Millennials or Gen Y- those born between 1980 and 2000, is the largest generation since the baby boomers and are sure to have a huge impact on the global economy in the very near future. If your association's 2018 strategy does not include engaging Millennials, then it's time to revisit before the new year.
Gen Y grew up in a drastically different technological environment than their past generations. Computers, videos games, cell phones, instant messaging and other novel technologies of the time have integrated rapidly into their everyday routines. These technological changes have impacted their shopping and buying habits, responsive expectations, and social interactions.
Research shows that this generation is judicious about spending, does price comparisons before purchases, is brand conscious, has great health habits, and not only uses, but expects accessibility to virtually everything via mobile devices.
As marketers, if we want to engage with this generation, we need to better understand their behavior, and adjust our marketing channels - reach out to them on their terms - whenever they want and wherever they are.
So Where Are Millennials?
- Following one another on Social Media
Has your association tried creating a Spotify playlist or a Snapchat filter for events? These are some quick ways to integrate your event marketing efforts where Millennials already are. Purchasing ad space on platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is also a great way to reach the Millennial crowd. Advertising on these channels can become quite pricey if you have not created a targeted audience for your ad campaign, so be sure to do some data diving before giving the green light!
- Typing Text Messages and Tapping Push Notifications
Does your association have an event app? What about a year-round engagement app? Chances are, your event app is deleted recently after your event ends. With a year-round engagement app you can send news updates, publications, and connect members with a directory. Don't miss the opportunity to connect Millennials with mentors in your organization. Most millennials are still seeking advice and guidance from established executives in their profession.
- Purchasing online with PayPal, Masterpass or Apple Pay
Ecommerce is rapidly changing the way we shop online and in stores. If your website checkout process is not mobile responsive today, your association is already losing easy revenue. Millennials are now taking advantage of new payment options which allow a simple scan of their phone or tap of their finger to complete a purchase. Associations should start exploring supporting PayPal, Masterpass and Apple Pay. Long gone are the days of paying via check and soon credit card.
- Checking & Deleting Email
Are your subject lines personalized, create curiosity or are a little controversial? If not, they are probably not being opened. Millennials and most active email users are being inundated with mail from all types of senders and with Gmail's "Promotional" folder, it's more likely now that your emails may go unseen. Don't let subject lines or snippet/preview text become an afterthought when writing copy. An email body is only as strong as it's subject line.
- Paying Attention to Pop Culture
Let's take a typical scenario...
Your advocacy department wants to create a grassroots campaign engaging Millennials. Sending an email blast, tweeting, or posting a link on Facebook, won't cut it anymore - you will have to reach them on their mobile devices - on social media apps that they prefer, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Gen Y is used to apps that provide personalized content and a fabulous user experience - they are not willing to wait for a browser to load a page. If something is important, they expect a push notification on their phone to act immediately.
Gen Y prefers texting over calling, Instagram over Facebook and instant messaging over emailing. And they are using mobile apps for all of that. The earlier we start adjusting our channels of communication, the better we are prepared as they come of age.
Ask yourself - Is your association reaching Millenials the best way possbile?