Invasion of the Millennials

I got an interesting email this week while trying to solve the great logo debate that went on within our company. The question was why do we care what the Millenials think all of a sudden?  As a digital marketer, I should not need to explain what a Millenial is. Or, more than likely you are one.

For us non-Millenials, we don’t understand wearing Pajamas in public. We remember when AOL was $600 a month, when phone calls weren’t free, and when area codes actually told you where the person lived. But for us, the next big thing was always a few years away. For the Millenial, their world changes quickly, and they are always chasing shiny objects down the street. For us old established brands, we have to be that shiny object if we would like to capture a share of the $600B and growing Millenial market share.

Authenticity goes a long way. 

In short the Millenials process the world differently. And what that means is that we must approach our business differently if we would like to experience continuing growth. Customer service has changed, and how we sell also has changed.  Things are far more personal, and people are far more sensitive, and you have to account for that in the design of your website, your pricing, your content and your approach.

Blogs are far more important than they used to be because the assumption is that your blog is honest, and that means something to a Millenial. They may not agree with your opinion, but they have a different level of interaction if they believe something is genuine. After all, these folks have been marketed to since they were in the womb (think Baby Einstien).

Hold the Cheese

In my office, we have a gaggle of Millenials. They are affectionately known as minions because really they are very similar to Bob, Kevin and Stuart. We also have one that is a minion on loan named Evan. What i find is that they are very handy to help us walk through the digital space. They offer lists of things that they feel will improve customers sites.  And they often save customers from their own Cheesy tendencies, and that’s what they lead with when they send these emails with giant lists. Overall I think they help the company and our customers put out a better product.

As business owners, we are faced with many challenges. And as I look back at nearly 20 years, I think one of the most challenging yet necessary things we’ve done is evolve. Nobody likes change, but the Millenials have forced us all to change and retool how we market, how we promote our business. They have forced us to embrace social media, even though most businesses do it wrong. (which is a pet peeve of mine).

And beyond all the external things, Millenials are now moving up and aging in the workplace, which means that you may have to meet with a Millenial, or make a bid to a Millenial. And the Millenial may be the marketing manager, the brand manager, or even the CIO. So you have to be prepared to work with them and understand them.

So as I thought about why I put so much weight on what my minions and Evan say, its becasue they are helping us develop our company identity to scale into the next several years. They are helping our customers have durable and successful sites, and between the managments seasoned experience and the Millenials’ fresh viewpoint, I think it is the recipe for the perfect company that can reach out across generaltions and continue to grow.

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