Connecting with Younger Customers Part One: 5 Keys to Marketing to Millenials
by Ryan Joy — September 24, 2010
As your loyal, core customers age, it is becoming more critical to really understand younger customers. The children of the Baby Boomers, often referred to as “Gen Y” or “Millenials”, are being courted by national chains. And as the first group of Millenials turns 30 this year, it’s past time to pay attention to these 80 million potential customers.
1. Vary your offers and your offerings.
Millenials are a much more ethnically diverse group (about 40% of Gen Y is non-white versus 30% for those over 30 years old). They grew up in a world where sushi and Pad Thai are nearly as common as pizza and pot roast, and they expect variety in your food offerings. Next time you plan to feature chuck roast again on your front page, consider whether there is another story that might get the attention of an audience looking for more.
2. Get to the point and make it fun and interesting.
Millenials have learned to deal with the overload of information constantly coming at them by ignoring anything that isn’t immediately relevant to them. Don’t expect most of them to wade through eight cluttered pages of deals in a circular to find what they want. Focus on one great deal that matters to them.
3. Start investing in new media.
The Web is a basic part of the context of their lives, and these “digital natives” can barely remember a time without mobile texting or connecting socially online. Consider moving some of your circular distribution dollars to other, less costly media that have a better chance of reaching younger customers.
4. Make your web content an inch wide and a mile deep.
Millenials are savvy consumers that do their research online. Keep your primary, top-level content focused, but make sure that you’re also serving the mavens with easy-to-find answers to their deeper questions.
5. Be responsive and honest.
They expect to be able to email you about a problem and receive a prompt, transparent reply.
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