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Strategy and Transformation

CGT: Strategies to Engage Millennials

Here at this week’s CGT conference, we are able to get a lot of focused information in a short time frame. Oracle and Interbrand focused a breakfast on understanding millennials and how to engage them.
What are they?
This is the, “everyone gets a trophy generation as they were growing up.”

  • There are 70 million millenials in the US
  • They exceed baby boomers by a significant margin
  • 75% are now on their own
  • They represent about 600 billion in spending power

What are we doing ?
More than demographics, Oracle and Interbrand wanted to know……. things like lifestyles, behaviors, what engages them, what brands they like and why, etc.
First, not all millenials are they same. There are six general threads of millenials

  1. 2/3 have an average debt of $27,000 coming out of school
  2. They are very educated. 1/3 have college experience
  3. They are very diverse with a large number of non-whites
  4. Very independent.  Staying single.  only 26% are married in the 18-35 group
  5. Much more trustful than you think.
  6. They are digital natives
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Keep these threads in mind but understand that there are a variety of differences in the detail.
They were able to identify five unique segments

  1.  Up and comers: This is a diverse group of males. “Jake” is emplyed. He’s highly active, rarely watches tv, keeps up with his brands through social media, is rarely home.
  2. Mavens: Well educated, doesn’t clip coupons, willing to try new products.  May just be starting a family, and has the highest income of all these segments.
  3. Ecletics: Has a part time job, working on college degree, thinking about following their dreams, loves to order from Amazon, loves to shop in the beauty categoy sticks to what she knows.
  4. Skeptics: Just scraping by. Lives at home, barely completed high school, They tend to worry and carry grudges.  Fancy frills are not important. Most shopping is taken care of by mom. They don’t buy much except for small things but if they find something they like, they tend to stick with it for life.
  5. The Trendsetter. Just finished college.  Will start a trend. Always updating look. Is super social. Loves to read entertainment samples. Favorite stores have lots of samples and have new and different things.  Wants to be an individual

What do you do?
You only live once (YOLO) is very important as a philosopy.  American Express targets them well because they define the “moments”.  Mavens and trendsetters are a key part of this.
They are surfing the internet, looking for deals, and doing research.  Bose is an old line but are able to target millenials without changing their DNA.  They listen to people on social media.
Millenials see through mass marketing. They want their own deals.  This drives personalized offers.

  1. Make it frictionless. Be there but don’t be obvious.  The mavens, up and comers, and trendsetters like this. Target is doing this well with advertising and with their apps. You can’t be obvious. You don’t want to be int heir face.
    1. Note: the financial breach at target really didn’t affect millenials.  Older people were more concerned
  2. Provide them with a personalized rich, and consistent experience. You have to be ready cross-channel.  It’s a little harder in the consumer goods world because of the retailer paradigm.
  3. Offer customization: they expect something to come to them.   Eclectics and skeptics are most intersted in the special offers. They want to be special.  Nike does this great with their customized shoes.  Converse does this well too. Their flagship store lets you customize your shoe via ipads.
    1. When a millenial has a problem, who they do go to?  (retailer or the brand)    They tend to focus on the retailers. This can give some challenges as you struggle to keep your brand awareness higher.
    2. You must optimize how you deal with issues where they are
  4. Build Loyalty: Up and comers, Mavens and Trendsetters. find this the most important.  You must relate to the at the highest level.  “manage the buzz”  Starbucks does this well.  They give you a lot of choices but they have great apps with payment, preferences, awards, etc.
    1. Optimize: Think demand forecasting, merchandising, inventory planning.
    2. Story: bought coffee at Starbucks.  His son got a text from mom telling him to enjoy the coffee. He freaked out even though Mom only knew because Mom and Dad share the Starbucks app. His son was so freaked that he pulled the app. He didn’t want Mom seeing what he was doing.   Note: this is even though Mom and Dad, not son, shared they apps
  5. Demonstrate value: Skeptics and Up and Comers find this the most important. Chobani Yogurt does this well.   You get your fro-yo. You get a cool glass bowl to keep. In other words, they give them a little something with the experience with the brand.
    1. Tools like analytics of structured and unstructure behavior.  Things like data aggregation and visualization are iportant

At this point, they talked about how Oracle Complete CX for REtail connects every interaction for your consumer.
Final questoin: What is your strategy when you want to connect with the Millenials?  Who will you target.
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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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