As a new year commences, marketers are increasingly turning their attention to Millennials, the largest demographic group in history and a generation that now wields unprecedented buying power.
While it isn’t possible to accurately generalize about any group as large and diverse as Millennials, one exciting aspect of the new marketing technologies is how they allow marketers to drill down to individual preferences within larger groups. Here are the top four marketing tactics marketers will use this year to capture Millennial consumers’ attention:
- Real-time interaction management (RTIM) For years, marketers have known richer segmentation improves campaign performance. Millennials are typically immersed in a highly personalized social media ecosystem and on average have fewer concerns about privacy than other demographic groups. An Econsultancy study found that RTIM techniques can drive sales growth higher by an average of 19%, so expect to see increased emphasis on RTIM in 2016.
- Contextualization As a concept, contextualization is simple; it means providing perspective based on conditions and meanings surrounding an object or event. In marketing, contextualization requires a focus on factors such as shopping patterns, demographics, preferences, time, location, price, past purchases and shopper behavior. Contextualization can be an incredibly effective technique marketers can use for Millennial shoppers, who are always connected and willingly share personal information in exchange for valuable offers.
- Webrooming The practice of webrooming, in which consumers research products online and then travel to stores to make a purchase, is expected to generate $1.8 trillion in sales by 2017. To put that in context, ecommerce sales are expected to top out at $370 billion in the same timeframe. Marketers who are aware of the potential of webrooming, especially among hyper-connected Millennial customers, can glean amazingly valuable data insights from webrooming activities to sharpen campaigns and ensure a smooth transaction.
- Social ads Instagram’s debut of the Marquee format late last year marked a sea change in social advertising, with the imagery focused platform now set to generate serious revenue for its parent company, Facebook. Prior experimentation indicated a growing acceptance for ads on Millennial users’ favorite platform, and other social networks are getting in on the act to leverage the power of their widely trafficked social sites. Expect social ads to be a key revenue generator in 2016 and beyond.
These four techniques have one thing in common: They all tap into the drive for personalization and use individual consumer data to create campaigns that will resonate with Millennial consumers. In the past, tailoring marketing campaigns to a group as large and diverse as the Millennial generation meant making sweeping assumptions that would invariably exclude millions of members of the group.
Thanks to the profusion of data generated by the connected lifestyles Millennials have embraced, it’s possible to micro-target individuals affordably and effectively using these techniques. The years to come will be an exciting time for marketers, who now have the power to reach a whole generation, one consumer at a time.
Jess Stephens is CMO at SmartFocus. @JessStephens