The Millennial generation has surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest demographic. They are entering their peak earning years, so every marketer is trying to figure out how to attract the Millennial shopper. Unfortunately, they do not behave like past generations and they are motivated by completely different things. In previous posts, we talked about strategies for attracting Millennials and the types of messaging that will connect with them. Today, we're going to go through one technique you can use to attract Millennial shoppers: personalization.
Having grown up with the internet always at their fingertips, Millennials have always been able to customize their own experiences around their personal likes and dislikes. Smart marketers use the enormous amounts of data available – much of it given freely from the Millennials themselves – and use it to serve up personalized messages, products and services to each customer. This is a generation that is more diverse than any other and looks to see companies who recognize that each of them is different and should be addressed as an individual.
Using data and all the one-to-one marketing tools available today, you can serve up marketing that connects well with your Millennial shopper target market. With variable printing and programming options, it's fairly easy to create personalized direct mail and email communications. In the digital realm, you can even take it a step further. You can now use programmatic creative technology that will serve up different ads based on the person seeing the ad. Digital ads and videos can be built in modular form so that they deliver ads personalized by language, tastes, interests and a whole realm of demographic factors. So, if one person is a single woman in her early 20's and interested in outdoor life, natural foods and adventure sports and another is a late 20's mom who is interested in museums, craft beer and biking – the programmatic creative will serve each of them completely different ads for the same product – personalized to their specific likes and lifestyles.
If you can market personalized products or services as well, you can connect even further with the Millennial shopper target you seek. You may already have a customizable product you just haven't been marketing or you may need to create one. For instance, all our furniture clients offer custom furniture options, where you can choose the frame, fabric and other elements of your sofa or chair, instead of just taking one of the limited number of ways it's carried in the warehouse. None of them really market this feature because it takes so much longer for the customer to get their product. However, in the case of the Millennial shopper, they are a lot more willing to wait to get exactly what they want. Being able to express their personal style is more important than immediate gratification. This is one case where a company already has a product that can be personalized and featuring that in their marketing efforts to Millennials is another form of personalizing the message for them.
One of the best and easy ways to personalize your brand or product to Millennial shoppers is in the way you respond to them in social media and other online forums. They expect to get quick responses online from brands when they post a question, compliment or complaint. Don't automate your responses. Instead find a way to personally respond to each person online. This creates the ultimate personalized experience and show that a company is responsive, responsible and cares about what the customer thinks and wants.
These are just a few examples of how you can attract the Millennial shoppers with personalized marketing efforts. Look at everything you're doing and think about ways you can further personalize the experience for your customers. It will help gain and retail more customers, and not just from the Millennial generation. Also, yo may want to check out our post on how to attract Millennial shoppers by creating unique in-store experiences.