OpenMarket – August 20, 2015
It’s the worst kept secret in the marketing world: Millennials love mobile devices. Smartphones, tablets, wearables, and everything in between. Whether it’s an app or SMS messaging, your business has a better chance of connecting with the younger demographic of customers if it takes mobile communications seriously.
Painting a Picture of the Average Millennial
Trying to grasp who millennials are is challenging. These Americans, born between 1982 and 2000, now make up roughly 25 percent of the country’s population. With 83.1 million of them, millennials officially outnumber baby boomers (75.4 million). That’s not something that businesses should ignore. After all, the buying power of millennials is at an all-time high, and brands seeking to grow their respective market shares need to target these savvy consumers.
The median income for younger millennials is right around $25,000, while older ones bring in almost double (or $48,000). One in five same-sex couples have a millennial in the relationship, and only 21 percent of millennials are married. An impressively high 23 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, making millennials the most highly educated generation in history.
However, you can’t lump all millennials together. They’re the most diverse generation in history as well. Approximately 19 percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are African American, and 5 percent are Asian.
But, regardless of ethnicity, one thing’s certain: the average millennial’s connected to a smartphone for the most hours throughout the day. Here are some takeaways from a research study conducted by Zogby and referenced in Claes Bell’s article for Bankrate.com:
- 87 percent claim that their phone “never leaves their side”
- 80 percent report reaching for their smartphone “first thing in the morning”
- Approximately 78 percent spend two or more hours on their smartphone each day
It’s not a surprise that millennials love technology, but those numbers are remarkable. From a business perspective, you may also find the following takeaways noteworthy:
- A healthy 58 percent of smartphone users have attempted to enroll for a new service or account using their device
- 47 percent of users say that they access business websites via their mobile devices at least once per day
- 71 percent of smartphone users believe that a company’s lack of a mobile app is a drawback
The Lure of Mobile Technology
Why’re millennials so attracted to mobile technology – particularly smartphones? Well, it depends on who you ask, but many are crippled by FOMO. In case you aren’t yet familiar with this acronym, it stands for, “Fear of missing out.” Some call it a modern take on the classic sentiment that the grass is always greener on the other side.
FOMO, aside from sounding ridiculous, is a real source of anxiety among millennials. All of their friends are connected, and they don’t want to miss out by stepping away from their devices. Whether millennials would admit it or not, FOMO is the number one lure to mobile technology. It’s what brings them back for more. From a business point of view, it’s important to capitalize on FOMO.
How to Reach Millennials Where They Are
The question then remains: “How can you effectively reach millennials where they are?” Well, you obviously need an effective mobile engagement strategy that accounts for the average millennial’s love affair with mobile devices. Aside from industry-specific factors, you’ll want to focus on some of the following points:
- Don’t call – just text. Despite always having their phones with them, millennials don’t like to talk on the phone. Voice conversations are seen as personal and time-consuming. That’s why the majority of smartphone users would prefer for businesses to have texting capabilities for customer service. If you’re going to reach out to millennials, use SMS and shoot a text message their way – don’t dial a number.
- Consider security concerns. Any time that you’re dealing with mobile technology, security has to be addressed. Millennials, like other generations, are conditioned to be cautious when it comes to using mobile devices and divulging private information; however, they’re also quicker to become content. “They’ve grown up being very comfortable with this technology; they’re very secure in their usage of it,” Bell writes. “And we see over and over again that convenience will trump any concerns of privacy.”
- Establish transparency. Millennials thrive on trust. Not only do they want trust in their personal relationships, but they also want to feel comfortable with the brands from which they buy. In order to capitalize on this, you should pursue transparency in all marketing and customer service efforts. Never contact millennials via mobile devices without ethically capturing the lead. When it comes to mobile apps, you should lay out all data exchange information clearly. When collecting personal contact information, always allow the user to opt-out.
- Omni-channel is the way to go. Consistent omni-channel marketing is a must when it comes to reaching millennials. This goes hand in hand with transparency. “If you change the way you engage customers on one channel, it may only be one step in an overall strategy, as millennials expect the same consistent and personalized engagement regardless of the channel or device they use,” Kimberly A. Whitler writes for Forbes.com.
- Make it personal. Millennials have grown up in a personalized world. From custom smartphone backgrounds to hundreds of cable television channels, millennials are used to getting what they want. When targeting millennials, make it personal whenever possible.
Contact OpenMarket Today
At OpenMarket, we understand the importance of reaching the millennial generation. Thankfully, we also understand how to develop effective mobile engagement strategies that reach diverse customer groups.
If you’ve had difficulty reaching customers in the past, consider using SMS. It’s the most frequently used aspect of a mobile phone, which means you already have a trained and familiar user base. Text messaging can be used across your organization for customer support, marketing promotions, shipping notifications, user authentication, and more. Furthermore, our SMS messaging allows you to open up a two-way channel of text communication with your customers.
For more information on how you can begin using these mobile solutions, please contact us today. We’d be happy to discuss any of our mobile messaging services in more detail.