Thursday, February 5, 2015

Keep It Personal

We are Millennials, hear us … text. And tweet. And snap. While I still look back nostalgically at a time when cell phones were only “for emergencies” and researching involved opening a book, I know I am the typical, technology dependent Millennial girl. Known as the “always connected” generation, Millennials or Generation Y born between 1980 and 1999, make up the largest generation group in history. We’re a challenge to market to due to the size and diversity of our group, along with our identifying attributes that include short attention spans, extreme self-confidence and highly personalized demands. But we also represent strong purchasing power. Successful brands need to take notice and adjust their strategies to reach us.

In a recent Forbes interview, SDL Chief Marketing Officer Paige O’Neill lays out a few recommendations for how marketers can better leverage the size and potential of Milliennials.

1. Focus on experience. As Millennials, we create our own brand experiences instead of waiting for the next marketing campaign. A shift from the traditional “campaign” approach to a focus on the customer experience will help break through the personal junk filter.

2. Show greater transparency. Trust is of huge importance. If brands show how consumer data is collected and use it to offer more customized content or provide a benefit in return, Millennials feel stronger loyalty. It’s all about personalization.

3. Use an omni-channel strategy. We want tailored communication and we want it across all channels. If you engage with your customers on Facebook, we want to see that engagement through the ad you run on Spotify, in your weekly email blast and around the Internet through retargeting.

4. Be relevant to the individual. We’ve always known brands need to understand the behaviors of their target audience. But with Millennials, understanding the journey is key to unlocking a successful marketing strategy. The tools we leave behind – email address, IP address, browsing history, device type and location – will help reach Millennials across channels and personalize the content to individual preferences.

A lot is still left to be seen about the Millennial generation as we enter our forties and beyond. Will we be great money savers? Will our social libertarian outlook fuel significant policy change? As Generation Z enters the mix, how will the workforce change for us? Regardless of the future, to reach us today, marketers need to remember content is king and “keep it personal.”