Who run the world?

This is a question probably as ancient as humanity itself, but you just have to answer it again and again if you want to run a successful business.

At the beginning of the 21st century, all roads seem to lead to millennials - a generation growing up in the ever-changing world of technology and innovations.

Who are these people?

They are the ones sitting in restaurants and reading the news on their mobile phones, counting their steps on their smart watches, taking photos and recording videos using drones and jogging with the latest model of wireless headphones in their ears. They are posh, they are sporty, they are hipster, they are gamers, they are up and coming and everywhere around you.

But no matter how omnipresent they are, it might sound a bit odd that they should be the ones you should win over, might it not?

Let’s face it, they make up the population of those from their early 20s and to their late 30s, definitely not at the peak of their buying power and business success, more at its very beginning. What then does make them so important, if they do not match the profile of an average buyer in contemporary consumerism?

It’s simple - they are the trend and they are the future and they are everything the world is going to become and you want them to want you, trust us!

Bear in mind that these young faces are almost always turned towards a screen of a kind, even if they are working out, eating or crossing the street. Which means you need to appear on that screen or you will not exist on the business map. And that is the basic principle you should build your brand on - make it visible on the web!

Media choices

Word of mouth is still a very useful advertising method of appealing to customers - recommendations are reliable and trustworthy, but too local. No spoken word is powerful enough to take you to the other side of the globe. But that does not mean that you shouldn’t rely on it to a certain extent – as you will want a positive buzz to surround your business.

Having that covered, you can forget about older forms of media. Even though TV and radio were seen as the media gods until the end of the 20th century, those days are long gone. Millenials do not tend to see them as a source of the information they seek, so you do not need to spend any part of your media budget on these channels.

To millennials, “s” stands for “speed” and “m” stands for “move”. Everything in their online world changes drastically and dynamically and you have to keep up with these changes. The logical place to start and the common denominator for all modern phenomena is clearly - social media.

Going social

The list of top social networks is as liable to change as anything else nowadays. Depending on the concepts they are promoting, different platforms gain or lose popularity among our target audience.

Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and many other networks are in a constant race for the top spot in the social media dimension. These network support highly sharable content which appeals to millenials by its nature, and what’s more, this content can be shared on more than on platform at the same time. It is of utter importance, therefore, to make something that can be easily shared across different platform, yet carrying the same core message of your brand.

The reason why an advertisement should be short and straight to the point is not only the shortening attention span of social media users, there’s also the adaptability to the different devices supporting these platforms. Constantly on the move, millennials spend much time on mobile phones and tablets, and less and less time on heavy laptops and immobile PCs. Catching them on the go is what you need to be doing.

That way, the chance of them noticing your brand is drastically greater - they can see you at any point during their online activity. Establishing a presence on the networks you preferred target profile is using is the first thing you need to do to grab their attention.

Standing out

But accessibility and broad Wi-Fi coverage is a two-way street. While ads are easier to place, it is harder to emerge from the sea of information and become recognizable.

The crucial question is how to appeal to those who have seen it all. Plus, in an era of commercial bombing, it is easier for your audience to access your competition, and all the different communities that have a say on the buying decisions of online shoppers. “Be original” is easier said than done, but what should one DO to be noticed?

It is easier than it seems. Listen to your target audience! Do not listen to the subjective gut feeling you have, base your decisions on actual facts. What’s more, this new generation likes to interact. They are open and like to be seen or heard. Find a way of making them a part of your brand and take their advice on how to improve what you offer.

Having an app made specifically for your brand is a good start. That way, your customers and leads can stay in touch not only on the go, but have more access to what you do than through a mere website. You can customize it for orders, comments, content or anything you might need, and keep tweaking it as your fan base keeps growing.

Don’t be daunted by millennials. They are neither scary nor entitled. They have simply grown up in the world as it is today, and have had more time to adapt to the online presence some of us are still struggling with. All you need to do is approach them with a bit more honesty and transparency, and from a genuine wish to appeal, and you will be well on your way.

Published by Michael Deane