Four Forces Powering The Future of Millennial Marketing & Product Design
Companies today are looking to win the hearts of the savvy Millennial generation. With that said, there is a real lack of awareness as to what forces are shaping their behaviour. Therefore, it is causing marketing and product trends to be changing at blinding speeds. With help from recent TEDx speaker Eric Termuende, here are four forces to be well aware of when marketing or building products for this fast-moving generation.
1. Shortening Attention Spans = New Marketing Tactics Needed
Thanks to mobile phones, human attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in 2000, to 8 seconds - goldfish now edge us out with their 9-second attention span. If you are a marketer, great, now what? The key to combatting dwindling attention spans is to be concise, engaging, rewarding, and relevant with how you market. For example, you know you’re rowing in the right direction when you create...
- Concise listings on publications such as Buzzfeed such as 27 ice cream shops you need to visit before you die, are as popular as ever.
- Engaging media such as video. Especially the honest footage created by the girl next door which brings a level of personalization and engagement that traditional print and even some forms of social media do not.
- Thanks to companies like Kiip, rewarding ads that actually let your customers win something tangible to take home with them.
- Relevant programmatic ads targeted to a constructed online persona of prospective buyers whose gender, age, interests, location, and buy behaviours are all accounted for.
2. Differentiation and Authenticity
Apple and Android users have a total of over 3 million apps to choose from when they want to solve a problem in their life - this does not gel well with your objective of not only getting noticed but consistently used.
People are dreading downloading yet another app into a phone that is likely maxed out in both memory and data. If you are creating an app, it must be 10x better than what is already out there because there is a good chance another app is going to have to be deleted before you make it on. Unless your app is inherently viral and hits perfect timing, you’ll need to spend a lot of money on marketing and technology building it.
Apps are of course one of the many examples of how the online world is getting noisier with more products, websites, and services. However, the same principles apply. Be 10x better and make sure you have money and technology behind you if want to muscle your way to the top. To take things one step further, be authentic. With the average person seeing more advertisement than ever before, desensitization is more and more common. Be real.
3. More Personalization & Data = Better Curation
Due to the amount of noise, curation apps like Spotify and Netflix are starting to win over indecisive and overwhelmed consumers who simply want the best solution personalized for them. Yelp’s stock has dropped 80% since 2014 and one reason for that is that what was once an impressive conversion of making offline information available online, has lost its novelty. People now see it as clutter and simply look to expertly-curated discovery apps like Tangoo or publications like the Daily Hive to feed them personalized “Best Of” lists.
As Netflix learns more about both you and your friends watching behaviour, it gets smarter at saving you time and serving you up shows that your friends are watching. Spotify uses this same kind of A.I and learning and like Tangoo, blends real people and trending data to present playlists that fit the taste of a local trendsetting influencer. This leads to my last point around the trend of social empowerment.
4. New Social Media Channels = More Social Empowerment Through Influencer Marketing
It has never been easier for a regular human being to amass a large online following through their unique broadcast channel. YouTube Stars led the way a decade ago when they proved that you didn’t need to be LeBron James or George Clooney to start getting paid for endorsing products and services. But video is hard, expensive, and time-consuming to create so many people were left out. Then came Instagram in 2010 and suddenly anyone could take a selfie and with the right consistency, hashtag use, and flare, build their own tribe of engaged fans!
Take a very simple and local example of UBC student Aaron Yen (aka @foodyensation), who has amassed almost 13.7k Instagram followers in between study breaks in just the last year alone. Aaron's consistent stream of amazing food porn photos and engaging anecdotal captions wins people’s trust. It also adds an authentic personal touch that inspires people to believe her recommendations over an advertisement stuffed into one of the daily papers.
At the end of the day, attracting Millennials is going to be the same at attracting Gen X or Gen Z. The reality is that this conversation isn’t a generational one, it is a future of work and technology one. Everything suggested above has to do with new ways to communicate the same message, and tries to consider how that message is received.