Millennials are either a portion of your current audience – and growing – or they are your next audience. Aged about 19-37, this tech savvy, high earning, highly educated group is craving opportunities for entertainment and events.
Here's our lowdown on what you should know about Millennials, so you can build a stronger audience of brand ambassadors.
1. They're highly social.
This may come as no surprise, but as the first generation that had social media as children and young adults, Millennials are a social set. They grew up connected not only to individuals in their schools and communities, but with connections across the country and, indeed, around the world. As a result, Millennials value relationships and connectedness, not only with people, but also with brands. They want to feel a real connection with the companies they buy from. This is good news for the live events industry! We’ve been connecting with our patrons and simply have to update the platform and way we do it to adapt.
Tip: Keep the voice and tone of your social media accounts honest and human. Reward your brand ambassadors and Influencers. (Don't know how? Click here.)
2. They're mobile.
In addition to growing up in a socially connected world, Millennials were also raised in a mobile world. Not only people, but also information has always been right at their fingertips. They have been wired to seek information. When they have a question, they simply "Google it" or “ask Siri/Alexa”. This technology has always been there – and not just while sitting at a computer. They have had the luxury of mobile technology for the vast majority of their lives. So – whatever you do simply must be mobile. (And remember on this one – nearly 90% of all adults – across every age group – now use a smart phone).
Tip: Make sure your website, ticketing site, and emails are all mobile-friendly. (For more tips on writing mobile-friendly emails, click here.)
3. They Insist on brands that align with their personalities.
Millennials buy brands that they feel reflect their styles and personalities. They are self-aware, realizing that the brands they choose say something about who they are, what they value and where they feel they fit within society. In fact, as many as 40% of this generation are willing to pay a premium for brands that reflect the images they wish to convey about themselves.
While this may be true to some extent with other generations, too, Millennials are acutely aware of how often they are seen and where they are representing the brands they choose. As we know, social media plays a big role. It’s not just what shoes they wear to or the kind of car they drive. It’s about what social platforms they use, the restaurants and venues where they check in, the events they attend, and what they share and mention in their posts. This is another win for live events – as we can connect with this audience again and again with what we bring to the community and the way we deliver our content.
Tip: Engage with your patrons via social media in an honest way. Ask for and listen to their suggestions, problems and complaints.
4. They're heavily influenced by what people think.
While some of us grew up calling that peer pressure and something to be avoided, the Millennials are hard wired this way but use it to their advantage in making better decisions. They seek out peer opinions, product reviews and user-generated content as part of the decision-making process. 84% of Millennials report that user-generated content on company websites has influences what they buy.
This helps us understand the dramatic increase in demand for videos and reviews of just about everything. They want to know what other people think about products and services before they buy them. The upside? We can get incredible and free data back from our patrons regularly and tailor what and how we offer up content to them to keep them coming back.
Tip: Frequently check and respond to negative reviews on Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Google. Give exemplary customer service that will encourage positive reviews (Read more here.)
5. They dislike traditional marketing.
According to a McCarthy group survey, 84% of Millennials don't like or trust traditional marketing. What does that mean for us? While some of the methods you are using may still work – for awhile – (sidebar, we predict the gradual decline of email marketing for events in 2016) – the messaging is critical.
And it means that in addition to those methods, a social presence is critical to how Millennials view your brand. Without that, they don’t know if they want to connect with you. With it – they can become connected to you and will be your brand ambassadors once that happens.
Tip: Stay aware of event marketing trends. For more on Mobile Marketing for Events, click here.
Respond: Share your own tips for connecting with Millennials in our comment section below.