New rules of customer engagement for Millennials

5 tips companies must start thinking about when marketing and selling to Millennials

mil 3By 2030, 75 percent of the global workforce will be made up of millennials, those born
somewhere between the 1980s and 2000s. By these numbers alone, it is imperative that companies realize that this generation has become the catalyst for the accelerated growth of technology in the world.

Millennials are the first generation to grow up immersed in an interactive, digital world. Using mobile and social technologies, immediately accessing data, ideas and inspiration and instantly communicating and collaborating is second nature for these digital natives. Companies should eagerly look for ways to embrace this generation’s knowledge of the digital world, as they have never known an environment that was not available at the touch of their fingertips.

The multi-generational workforce now contains employees of all ages, who are complex individuals, especially with a work environment that’s becoming more virtual and diverse every day. The traditional way of marketing is no longer appealing when dealing with this younger, tech savvy digital generation of millennials. So whether a company is conducting onboarding work training or trying to acquire this generation as customers, here are five tips that are fundamental to engaging millennials.

Mobile is the Movement
With smartphones and tablets never out of reach, millennials are leading the trend toward increased digital engagement. (It is estimated that there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices by 2016, surpassing the human population.) These numbers indicate that this digital generation of consumers will dominate and that companies must adapt quickly. Millennials expect a cross platform, seamless online experience, regardless of the device they’re using.

Brief is Beautiful
Communicating briefly is increasingly more important, as millennials attention spans shrink. Shorter attention spans are having a profound impact on marketers because they have to work harder to win and sustain attention. There’s a false perception that the millennial generation has the attention span of a gnat; it is that they have been trained to digest a high frequency of information.

Social Media Channels are Essential
Social Media is all about people connecting with other people, not companies marketing to people. As a generation that was brought up with the evolution of technology, it is vital to the success of a company to interact with millennials through social media. Utilizing this form of communication is an opportunity to put a human face on the company, and to connect in a more direct way with people at prospective companies. The more relevant the content posted is, the more likely a company will engage with the Gen Y generation. Social media marketing can be challenging in capturing this generation’s attention if companies are not following the popular trends or posting interesting content

Value-Based over Price-Based Selling
The value of a service or product outweighs the price for the millennial generation. These products and services should create a solution for a genuine customer pain point or opportunity. Millennials are more intrigued by value-based selling over price-based selling because they are already 57% percent of the way through the buying cycle prior to engaging with a sales representative. Millennials know that they can find the answers to all product questions on the web so they conduct all their research prior to reaching out and essentially want to know what business driver companies can move for them, i.e. cost, time, win rates, etc., not how their solutions work or why they’re better.

Appeal to the Senses
Millennials are looking for that interactive experience that appeals to their senses. The sensory dimension must involve the millennials touch, vision, audio, smell and taste to create that engagement to keep them feeling involved in what is being offered. A company’s product or service must create an emotional response or draw a connection to the experience. Creating that emotional connection to a company will not only lure customers in initially, but will also keep them coming back for more.

The new rules of engagement for millennials are that they desire the opportunities to interact virtually with products and brands via mobile, and through social channels, have their voices heard, and have personal, timely, and straightforward communication about their concerns and experiences.

Read the full version of this byline on CustomerThink.

About Kristy Pauloski

Marketing Professional and MBA graduate from Salve Regina University.
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