Millennials and the Importance of Authenticity
Millennials are coming on strong. Retailers expect Millennials – who were born between 1976 and 1994 — to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017. Further, they are projected to spend more than $10 trillion during their lifetimes, according to Advertising Age.
Millennials currently account for $1.3 trillion in consumer spending, and with 80 million potential millennial customers, retailers will be rewarded if they can attract this segment.
AdAge estimates these young adults spend 25 hours online weekly. They are gathering information — retaining what is appealing, discarding what is not. To avoid having your content in land in the virtual recycle bin, it must be authentic.
Authentic means more than just being unique or having originated from your store. Rather, authentic means that the content “rings true” to the consumer. It is written in a manner that is familiar to the millennial, and that gives it credibility. Content that is not authentic sounds phony or forced and turns off this age group.
What that means is that most traditional advertising sounds fake to Millennials. According to Forbes research, a mere 1% of millennials surveyed said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. One percent. Clearly, advertising budgets for this group need to be rethought.
However, remember all that time spent consuming content on the Web? Much of that is spent doing research on future purchases. Forbes said 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines and books.
If you are looking to invest in TV commercials, you’re looking to attract baby boomers, not millennials.
In addition, millennials check sources of material for their authenticity as well. If they trust the content creator, they’ll trust the information.
All of that is great information to keep in mind when creating any marketing collateral for your company — and that includes social sites. It’s imperative to have a presence on the networks that make sense for your business, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
And millennials expect nearly instant responses to their comments: Getting back to a complaint on Facebook two days later is not acceptable. In addition, those responses must be personal and respectful.
Whole Foods offers a great example (click to enlarge):
Seriously, if Whole Foods can reveal itself as truly caring about a customer’s trash bag selection, you can surely create authentic content about your product as well.