At The Movers and Storers Show in November, Charlotte Parslow, Director of Animo Events, took a look at what movers can do to sell to millennials: anyone born between 1981 and 2000, sometimes called Generation Y, or the ‘connected’ generation: they are the customers of the future. Just as baby boomers have driven markets since the 1950s, so the millennials are the ones calling the shots today.
In theory, getting your message through to millennials should be easy. According to Charlotte, they spend an average of 25 hours a week on their phones, and that’s after they finish work. Apparently, 87% of them have their phones turned on all the time. And, as millennials represent one quarter of the population, that’s a lot of air time in which to get in front of a lot of people.
Charlotte said that millennials are impatient, informal, confident, questioning, collaborative, self-absorbed (that’s why they take so many selfies), inclusive and tolerant of others. They are also brand loyal, like to buy from small, local businesses and are keen to share things with friends. The bad news is that they also know how to block advertising on their phones, are price conscious and are easily distracted. They switch devices and platforms easily too. A millennial, for example, doesn’t mind letting adverts on the TV run through because they are not watching, they are on their phones until the programme comes back on. Similarly, they will skip between Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram, constantly looking for interesting things.
Millennials know that companies have the technology to target their messages to them as individuals. When they do they are receptive; if they don’t they ignore them or could become hostile to them.
So the trick is to target messages accurately and, rather than sell to them, give them information that will help them. Charlotte said, for example, that if you make a video about how to pack china, they will be interested but won’t want to do the work themselves. They will come to you to do it anyway.
They need reassurance that your company is one to be trusted. Referrals from their peers are important, as are genuine testimonials. But they must be authentic. Don’t use library images or anonymous testimonials as they will recognise them for what they are. They will read everything before making a decision and will be impressed by certifications. Remarketing, in which an advert stays with a website visitor as they browse the Internet, can be effective.
Social media is the heartbeat of marketing to millennials. They find multitasking relaxing. Whereas previous generations might find it stressful, they think it’s fun. They have large social media networks and are happy to share useful information. If you can make your messages attractive, informal, friendly and personal to them, they will be more likely to spread the word and do your marketing for you. But you do need to watch what people are saying about you on social media and, if you get any bad reports, respond quickly.
Millennials do not like talking on the phone. They are much more likely to respond by Messenger or WhatsApp than to dial a number. They want convenience and a good price, but more importantly they want a company to be authentic, ethical, informal and, preferably, local.
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