3 Simple Strategies to Attract Millennials
It’s official: Millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the United States. With spending power of over $600 billion annually, retail marketers must figure out now more than ever how to capture attention, garner brand loyalty and, ultimately, drive purchases. However, with customers bombarded with more marketing messages in more channels than ever, what are the best ways to reach this critical demographic?
“Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse,” a study from Quad/Graphics that tracks millennial consumer shopping habits and media preferences, offers the following three strategies for retailers to engage millennials where, when and how they prefer.
1. Be visible in print advertising. While millennials are infamous for their time spent engaging with digital media, the reality is they don't ignore print. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the study was that millennials pay greater attention to traditional print advertisements than digital advertisements. Eighty-two percent read direct mail from retail brands, and 44 percent want to receive advertising inserts from retail stores on a weekly basis. Compare this to the digital space, where nearly 50 percent of surveyed millennials say they ignore advertisements online, and 45 percent ignore text message advertising. Print creates an emotional connection and leaves a greater impression on the brain. As such, it should be used to stand out from the typical and expected digital advertising clutter.
2. Make multichannel campaigns mobile friendly. In this day and age, digital elements are critical to any successful marketing campaign. It's no longer optional. Now the expectation is that the elements of a retailer’s campaign (e.g., emails, digital coupons, websites, etc.) will be accessible from a mobile phone at every step of the shopper’s journey. According to the study’s findings, 46 percent of millennials use mobile devices to research the products they're purchasing. When it’s time to buy, 37 percent of the surveyed millennials used their mobile device to show coupons when making a purchase in-store. Mobile devices as a marketing medium play an important role in the overall shopping experience. Furthermore, 57 percent of millennials read retail store email offers, with a quarter checking email by mobile device and another 21 percent using multiple methods. Marketers can grab attention with print and assist shoppers by making sure that those messages are mobile friendly, enabling millennials to redeem offers online through trackable discounts and mobile coupons.
3. Leverage loyalty data, personalization and custom offers. Simply put, millennials expect their favorite brands to reward them for their purchases and to offer them incentives to make future purchases. Thirty-eight percent of millennials use loyalty cards every time they shop, and 34 percent will open an email if it's from a brand’s loyalty rewards program. Millennials in particular look for rewards on their birthdays or incentives such as cash back or a gift card toward future purchases. The more personal the offer, the better. Customize imagery, content and messaging for millennials based on their behaviors and preferences to increase brand engagement and ultimately inspire action.
To deliver a successful campaign, retail marketers must combine all three of these strategies together to positively break through to the millennial shopper.
Linda Antos is market development analyst at Quad/Graphics. Linda can be reached at Linda.Antos@qg.com.
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Linda Antos is a market development analyst at Quad/Graphics. Reach her at Linda.Antos@qg.com.