that's a necessary evil we in Australia are well accustomed to dealing with.
The future of consumerism lies with Millennials. They are wrapped around their devices which are snuggled in their pocket or is cuddling their keys in their purse and it can be both a blessing and a curse to us marketers. While the long term pain, long term gain' is a concept that doesn't really resonate with millennials, it's not all doom and gloom for the marketing world! Instead, they just want an instant reward! Simplifying the decision making for millennials will only result in positive outcomes when targeting them. Delayed gratification isn't something that millennials take very well, and is a factor that needs to be considered strongly when fine-tuning your marketing efforts targeted at millennials. If it isn't instant gratification, forget it. If you're trying to work out how to sell more to millennials and you rely solely on advertisements in newspapers and magazines, the only young audience you may be reaching are potty-training puppies, and I doubt they're looking to make a purchase.