Characteristics of the Millennial’s Purchasing Journey

Characteristics of the Millennial’s Purchasing Journey

Mark Benson | April 19, 2018

For those in marketing, thriving in today’s highly competitive market means understanding your consumers – what they want from you; what motivates them; how they want to interact with you. With more data and research to date, it is “relatively” easy to identify the needs and wants of Baby Boomers and Generation X, but modern marketers need to face the shift and recognise the growing base of millennials—the world’s most relevant and powerful purchasers in recent times.

So, who are the millennials and why do we need to seriously pay attention to them? According to McCrindle Research, one of Australia’s reputable social research companies, Millennials or the members of the Generation Y are those born between 1980 to 1994. Other names for this demographic group include the "Dot com Generation" and  our personal favourite,  KIPPERS  (Kids In Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings). However, for William Strauss and Neil Howe, the two famed sociologists who came up with the term “millennial”, this generation comprise of people born between 1982 and 2004 or those who are between ages 13 – 35 as of 2017.

What makes millennials different?

Millennials have grown up surrounded by technology and have very strong preferences in how and when they interact with the web and brands. As marketers, we need to work extra hard to understand and devise the right strategy - with this age group rapidly representing the majority of the Australian population, brands can ill afford to ignore this market.

Here are a few defining characteristics to help you better understand millennial consumers.

  1. Millennials grew up highly exposed to computers and the Internet so you can expect them to be proficient in technology. Mobile phones have always been around and they heavily rely on their smartphones and tablets for information and recommendations for just about anything. From awareness through to loyalty, millennials regularly use their mobile phone at various stages throughout their journey. To be taken serious by millennials your approach to marketing should be mobile first.
  2. Millennials also thrive on social platforms. While social media was originally driven by millennials, its role has matured over time, which is causing a shift. In a recent Forbes survey, 41% of millennials still use Facebook every day, however Facebook was found to be more popular with non-millennials. Every other measured social media platform (YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn) was found to be more popular with millennials than non-millennials. As a brand, it is vital your marketing approach includes social media.
  3. A millennials buying behaviour is heavily influenced by word of mouth and feedback from family and friends. Before purchasing anything, they read a lot of their peers’ reviews, bloggers’ experiences, and their contemporaries’ candid criticism of products and services.
  4. First-born millennials are now starting to enter their 30s, which means their value as consumers is growing. According to Business Insider Australia, this generation is growing to become the largest spending group in five years, spending an average of $15,000 to $20000 per person per year both on discretionary and staples categories.
  5. Millennials as consumers are conscious about health benefits when compared to the GenX and Baby Boomers. They define being healthy as eating right and regular exercise and have created a fitness culture as evidenced by the rise in their patronage of athletic brands like Lululemon and Under Armour.
  6. While some marketers argue that it is hard to keep millennials devoted to their brands, in reality, the millennials’ spending habits are driven by loyalty. For as long as your company employs a customer-centric strategy and treats your buyers with TLC on a consistent manner, then you can expect millennials to become regulars in your business. Communicate with them on a personal level and acknowledge their opinions so as to make them feel part of your company.

Do you have other characteristics that you have used when marketing to Millennials? Leave your comments below.