This article covers how and why millennials differ from other generations when it comes sales/marketing and business management. It comes to the conclusion that transparency is key, millennials have a no bullshit attitude, and they care heavily about the businesses they personally associate with.
Marketing to Millennials
There are three key strategies brands should keep in mind when engaging Millennials. First, understand and speak to the values that drive them – happiness, passion, diversity, sharing and discovery. Second, understand their realistic lifestyles and experiences and find ways to amplify their reality. And, finally, make sure they feel informed and involved, not just marketed to. (Forbes source)
My millennial point of view on each key strategy mentioned:
- Myself and every other millennial has grown up with the most marketing/sales noise ever in the existence of capitalism. Not just billboards, but freaking pop-ups, radio ads, cable TV, games with ads, product placement, candy bars in the grocery checkout line. You name it, every trick in the book up to this point has been laid on us since we were born. Thanks to a life of bombardment, we all have short attention spans, and if a businesses or product marketing campaign doesn't immediately speak to us with a seconds glance, we are out faster than their webpage can load.
- As much as I do not want this to be true, it is. My reality is revolved around technology. I'm glued to devices on the internet, but I don't like to be reminded of that. I actually don't even think of these devices as devices, they are simply tools that are part of my life to deliver me information. I'm attracted to things that do not remind of me of my reality. So do not remind of me of my reality. Well here is an example: I have a record collection, a road bike, and an adorable rescue pitbull, if you label me a hipster I will lose my cool. So I do not want to be labeled, and even though you may be able to group me into targeted marketing campaigns, don't make it apparent, because I do not want to be associated with groups.
- I take pride in the business or product I engage with, and this is why marketing tactics that traditional worked on my parents (example industries: fast food, everything plastic, dumb software, etc.) aren't nearly as successful on millennials. Why? It's because we seek the truth and research everything. Sounds time consuming, but it's not for those who grew up with a keyboard. We (Millennials) are really really good at searching the internet, as in, we are 5 words away from finding the information we need. With this in mind, we want real information, and it should be easily accessed through search. Along with that we want to be able to leverage social platform to communicate with a brand, and we expect immediate response.
Millennials in the Business Environment
Transparency and the truth; no bullshit please. If millennials catch a hint of bullshit, it pisses us off, and believe me we are always looking for it. It's almost as each one of us was born with a bullshit radar, and it's constantly searching everything we consume, the places we work, and people we associate ourselves with. This attribute is what critics can be confusing as an "intense sense of entitlement".
Parents of millennials talked about everything in front of their children, from finances to sex, so millennials are comfortable with the same approach from businesses and managers. (Time.com source)
This sums up my childhood, and really rings true in the workplace. As a leader at my workplace, I have to understand myself (being a millennial), as well as appropriate to other generations. Gen X has an inclination to keep things private, both inside the workplace, and with outbound sales/marketing. Millennials on the other hand want to put it all on the table. It comes back to the mantra: do unto others as you would want done unto yourself. I have an inherent problem hiding information, and when I feel information is being withheld, that source quickly loses credibility.
In the past, education did not come as easy, so it makes sense why the past generation only needed information that mattered for their role. Whereas now, anyone can spend a couple nights to download a quick primer on any facet of doing business. Millennials feel empowered, and they should because they have the most resources at their finger tips.
C'est la vie (That's Life)
The behaviors of millennials (or any generation) will not change so it's important to understand of the quirks and positives of each. Trying to compare generations is a waste of time. The human race is always progressing (or at least I'd like to think so) and it's best if we play into the behaviors each generation is packaged with. So rather than complain or get frustrated by it, adapt and move forward.