The millennial demographic are prime picking for brands. Generation Y has fewer financial obligations, limited commitments and more cash to splash on goods and services.

Millennials are also tech savvy. This is an age group that grew up with technology and have a natural gift for the science of mass media. Their online presence and share of digital spend grows year on year.

However, to capture the attention of millennials, brands need to learn how to reach them; identify the right platforms, understand the purchasing mindset and be prepared to ride the waves of shopping trends.

The digital terrain can be difficult to navigate and too often the lines are blurred between online and offline marketing. Savvy marketers strike a fine balance between the two. There is little value in focusing all your efforts in one or the other.

A common mistake marketers make is to bulk the typical characteristics of a demographic under one umbrella. Experts warn that stereotyping millennials puts you at risk of missing a large percent of 18-34 year olds. Not all millennials are self-absorbed, have low attention spans or an obsession with selfies.

The vast majority of US millennials, however, do own smartphones and the dependence on mobile handsets around the globe continues to grow. Smartphones are a communication platform that impact purchasing decisions.

Whilst the digital arena has a significant impact when marketing to the millennial age group it is important to understand the needs of individuals. But breaking old paradigms is most essential. Millennials don’t want traditional marketing, they want experience.

Bridging the digital gap

Contrary to what you may expect, millennials are not the biggest digital spenders. That accolade goes to Generation X. However, generation Y are more flexible when it comes to engaging with brands.

Millennials do not trust traditional advertising. The qualities they look for in a brand are social responsibility and a sense of justice. This age group also want an experience and are mostly driven by engagement-led content.

The difficulty many brands face is crossing the gap between online and offline shopping. It is impossible to survive if you focus on one or the other. The most successful brands combine the two in their marketing mix and take advantage of new trends.

Bridging the gap is where smartphones become a brand’s best friend. Not only do mobile devices provide you with a line of communication that is barely ever out of reaching distance, there are interesting innovations in the text messaging space that compel millennials to take action.

With SMS, brands have a prime opportunity to reach customers. More than 90% of texts are opened within 15 minutes. Surveys in text messages can be used to ask customers for information about themselves, and how they feel about your brand, products and customer services.

Furthermore, smartphone are the favoured home to apps, discount coupons and QR codes. Imagine being able to reach a customer with an irresistible offer they cannot refuse when they are just around the corner. You can with geo-targeting technology.

Millennial brands

The Millennials Choice Survey featured the usual suspects such as Coca-Cola, Apple and Nike. But dozens of second-tier brands are capturing the imagination of millennials because they appeal to the sensibilities and conditions of the modern shopper.

For example, Nivea features in the list because they offer quality and an affordable price tag. Johnson & Johnson is listed for the same reason. In the travel space, Airbnb come out on top because they not only offer a place to stay, but an overall experience.

Millennials base their decisions on the perceived benefits, security of investment and the quality of customer service. Not only that, but when 18-34 year-olds do find a brand that fulfils their requirements they tend to stay loyal customers.

Brand conversations should be intelligent and contextual. You should also be looking to connect with millennials at several touchpoints across multiple platforms. SMS offers convenience and speed, but is limited for space so not suitable for long-winded messages.

However, mobile technologies allow marketers to include other media, such as links, images and videos that can be used to direct recipients to the next stage of the customer journey. And there is plenty for millennials to explore in the digital world so keep on top of the needs and interests of your audience.

Mobile-based platforms are a premium channel for connecting brands with customers. Utilise the technology to leverage brand awareness and create unique experiences in a noisy marketplace. SMS messaging helps you go about your business quietly and efficiently.

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