The way consumers interact with brands is drastically changing and younger generations have very different expectations for the future. The Millennial Generation, or Generation Y, is already showing their preferences in a recent study done by Cisco and conducted by InsightExpress, a market research firm based in the United State. In the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report [PDF], Gen Y college students and workers between the ages of 18 and 30 were surveyed to gain their perspective on technology in their lives. So our question for you and your business is, “Are you ready for them?”
90% of Young People Wake Up and Check Their Smartphones
Before doing anything else in the morning, Gen Y wakes up and checks their emails, Facebook statuses, text messages, apps, and updates on their phones. As a business, if you want to be apart of this routine then your content better be mobile friendly. Do you have a mobile version of your website? Are your emails responsive so that they adjust to whatever screen size is being used? Are you evolving this content regularly as new technology enters the marketplace?
Technology Preference is Constantly Changing
When asked if they could only have one device, young people chose their laptops but only slightly above their smartphones. As smartphone functionality evolves, laptops will even become more obsolete. Many devices today weren’t an option 5 years ago but many of our clients come to us with a website that hasn’t been updated since the 1990s.
Media is Being Consumed Everywhere All Day
Not only are young people always connected, but they are constantly interacting with people, engaging with companies, and solving problems. No matter where they are or what is going on around them, the smartphone is a natural extension of the way they consume information. In order to leverage this and engage with them, it’s necessary to become apart of the conversation through inbound marketing. Are you regularly creating educational and helpful content that solves problems? Are you communicating on all channels including: social media, forums, industry websites, online media, and text messaging? You need to be if you want to capture any part of this limited attention span.
Shopping Online is Common, but You Need Trust First
Generation Y believes that shopping online is a preferred method for interacting with a company, however they are extremely wary and possibly paranoid. They are aware of scams such as identify theft, internet fraud, spoofing, hacking, or a myriad of other risks involved. However, these can be used to your advantage if you are an ethical and trustworthy company. Build trust by solving their problems and providing them with free information first, without the expectation that they’ll buy from you. They’ll gladly test you with their email address or a small portion of contact information. Use that email address or mobile number to continually nurture them and convert them into a loyal customer.