Put Your Money Where Your Millennials Are
Find the millennial market mystifying? What about the millennial female market? Levo recently partnered with Merkle to determine what and why millennial women buy. As it happens, millennial women have A LOT of spending power – in fact, an estimated market of around $170 billion. So, let’s explore how you can speak their language and strategically and efficiently reach this vast audience.
Where do we begin?
From an audience profile perspective, Levo determined that this market is not to be stereotyped. No really – don’t do it, because it will surely result in inaccurate targeting. To start, plan to do more detailed research on millennial women related to your industry and then plan to develop a variety of customer personas. Levo/Merkle determined that many in this group are looking for opportunities to make some serious cash on the side, which means they have more to pay their student loans and more purchasing power overall. Sheer dollars aside, the study sheds light on how this group’s affinity (or need) for “side hustles” can ultimately create complex profiles. Their jobs (and therefore their interests), may not overlap, which means your research and analytics are the most important step in getting a comprehensive look at this audience. Be willing to pivot your objectives – they are willing to spend that hard-earned money, but they want to feel understood in return.
What motivates them?
They’re ready to spend, but what drives them? In short, value – that sweet spot between price and quality – and customization. This market wants options and offers they can identify with and find value in. They want to feel like the product is specifically meeting all their needs. While many feel companies are designing with them in mind (81 percent), only “70 percent of millennial women agree that brands are listening and responding to their needs.” This serves as a friendly reminder that brands need to remember the conversation is ongoing – continue to listen, digest, innovate, rinse, repeat. This market will take notice if there’s no follow-through.
Another interesting determination? This market is willing to spend – but not just on things. “72 percent of women said that spending money on experiences made them happiest; and 54 percent say their biggest purchase in the next twelve months will be on experiences.” Take the lessons learned above and fine tune your services. Ensure the experience you’re providing is guided by listening and feedback and is customizable. If you think they expect the utmost quality from a product (and they do), you better believe their expectations are even higher when spending for an experience.
How do you reach them?
In addition to wanting to be heard, millennial women want to be spoken to on an individual level. Here’s where strategic storytelling comes in. What’s your story and where are you sharing it? It better be on social media. “Social media posts account for the single largest discovery point for new brands, beating word of mouth.” Your social strategy should follow and work hand-in-hand with a well-laid content strategy. Are you working with influencers? “62 percent tried a brand based on the recommendation of an influencer.” Don’t underestimate the value of influencers – not only are many consumers guided to specific brands by an influencer, they’re generally more engaged when reached by one: “marketers can reach a dedicated audience who is more likely to respond (sometimes up to 92 percent more likely) to the influencer than to a traditional ad.”
So, after you’ve determined how to reach them, the question is what do you say? It’s long been understood that millennials care about a brand’s values. That remains the same with millennial women – they want to be loud and proud about their relationship with your brand, but that means they must feel your values are aligned. “57 percent say a brand’s values and stance on issues they care about influence a purchase decision.” The gist: your content should speak to those values and have substance – YOU should also be loud, proud and clear about what you stand for and what you have to offer. Give them material to connect with and perhaps they’ll go so far as to share it with their peers. Give them content that convinces them you’re a brand they can trust, a brand in which they can invest their hard-earned money and valuable time. Meet them where they are or they’ll surely take that money elsewhere.
Bringing it full circle
Let’s revisit the importance of listening. They may invest that money and time in your brand once, but how do you ensure they keep coming back? Be sure your marketing strategy involves active listening. Are you monitoring feedback on social media? Good. Are you taking that feedback in? A smart and cohesive content strategy (and execution) is informed by listening and following through. It’s nearly impossible to be genuine and authentic if your message is only guided by internal voices. Case in point: Aerie’s anti-retouching policy.
These days, millennial women have higher expectations from ALL brands based on superior experiences they’ve had. Whether you like it or not, your peers are raising the bar. Active listening is key to ensure your consumers are getting what they want – ultimately, they’re less willing to compromise or let things go and they will not accept unfulfilled promises. Maybe that means it’s time to evolve. Maybe it just means you need a new content and social media strategy to properly put your story out there.
The Levo and Merkle report has a lot to say – there is certainly much to be learned and acted on within it – but we’d argue that the following are crucial in building your relationship with this audience:
- customized, authentic content that showcases your ability to understand what they want;
- a willingness to engage in continued communication with this group, to meet them where they are; and
- the ability to deliver on the experience as promised.
Don’t undervalue this market. They will wield their purchasing power. The question is: how will you tap into it? Get in touch with our team to get started!