With 75% of the workforce expected to be made up of digital natives by the year 2025, digital communications are becoming more and more important. I’m not a millennial, but I live with a few of them, and I have noticed some differences.
Big Group/Big Differences. Big Dollars/Big Opportunities.
At first I didn’t buy into the whole idea that this generation was all that different than the rest of us. But as I pay attention to the way my 18-year-old son interacts with his friends, how he makes decisions about brands, and how he recently responded to his insurance company’s email about repairing his car after a fender bender, I am beginning to see the light.
He rarely talks on the phone or uses email, but he does text (10,000 times a month), and he seeks out online reviews for many products.
This generation is now larger than the baby boomers and they have more than one trillion dollars in purchasing power. Companies need to adapt their customer communications to appeal to this highly digital and technologically advanced group. Don’t get left behind — in the digital transformation of your communications — because your colleagues are saying things like:
- “We are too busy or don’t have budget to make any changes right now”;
- “Millennials don’t have money – they are teenagers”;
- “We already send PDFs – isn’t that enough?”
Millennials want much more than PDFs! They want access to their brands 24/7. They have the highest adoption and usage of mobile devices of any generation, and they navigate seamlessly between devices and channels, which means they expect consistent content, experiences and branding across all channels.
A Very Social Cohort
Millennials use social media like no other generation before – they tweet, ‘like,’ follow, and share on all the channels and that can make or break a brand. They are known to engage with brands more deeply through social networks – with 52% saying that, at least occasionally, they use their mobile devices on social media to note that they “like” a brand, compared with 33% of boomers. Also, 39 percent post product reviews, 35 percent share links about products on LinkedIn, and 32 percent said that they follow brands on Twitter. In each case, the percentage of Millennials who reported these activities exceeded that of boomers by 150 to 250 percent.
Millennials identify with brands more personally and emotionally than do older generations. Fifty percent of U.S. Millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38 percent of those ages 25 to 34 agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.”
Keeping the message relevant
To sustain Millennial loyalty companies must have a strong digital presence and must engage them as individuals with omnichannel communications; anytime, anywhere access (Millennials hate delays) and reward them with targeted promotions and offers. Companies should strive for messages that speak authentically to the attitudes, beliefs, preferences, and personalities of their audience as this group moves away from seeing brands as “badges” or status symbols and instead thinks of brands now as “mirrors” – reflecting their values and beliefs.
Want More information?
Want to learn more about how to take your communications digital? Visit OpenText Exstream.
Tami May is Product Marketing Manager, OpenText Exstream. Tami has more than 20 years of marketing experience at Fortune 500 companies and start-up firms. Her experience includes brand building and the execution of go-to-market strategies for key industries, such as insurance and customer segments like millennials. Tami can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the 2016 Insurance-Canada.ca Executive Forum on 30 August 2016, Tami’s colleague, Avi Greenfield, will be presenting on Digital Transformation For Insurers: Tackling Omnichannel Communications For Seamless Customer Experiences.
In addition, #ICXF2016 will feature a Panel of Millennials helping us understand their preferences for dealing with insurance.