By Ian Goldman, CEO, Celerant Technology
Strategies necessary to market to Millennials successfully mark the largest change in the discipline for the past 50 years.While previous generations have always required shifts in the types of messages that resonate with them, the fundamentals of how to reach them remained relatively unchanged. Tethered almost permanently to their mobile devices, Millennials are the first generation unlikely to be influenced by celebrity endorsements, broadcast TV advertising or print coupons.
Most retailers have become savvy about altering the shopping experiences to cater to Millennials online, but marketing has not kept up in many instances. Driving Millennial shoppers to convert requires marketing messages that are relevant, authentic and immediately actionable. Millennials expect to be spoken to personally and authentically, and that level of complexity is best solved by automating personalized email campaigns based on their buying patterns and preferences. That ensures you are sending the right message at the right time to your consumers.
Mobile cannot be overstated
Millennials weren’t just born digital, they were born mobile. If you aren’t equipped to handle mobile sales though a responsive site, solving that is definitely your first order of business. Even if your site is optimized for mobile navigation, know that most of your marketing materials are going to be accessed through mobile devices too. That means every email, every social media post, and every image must be optimized for mobile displays.
The entire shopping journey, from awareness to conversion, needs to be seamless on the mobile channel. Millennials expect to be able to “tap and go” from an interesting product in an email to the retailer’s website. If the shopper has an account, the user should be directed to the checkout page with the item loaded into the cart. Every step between interest and transaction is a roadblock to conversion and should be eliminated. Mobile shoppers are often on the go, and will quickly bore of arduous conversion and abandon the process — don’t give them the opportunity.
The importance of dynamic segmentation
Every buying behavior impacts the best way to communicate with customers. Millennials expect retailers to understand them, and sending them an email featuring a sweater they bought last week is proof that you don’t. That’s why it is vital that your marketing automation solution is tied directly into POS and e-commerce sales platforms. Every purchase, and even website browsing, can impact which messages are most relevant to them. Those behaviors should influence the marketing materials they receive.
By using tools to track customer behavior and collect sales data, purchasing history, brand preferences, gender, geographic area and more, you can use that data to trigger the right email campaign at the right time.