As a millennial myself, I would love to relieve your stress and say that marketing for millennials is easy because we click “buy” each time we like something online….but that would be a bald-faced lie.
Our “likes” are priceless and even if the company earns them, it doesn’t mean it will sell something to us, spoiled millennials. For us, you’ll need to come up with a really effective digital marketing campaign. But don’t worry, I will tell you how to attract millennials.
I am proud of being in this group of people who are changing the way the economy works. Experts don`t doubt that millennials are doing it slowly but steadily. We like online shopping, we think that sharing is equal to having, and we invest a lot into impressions, not things. That`s why marketing strategies for millennials are very different.
Yes, millennials are weirdos who want to be entertained, informed, and impressed, and that can be a bit challenging for brands. But you just can’t ignore the fact that millennials are the fastest growing group of shoppers. That’s why it is wise to attune marketing strategies to convert them. But how to attract millennials?
With the help of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality, of course.
Forget about a traditional approach to marketing with those big boards and Christmas discounts. We, spoiled millennials, grew up in the world of advertising that’s why we don’t react to it. The way the child that grew up in a circus doesn`t react to clowns, merry-go-rounds, and dancing bears.
Yet there is a reliable way of attracting us with the help of ultra-modern technologies, like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality. Big brands are already betting on AR and VR because they know that the future of retail is augmented or virtual.
Who Are Millenials and How Do They Shop?
Millennials (modern 22-35 year-olds) are the people who know more about new cafes in their town than about their cousins’ marital status. Millennials are the people who google new recipes and fresh time-management lifehacks each morning to share them online and forget about them by the end of the day.
These are the people who would rather rent than buy because “why bother?”Forbes authors call them the Uber generation because they would rather take a cab 3 times a day than buy their own vehicle. Three facts with numbers to consider when creating marketing strategies for millennials :
57% of millennials say that easy access is more desirable than the status of the product
80% of millennials pay attention to the competitive price of the product
16% of millennials buy via mobile devices at least once a week.
As for the products, millennials adore online shopping: they buy books, music, clothes, gadgets, furniture, services online regularly. They DON`T buy insurance, cable TV, and soap (I honestly don’t understand what’s wrong with soap). Yes, millennial marketing can be tough.
This psychological portrait of the whole generation is puzzling. That`s why I have listed 5 most important rules of marketing to millennials based on personal experience:
1. Share Knowledge. Don’t Teach Us.
As a proud millennial myself, I am quite sure I know everything about this life and even a bit more. That`s why when I buy a new device, I don’t want to receive a huge manual telling me what to do with it. This manual usually shows how incompetent I am. That`s a bad marketing to millennials.
Those companies that can teach me about a new tablet without being officious and bossy, will attract my attention for sure. And I am one of those millions of millennials they are targeting.
For instance, last year Hyundai demonstrated an augmented reality app manual for its car during LA auto show. You just point your cellphone at the car and the AR app will guide you through the components of the car, telling you how to fix any problem. If you, let`s say, need to change the oil, this augmented reality application will provide you with a step-by-step instruction without saying “ I`ve told you, you have to take the car to the service station!”
Imagine you get stuck in the middle of nowhere and you have never looked under the hood of your car.
Hyundai AR app would make you believe that you are not stupid and that you just need “a mentor” to cope with the problem yourself. You can do it! That`s what I call “effective marketing for millennials.”
2. Don’t Sweet Talk. Provide Reliable Information.
Again, we are the generation that has a full 24-hour access to the Internet. They say that people lived in cities years ago. Today they live online that is why the phrase “be right back” ( which was very popular during the early years of the Internet) became redundant.
The Internet is the place where we study, find true love, and check all the latest discounts. When we are talking to our friends and stumble upon some unknown fact, we simply start googling: “So there is no Nobel prize in Mathematics? Okay, Google…”
The same thing we do when we want to buy something we know nothing about: we research the information until some coherent idea about the product is shaped. So marketing for millennials is rather simple: you just need to provide reliable information to your customers.
Marketing to millennials using VR, AR, and MR means giving them complete information (you know that 90% of all sensory information we receive is visual, right?)
Imagine that you want to sell an apartment in the house that is not built yet, and you have a couple of millennials as your clients. You can tell long boring stories about how well the apartment will look like or you can give them two pairs of VR goggles and help them explore the place.
