Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, has been called confident, connected, and open to change. People born within this generation (1980-2000) are the first group to grow up with the Internet. Here are some of the typical thoughts that run through a millennial’s mind when it comes to digital communications:
1. “I need this information right now.”
Millennials like to access information quickly. Millennials own an average of 2.4 Internet-connected devices, which typically includes a cell phone and a laptop. Moreover, almost two-thirds of millennials are using smartphones. And more than three-quarters of users in this generation have a social media profile. It’s no surprise then that these users want access to information on-the-go. Any business that fails to make their website user-friendly or create an accessible social presence will go unnoticed by the millennials.
2. “This website is working for me.”
Millennials are used to finding new ways to utilize social media sites. For example, Facebook is used as a collaborative learning tool or creating inside jokes that can’t be understood by people outside of the community. Millennials like to make different types of content and share it with others.
Ultimately, millennials understand that they’re being marketing to, which means that traditional advertising is out of the question. Instead companies need to get creative. If brands want to reach millennials, they need to wrap their messages in an engaging package. Contests and causes resonate well, as well as messages that convey a sense of corporate transparency.
3. “I’m an individual, but my friends matter.”
This last idea is tricky. On the one hand, millennials want to be unique. Millennials are 12% more likely than adults to say social networking sites give them an opportunity to express themselves. This generation is not only looking to engage in immediate feedback to improve products, but they are voicing those impressions through blogs, social networks, and corporate sites.
On the other hand, a friend’s recommendation is considered the best source of information. In many ways, social networking is the oldest form of marketing, word-of-mouth. Anything shared on social networks can be seen by a user’s connections, so even though a millennial wants to be unique, the group aspect is equally important.
Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and others have been making headlines in 2012 for their rapid growth and popularity with millennials. For companies everywhere, this generation is the key for future growth, as long as digital marketers can keep up with these expressive, savvy techies.