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Research and insights on marketing to millennials

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“Millennials.” You’ve heard the term thrown around for years, but who are they really? And why should we care about them?

Making up one third of the global population, millennials are the future of your customer base. They like to spend money, and predictions place their expenditure surpassing Baby Boomers by 2018!

In our latest Jack POV, Leading the Millennial Generation, we uncover who millennials are, what’s important to them, and why they matter to your business. Learn the 5 principles you need to engage this influential and growing generation.

Publicado en: Marketing

Research and insights on marketing to millennials

  1. 1. Leading the Millennial Generation 1 Leading the millennial generation –
  2. 2. Leading the Millennial Generation 2 Introduction – Millennials. The generation that doesn’t know life before mobile phones, broadband and CDs. The generation that has grown up on social media and think the word “Google” has always been in the dictionary. The generation used to easy access, fast replies, and YouTube celebrities. The term “millennial” has been thrown around for years (in addition to “Generation Y” “Generation Next” “Gen Now” even “Screenagers”—Ugh!), but who are they really? And, as marketers, why should we care about them? This POV will answer some of the questions you have about this fascinating generation. We’ll give you a basic overview of who they are, help explain some of the elements that make them very different to previous generations, and talk around some engagement rules, sharing key learnings that we’ve picked up over the past few years, to help maximize your interactions with the “millennial generation.” James Bennett Senior Creative Strategist Gen Y Stacey Zhang Associate Strategist Gen Y The term “millennial” has been thrown around for years (in addition to “Generation Y” “Generation Next” “Gen Now” even “Screenagers”— Ugh!), but who are they really? And, as marketers, why should we care about them?
  3. 3. Leading the Millennial Generation 3 What is a “Millennial“ anyway? – Officially, the term “millennials” was coined in 1987 by sociologists, Neil Howe and William Strauss, designed to refer to anyone born between 1982 and the turn of the millennium. Generation Y may be a term that you’re used to hearing—quite simply designed to emphasize a notable difference in mentality and action from the generation prior. These kids (and they are kids) are in their formative years. They’re currently forging who they are and what they stand for—as we try and ‘label’ them. 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Generation Alpha 2012 – ??? Generation Z 1995 – 2012 Generation Y 1980s – 2000 Generation X Generation X 1960s – 1980s
  4. 4. Leading the Millennial Generation 4 NGY (Next Generation Youth) – Because of the confusion between various terms, and because even the term “millennials” is still vague, we’ll focus on the term “Next Generation Youth” or NGY—a consolidation of all of the key learnings/traits that we’re seeing in the younger age groups. This age group is more demanding, cynical, and savvy of marketing/advertising than any before. Gen Y + Gen Z = NGY (Next Generation Youth)
  5. 5. Leading the Millennial Generation 5 13 million in the UK 80 million in the US 200 million in Africa 400 million in China Millennial populationWhy should we care about them? Quite simply, they’re the future of your customer base. And they show some interesting traits that are vastly different to the generations before them. These traits affect the way that they think, interact, behave, and spend. As a general overview, they like to spend money, and predictions place their expenditure surpassing Baby Boomers by 2018 (that’s less than three years away!). And they’re all far more globally connected than any other generation before.1 $ *
  6. 6. Leading the Millennial Generation 6 Not all the same! As we mentioned before, these teens are in their formative years. And realizing the ramifications of this has been one of the hardest lessons that we’ve had to learn over the past years. As NGY embrace, adapt, and move with technologies and platforms, we too have to readdress how we interact and help them participate. Campaigns need to have a considerably smaller learning loop. No longer can we wait until the very end of a campaign to collect learnings. Instead we need to listen, watch, connect, and crucially react in timeframes nearer to how they would. NGY are constantly growing, changing, exploring, and expressing themselves— trying to define themselves as individuals. As a consequence, communications need to be assessed on a channel by channel basis regularly. For example, television commercials tend to become white noise in comparison with more interactive experiences on mobile devices.
  7. 7. Leading the Millennial Generation 7 Global turmoil – It’s sad but true that the backdrop for NGY could be described as a little more bleak than prior generations, with global warming, terrorism, and rippling economic issues being a part of their everyday lives. Even away from these global issues, there are other issues that affect them: a social life that is increasingly stitched into the fabric of the internet, allowing peers to see deeper into their personal lives. And, they’re increasingly exposed to the realities of the world at a young age, despite their development. This is what they know and what has/is/will form them as a generation. 7 million 2015 university graduates in China—all time high. 27% in Beijing and 30% in Shanghai have jobs lined up—all time low.2
  8. 8. Leading the Millennial Generation 8 Digital natives – Remember the sound of a modem connecting? This noise will mean nothing to NGY. The internet has revolutionized so much in our lifetimes, but in theirs, it’s an expected foundation. They’ve been able to video chat and swap pictures in an instant as long as they can remember. Social Media is a daily part of their lives, and they enjoy being able to get a large amount of their entertainment on their own time, and on the devices they want. When this doesn't happen, or when a service creates too much friction for their interaction, they’re not interested. Many people often mistake this behavior for a sense of entitlement, but it’s simply the result of growing up in a world that offers more choices and possibilities than ever before at the swipe of a finger. Personalization and customization are expected in all products and services, to allow NGY to interact as their needs, interests, and tastes change. And innovation isn’t something they celebrate – it’s something they expect. $9.3 billion* How much Alibaba, China's online retail giant, made in one day during their latest Singles' Day Sales.3 * 43% of those purchases were made on a mobile device.
