Why we can’t ignore the millennial audience
3rd March 2017
Keeping up to date with technology, industry trends and ever changing client requirements is part and parcel of our trade, and just as important is knowing your audience. Doing this keeps our brand’s relevant, respected by our audiences and therefore is an integral part to any business. However, as well as differing ages, genders and occupations amongst numerous other filters, there’s a specific subject that keeps resurfacing in the media for both good and bad reasons, and that’s the generation known as the ‘millennials.’ But what is a millennial and how will they influence our industry?
What’s a millennial?
A millennial is a generation name given by the media for a person born between the 1980’s – 2000 and roughly referred to as the first generation that hasn’t known a world without internet. For every generation a name is given to describe the era, values and technology of the time, to give a better understanding of exactly how they have or will influence the next generation and so forth. But what are the other generations and what makes them so different to the millennials? We’ve found a great 3 minute film, American focussed but quickly explains the differences between each generation.
What’s the hype about? – Pros and cons
With every generation there are always a mixture of good and bad times and with the millennial generation it’s no different. So what is it about this generation that gets the media so riled up?
Top 5 Pros
The millennial generation is said to be the most fortunate in terms of education access of all generations, making them motivated and eager to learn.
2. Help the world
Eager to make the world a better place, whether this be through bake sales, sport like marathons and obstacle courses, the millennials are the most aware generation of the world’s misfortune and are keen to help make it better for the next generation.
3. Tech savvy
Their world is dominated by constant technology advances and updates, from software to design. And these technological advances are now available in attainable price brackets making almost the generation naturally tech savvy and used to the most up to date tech. In turn this has developed a great awareness, interest and ability in technology, which is an integral natural skill to keeping your brand and company as up to date as possible.
With their tech savvy nature, constantly updating technology, this generation also constantly drives to develop and challenge themselves as well as traditions. Naturally wanting to be better.
OK But why do I need to know about them?
5. Multi taskers
Another natural ability is in the social media domain, where they spend most of their time, therefore are eager to add to their roles naturally, in turn making it great for businesses.
Top 5 Cons
1. Not so much team players
This can be mainly routed to the social media realms, this generation is so wrapped up in this online world that it can be hard for them to relate to real life situations like meetings and group discussions.
2. Opinionated but hard to retain information
Opinion is always a good quality to have but can also be seen as a little too confident in the business environment, too quick to comment or over talking in places. Also, the access to such sites as google, can make this generation depend on technology for every question and problem rather than figuring it out for themselves or depending on previous generations for the answer rather than learning and retaining the information.
3. Distracted easily
The pros and cons of technology, con being that it can actually distract this generation in the workplace via social media etc.
4. Itchy feet
The eagerness to develop and progress can make this generation leaving unfulfilled and wanting to move on to challenge themselves more opposed to previous generations who would see longevity in a company more of an accomplishment. Therefore making them job hoppers, not staying too long in any position long, making their experience varied but with no longevity.
5. Fear of the telephone
Again another problem with the technology generation is that they are so used to communicating via the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and email that they rarely need to answer the phone. And with a massive percentage of clients still preferring to speak to a person opposed to an email it’s a quality that is integral to every business.
Why do we need to attract this generation?
By 2025 a staggering 75% of the global workforce will be millennial. A massive percentage.
In so many words, this percentage are the ones that will have the most disposable income, so ensuring that we adapt our creative and development to them is integral in maintaining them as our audience. From a workplace point of view, we need to know what makes them tick to keep these gems happy and how to hold on to them for as long as possible.
8 ways to capture millennials attention
1. Responsive design
This is a given with most sites these days, but for a generation that is always on the most up to date tech and phones, it’s understandable to make sure the mobile journey is flawless both design and dev wise.
For a generation who’s interests lie with actively helping the world, it makes sense that they also expect it of the companies they follow and buy from. Whether on social media or by partnering with charities will ensure you keep this generation on board.
3. Be personal
The way you come across and your opinion is another great way to appeal to the millennials. By being more friendly, approachable and sociable in your tone of writing, will keep this generation happy and more engaged.
4. Use social media
Another given with our industry with such platforms as Facebook and Twitter engaging the majority of the population, it seems crazy not to use this to appeal to this generation.
5. Video – they prefer to watch
From video tutorials, to cat videos, to vlogging (blogging using a webcam and the spoken word opposed to the written, you watch it rather than read), it’s understandable that this is an ever increasingly popular method in connecting with as many users as possible. It’s also a great way of compressing a lot of content into a small time frame and doesn’t ask anything of the user other than to watch, making it seem more digestible. It does however take more time to create from a creative and video pov, but it’s worth it with the right client and budget.
6. Self service
We all like to do things ourselves, it’s our independent nature; but with this generation’s thirst for technology and eagerness to learn, such devices as ‘live chat’ and online help is increasingly becoming a popular way to engage and keep this generation. They get the answer quickly and feel accomplished that they have sorted it themselves.
7. Text / SMS
A marketing strategy that has been used for years and with this generation it’s also winner. Setting reminders such as delivery updates and appointments is a great way of communicating information but in a social manner that doesn’t come across as spam as it’s useful. Of course there’s always that use it in the wrong manner such as PPI companies but dependent on your purpose can actively increase your millennial audience numbers.
8. User experience
Being the generation of technology and updates just as important as the tech itself is the user experience. But that’s a given with any audience right? Of course, but the difference with this generation is that they’ve never known a world without it, therefore their expectations are extremely high, so keeping as up to date with creating the most flawless journey will help you keep this generation.
What will the next generation hold?
What will the next generation have in store for us? What technology, science changes will we see? What will they value and expect from us as designers and developers. We can only guess, but are excited to find out. Do you have any ideas?
Here at Bopgun we love a challenge, and when we heard about this millennial subject we decided to hit it head on with a team exercise to see just how dependent we all are on this generation’s values and experience how most of the world is still run like. Checkout the Bopgun Corporate Day 2017 here to see how we got on.