What do millennials want? You know, besides things like more in-person collaboration?
It's not an easy question to answer. But millennials are the up-and-coming buying generation for marketers, of course. They are the smartphone-loving, screen-touching, head-buried-in-screens, tweeting generation. And knowing what they want could make the difference between profit and loss.
One Millennial's Buying Journey
What do they want? Let's ask. CMSWire asked Dante Flori, a senior at Watertown High School in Massachusetts who played hockey for his school, how he would go about buying a new hockey stick.
Flori said he'd take two routes: search online via his smartphone for the particular brand he'd want (an Apx 2, for instance), read up on any reviews online, then take to Twitter to ask his friends.
"A laptop sometimes too," Flori said, "but our generation is glued to smartphones."
No More SEO?
SDL, a global customer experience company, went out and found a few hundred Dantes and asked itself. Some things we already know — like they average touching their smartphones 45 times a day.
But other findings will surely rattle marketers a bit. For instance, search engines are not Millennials' preferred mode of finding information. In the age of SEO and Web presence being significant factors for marketers, that has to be worrisome.
"That changes a lot of traditional marketing strategies like email campaigns and looking at things like SEO," said Paige O’Neill, chief marketing officer of SDL. "It's going to have to mean a lot of changes on the marketing side."
Obviously, not all Millennials are abandoning search. Hockey player teen Flori back in Watertown, Mass., would certainly be up for some time inside the Google search box (just not the penalty box, of course). But they may be jumping the search ship soon.
SDL's Five Truths
SDL's study on 300 Millennials in North America is part of a larger look for SDL called “Five Truths for Future Marketers,” a series that will share millennial preferences and behaviors, and recommends best practices for evolving marketing to connect with the next generation of customers.
The first conclusion is that "campaigns are extinct."
"Campaigns are extinct in their traditional form," O'Neill said. "They are no longer going to be successful in this landscape."
Further, Millennials want marketers to know them, speak to them as if they know their needs, and they also get a lot accomplished through social networks, SDL learned.
"They’re getting information from social networks," O'Neill said. "Email is really their last choice of communication."