How Millennials are Changing the Face of Marketing

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1070 , Published on 11 December 2014
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They are confident, self-directed and free spirited. They value transparency and social consciousness. For them pictures speak louder than words. They have a widely recognized affinity for technology. They are the MILLENNIALS – the individuals who fall in the age bracket of 18-35. This generation has now become an omnipresent clique. Millennials are more in headcount than baby-boomers and will soon outnumber them by a sizeable difference. This generation, of people who are brimming with positive energy, is now becoming the next wave of dominant consumers; the face of tomorrow. Their headstrong expectations have revamped the way consumer marketing is performed, taking it to an entirely new level.


It wasn’t long back when marketing used to be synonymous with printed publications, T.V. advertisements and word of mouth marketing. However, things unheard of during the days of baby-boomers have now become a universal truth. Now, Millennials interact with the brands at more personal and emotional level. A relationship is fostered by the millennial consumer with brands and products he associates himself with. Companies are now aware that unhappy consumers can create a negative buzz for a product which could result in serious damage to the company’s reputation (as in the case of KFC’s tsunami ad). On the flipside, a positive response towards a product could help the company win accolades and create a niche for itself in the market. Flipkart’s success story can be attributed to none but the millennials and their trendsetting behavior.

Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, Stuart Miles


Gone are the days when marketers had to wait for months to gauge the consumer response. Social media has come to rescue these large corporations by turning real time feedbacks, comments and views, from the consumers itself, into a reality. This tech savvy generation is using social media platforms like never before, to reach out to their trusted brands. According to a study, 51 percent millennials make their purchase decisions based on social influence whereas 55 percent share their experiences online. And the brands are all up for making hay while the sun shines. As a result, marketing has become a bidirectional process with consumers and marketers interacting online to get the best out of each other. Online presence, to continuously engage with the consumer, has become imperative for a brand to succeed in the current scenario.


This generation is blessed with relatively shorter attention spans, thanks to their astounding multitasking abilities. Millennials live in an ultra-connected world where everything is but a click away, giving rise to an unprecedented need to hasten and charge up all processes. Rapid mushrooming of QSR’s (quick service restaurants) like Mc. Donald’s, KFC, Café Coffee Day etc. only reinforces this point. Soaring need for celerity has also lead to burgeoning of ecommerce websites, which are a quick and convenient alternative to the conventional shopping expeditions to the local markets. This phenomenon has not only endorsed social media advertisements but has also made the delivery of information crisp and succinct.


For today’s self-expressive, individualistic and pragmatic consumers, brands bring a sense of prestige and identity. Generation Y places high value on customization and personalization i.e. they embrace brands that embrace them. Dell and Nike, the two brands that stand out in this domain, leveraged the opportunity by providing mass customization to their patrons and are reaping benefits. The consumption pattern of the millennials also suggests that they take a keen interest in gaining information on what they associate themselves with. So, instead of focusing on cost cutting measures, the companies should shift the muzzles of their canons to target better technology, higher sustainability and creating differentiating factors over other brands.


All eyes are on this cohort. Everybody wants to speak their language and realign their strategies to suit Generation Y. One can’t afford to turn a blind eye to this section, their needs and the marketing requirements to satisfy those needs. This segment presents an irresistible opportunity that has been grabbed by the likes of Wildcraft and Facebook who cater to the personalization requirements of young, energetic and self-directed millennials. In such a scenario, only the ability to adapt and respond will define the success of a brand.

 

This article has been authored by Shailesh Bansal & Rijuta Bindlish from TAPMI

 


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