By Allan Maurer
Millennials – the generation born between 1980 and 1995 – use online resources, but that’s only one stop in their search for answers when they’re ready to make decisions.
So says Karen Albritton, president of Raleigh-NC-based communications agency, Capstrat.
Capstrat research uncovered some surprises about the often stereotyped Millennial generation. Albritton will discuss the research and what it means to marketers at the Internet Summit next week at the Raleigh Convention Center.
“For the first time,” Albritton says, “a generation is always able to find someone who already made a decision they’re considering, from buying a TV to going to work at a certain type of job.”
Their most trusted source of information at major milestone decision points – buying a a car, a house, an appliance – is first person experience from someone they know, such as friends or family.
Their second most trusted source would be from anyone who has already “been there and done that,” even if its an anonymous source online, Albritton says.
“They’re very social decision makers. They consider first person experience from someone they don’t know as more important than third party sources such as Consumer Reports.”
That means they might read a review or report by someone with shaky grammar and spelling and still find it relevant to them.
They value face-to-face
One finding of the Capstrat research that is a bit surprising is that while the Millennials “Are very digital people, they value face-to-face contacts. A lot of brands are seeing the value of having millennials do certain things online then brining them into a store or organization to connect.”
Albritton says marketers can do a lot of things online to make a later face-to-face connection smoother. Those include such things as having them fill out basic form information for a loan application online so a sales person can focus on selling and not administrative functions in person.
CarMax, for instance, let’s consumers do more and more of that sort of thing online, she notes.
The Capstrat research suggests “They should love the mobile recommendations from friends type of thing.”
In fact, if they’re in a strange city, they’re more likely to go on Foursquare and see what friends have said about a good place to eat rather than asking the hotel concierge.
What does all this mean?
“It means we have to get way smarter at reaching the social influencers millennials go to. You have to reach the people who influence their decisions. They will seek it in a lot of places and you have to show up there.”
Here’s a Capstrat Video outlining results of its research on what Millennials want.
Here’s Capstrat on what it calls the Millennial advisory board (who they turn to when making decisions).
- The digitally obsessed Millennial teen never knew a world without the Internet (infographic)
- Millennials depend on mobile devices more than cars
- Survey says: Americans wary of talking to doctors via social media
- Young adults the most connected consumers, want “authenticity,” says study
- Digital marketing works better for Millennials than TV
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Tags: Capstrat, how to reach millennials, Internet Summit, Karen Albritton, marketing to millennials, millennials and mobile, NC, Raleigh, research on millennials, what do millennials want? millennials and first hand experience