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SMEs marketing strategy: Millennials – Grail or Galley?

The concept of the “Millennials” generation has been in fashion for a few years. But what reality is hidden behind what some people often present as a revolution of codes, a marketing Eldorado?

A study done in the United States, titled “Marketing for” Millennials “? Not so fast! “, Gives a more specific light, even to question the potential and to skin a little this myth.

Here are some instructive results on the behaviors of this generation:

  • They earn and spend less than their elders:

While some marketers are rubbing their hands thinking about the huge potential of the “Millennials” generation, the reality is less obvious. This younger population is far from having the disposable income of baby boomers. The oldest are just over 30 years old and the youngest are either still in school or in their first job. In fact, more than a third do not work at all and almost half of those who are employed earn less than $ 50,000. The study predicts that the majority of them will reach their maximum spending level by 2030.

Learning N° 1: Learn patience or better calibrate offers to appeal to clients with limited income.

  • They delay important life choices:

In the past, the cycle of life was clear: After school, we married, then we bought a house and finally we had children. Today, the “millennials” generation is delaying the age of marriage (> 30 years), children and especially the purchase of a house. In fact, some even report renting an apartment for the benefit of a co-renting life or even with their parents as long as possible. Constrained or chosen, this new way of life has a significant impact on purchasing decisions in terms of housing, decoration, furniture, but also vehicle and sometimes even food.

Learning N ° 2: The break of the traditional consumption cycles invites to rethink in depth some marketing fundamentals (formats, frequency of purchase, …).

  • They are complicated:

Millennials have grown in the age of technology. The way they buy and spend, evolves with this technology. Unlike their elders, the “Millennials” generation is more influenced by word-of-mouth than by conventional advertising. They also expect more transparency and authenticity from companies, 24/7 services, and the ability to customize products and services.

Learning N ° 3: Individualisation, transparency and prescription are the “must-haves” of success.

  • They are of advantage in sharing than in possession:

Millennials prefer a world in which you rent, share, or borrow just about anything – from photo and music storage to DIY tools, cars, and even clothing. They refuse planned obsolescence and move towards repairable or second-hand solutions. They prefer to spend their disposable income on immediate personal experiences such as travel or concerts, rather than for material goods. Services such as clothing rental are booming.

Learning N ° 4: The new logic of possession challenges the foundations of consumption cycles.

  • They lack loyalty to the brand:

According to the study, “millennials” are more likely than their parents to buy branded products. However, their lower incomes make them more price sensitive. In addition, the recommendations of influencers can easily encourage them to change brands. You may think that by targeting the Millennials today, you will be able to keep their loyalty in the future? Possible but not certain! The study points out that all generations are less and less loyal to a brand. This is even more true for millennials.

Learning N° 5: The commitment of the brand becomes his fight every day.

Finally, my goal is not to discourage efforts to adapt marketing to this target. But rather to temper the enthusiasm of some gurus’ digital solutions ready. Each generation brings its share of constraints. It is therefore advisable to evaluate and adjust your marketing to these new opportunities with discernment. The stated breaks profoundly transform habits and landmarks.

The transformation will be deep, sustainable and therefore slow to implement. But let’s not forget that other demographic groups, such as Gen X and Baby Boomers, are still driving today’s consumption.