So, in this case, a virtual reality tour will be the most solid argument of all. That`s what a luxury apartment complex Ten at Clarendon is doing right now: selling with the help of virtual reality tour.
Take me for example, If I had a chance to see the view from the windows of my future apartment, I would say “Shut up and take my money!” much faster. So why not use VR goggles and a virtual reality tour to all potential customers?
3. Impress. Don’t Persuade.
You can write a list of ten benefits of the new car you are going to sell to me. You can throw mud at your competitors, but it won`t have some profound impact on millennials. If you find the way to impress us – we will become your loyal customers. How to market to millennials? By taking their breath away.
That`s what companies that use AR/VR/MR technologies do. Take Timberland, for example. They sell clothes and shoes for young, bold, and active people. Okay, everybody knows about Timberland but there are hundreds of similar brands.
And then Timberland decides to install a huge touchscreen in one of the stores so that prospective customers can “try clothes” without even walking into the stores. Typical millennial marketing approach.
The result is amazing: the customer feels that nobody is pushing him and nobody is actually trying to sell something. That’s a very appealing and effective digital marketing campaign targeted at millennials, I must say. Without the necessity of installing augmented reality apps.
4. Make Friends on Social Media. Don’t Push
Millennials are the generation that grew up 100% synchronized with social media. For us, creepy millennials, if you are not on Facebook, you probably don’t exist at all. Social media have become essential tools for a decision-making process: we consult Twitter about our health problems and shape our self-identity with the help of Instagram posts (alas!). Why? Because social media make us feel valued, special, and loved.
I am not talking about social media presence, most companies have figured out long ago that they need a profile on Twitter because it’s the perfect platform for B2B communication. I am talking about the connection between augmented reality apps and social media.
So how to market to millennials with the help of social media?
Well, make friend with millennials on social media providing some authentic content and a relevant piece of advice. Like Estee Lauder did it effectively when it paired two most beloved trends for millennials: social media and augmented reality applications.
So here is the thing: you can access the company’s chatbot on Facebook and it will help you to choose the right shade of lipstick. My personal experience with the chatbot was rather successful: it advised a lipstick that matched my dress and showed how it looked on me within several minutes. I was one click away from buying it. This close!
More and bigger brands are enhancing their social media presence, and what`s the effect? I like it a lot! Though I can deny the fact that I am a social media addict (I checked my Facebook page 12 times while writing this…) But millennials like connecting to brands online, and when thinking about marketing strategies for millennials, specialists should consider this fact.
However, I am personally afraid of chatbots and would rather talk to a real person. I like the idea that there is a breathing human being behind the brand who wants to help me genuinely. I am not very different from most millennials: 84 % of my peers claim that they are influenced by user-generated content when making a decision about a purchase.
Another brilliant idea is makeup apps: women love them! No need to go to a beauty salon to pick the right base for your complexion. Makeup apps do it for and offer you to buy the product instantly. That`s how L`Oreal is selling.
5. Find a Personal Approach, Don’t Generalize
Yes, we are a distinct group of people but we are a group of individualists. That’s why personal approach is crucial.
Look how Stockholm Art Week coped with this challenge with the help of augmented reality app attracting young and creative users.
The organizers of this annual event decided to destroy the stereotype that art is only for the chosen individuals. “Stockholm is your canvas!” was the motto of that augmented reality marketing campaign.
With the help of a special augmented reality app, Stockholm Art Week participants got the chance to display pieces of art in a common gallery. The pictures were then demonstrated around the city (in mobile phones of app users, of course).
Stockholm Art Week special symbols were stuck all over the city and whenever a user noticed one he pointed a camera on it and could view the whole Art Week gallery. This app gave users the feeling that their view of art is valued and that their opinion does matter.
So as you see, you can successfully market to millennials if you know how to do it. We grew up in the world of social media and that’s why we have some blurred perception of personality. Brands, apart from giving us things we need for life, provide us with the sense of identity. That’s why millennials don’t want to simply buy things from brands, they want to make friends with them.
And what do you do to make good friends? You get to know each other better, you talk, you share some reliable info and have fun, of course.
Brands have no other choice than to use these technologies to make friends with millennials, who live in this new world of gadgets, Internet clouds, VR goggles, and augmented realities. Want to know how much will it cost to develop augmented reality apps for your brand? Get a free estimate here!