  9. 9. Leading the Millennial Generation 9 How to engage them? – So, now that we know who they are and of their importance, how should marketers approach millennials and turn them into our customers and biggest brand advocates? There are five things to remember... Be brave. Fail fast. 1 Data is free. 2Be authentic, or don't bother. 3 Have a legitimate purpose. 4Participation is key. 5
  10. 10. Leading the Millennial Generation 10 Be brave. Fail fast. 1As Digital Natives, NGY are used to the disposability of advertising. Even their own lives are shared in disposable formats. From Twitter and Weibo updates that become immediately lost in an infinite timeline, to the self-destructing media of Snapchat, Wickr, and FeiFei. Innovation is expected and NGY respond to brands that are willing to try new things, play with technologies, and challenge the expected. They have also grown with these technologies, and have had to leap in and understand the rules of the game as they go. They seek mentors and create/ learn the specific social politics at each level later. Companies and brands that replicate these traits are the ones that millennials will feel a connection to. You won’t get it “right” every time, but the important thing is that you’ll be seen as trying. However, this doesn’t give you carte blanche to do stupid things! There’s one thing to experiment and innovate, quite another to be stupid, lazy, or sloppy. Getting it wrong for these reasons will be damaging— especially at the speed of Social Media. So be intrepid, and be prepared to fail. When you do, pick yourself up and go again—it’s the NGY way.
  11. 11. Leading the Millennial Generation 11 Data is free. 2Google, Baidu, Duck Duck Goose— depending on where you are (and whatever your preference), getting answers to questions is a fairly easy process (albeit not always correct!) within just a few clicks. But with search engines, online forums, more interactive websites with deep databases, and faster, easier interfaces, any answer to pretty much any question can be found. And it works both ways. Demographics on this target are easier to obtain now than ever before thanks to the incredible amount of information shared on social media sites.
  12. 12. Leading the Millennial Generation 12 Be authentic, or don't bother. 3NGY are considerably more in tune with modern advertising efforts. As a consequence, they are considerably harder to surprise and engage. They will immediately sense insincerity and discrepancies in campaigns and across communication touchpoints. When launching a campaign, take a broader view on the mix of marketing communications you’re planning. Make sure that you’re speaking in one voice—the brand voice— and maintaining genuineness and authenticity. NGY see the brands that they align with as extensions of themselves, and they are particular about which brands they allow into their lives.
  13. 13. Leading the Millennial Generation 13 Have a legitimate purpose. 4Philanthropy is an area that indexes highly with NGY. And more so the younger generations of NGY (think Gen Z) than the older (80’s born, Gen Y). The credit crunch and the following fallout arrived almost on point with NGY hitting the workplace. Having seen the effect of these, it’s no wonder that they feel that they can do better to make a difference in the world that they’re growing up in. Success stories can be seen in companies such as TOMS and its “One for One” giving model, tying an easily identified benefit to a purchase; something that the company has successfully expanded from footwear, to eyewear, to coffee. 85% of millennials correlate their purchasing decisions and their willingness to recommend a brand to the social good efforts a company is making.4
  14. 14. Leading the Millennial Generation 14 Participation is key. 5Five minutes of fame is of no concern for NGY. Instead, they see their presence online as a brand in itself that needs to be managed closely. In their eyes they are content creators and are to be heard continuously online. However, with such a high amount of communications (all demanding their attention), NGY are remarkably adept at filtering the white noise of advertising out from their consciousness. So, driving their engagement effectively isn’t done best in the current tried and tested methods. Television commercials (unless big-budget) and email shots don’t have a notable effect on NGY. Instead, their attention is focused online, where levels of interaction are considerably higher, and again—on their terms— available to access when they wish, on multiple devices. You need to create something that encourages NGY to get involved, and actually gives them power to affect something, for them to become emotionally connected. Cultivate higher response rates by creating experiences that stitch both online and offline together, making something that NGY will care about: experiences that capture their imagination and that they can explore and share, on their terms, with their friends.
  15. 15. Leading the Millennial Generation 15 Talk to us – Contact Peter Sun VP, Brand Marketing peter_sun@jackmorton.com Read our blog at jackmorton.com/blog Follow us on twitter @jackmorton Visit us online at jackmorton.com 1 U K – G e n e r a t i o n Y U. S . C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e Fo u n d a t i o n. “ T h e M i l l e n n i a l G e n e r a t i o n Re s e a r c h Re v i e w ” A f r i c a – U N .o r g. “A f r i c a’s y o u t h: a “t i c k i n g t i m e b o m b ” o r a n o p p o r t u n i t y ? ” C h i n a – Ec o n s u l t a n c y. “ S t a t e o f Ec o m m e r c e i n C h i n a ." 2 M a r ke t Wa t c h. “M i l l e n n i a l s a r e t h e M o s t U n d e r e m p l o y e d G e n e r a t i o n.” 3 B B C n e w s, “A l i b a b a’s S i n g l e s’ D a y S a l e s E x c e e d P r e d i c t i o n s a t $9. 3b n.” 4 S o c i a l l y G o o d B u s i n e s s, “M i l l e n n i a l s – T h e N e x t G e n e r a t i o n o f C o n s u m e r s .” About Jack Morton We’re a global brand experience agency. We generate breakthrough ideas, connecting brands and people through experiences that transform business. Our portfolio of award-winning work spans 75 years across event marketing, sponsorship marketing, promotion and activation, experience strategy, employee engagement, digital, social, and mobile. Ranked at the top of our field, Jack Morton is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG). More information is available at: www.jackmorton.com or @jackmorton © Jack Morton Worldwide 2015

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