The odd man out. Rounded corners. Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. Fish out of water. Bigfoot. The Loch Ness Monster. What do all of these have in common? They are all misfits or myths! Surprisingly, there is a whole generation in America that is either misunderstood or vaguely ignored. They are referred to as millennials, which is a term used to describe all people born roughly between 1982 and 2000. More importantly, they are a major part of a rapidly changing business environment. In order to successfully engage with this emerging force of completely different consumers, you first have to know who they are. We will look into a few myths surrounding millennials, the real behavior of these misfits, and ultimately why you should care.
It should come to no surprise to us how much criticism is directed toward “Generation Y” or “millennials” or whatever nickname you want to give them. It’s been said that in order to avoid criticism one must do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing; however, there are a few criticisms of millennials that actually fall into the realm of unproven myths. For example, it’s been said that they have an extremely small attention span. Honestly, we have no idea though. Nobody has actually conducted a study comparing millennials’ to an earlier generation’s attention span. In fact, usually the same people who accuse members of Generation Y of this, also say they spend all their time playing video games, which contradicts the idea of a short attention span. Another example of a millennial myth would be, in the words of a TIME article, they are lazy, entitled narcissists. On the other hand, according to a 2012 study, 75% of millennials said they gave a financial gift in 2011, 63% for a non-profit, and 41% plan to volunteer more in 2012. We can speculate on the specifics of this new generation, but it is crucial that we discard the myths and cling to the facts in order to successfully engage with them, especially if you own a business.
Through out the speculations, what are the facts matter-of-factly about millennials? For starters, a 2011 Barkley study said that “Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be an early adopter of technology than older generations. Fifty-six percent of Millennials report that they are usually either one of the very first to try new technologies or are among the first group to try a new technology.” They also “stand out when it comes to producing and uploading online content, including photos, videos, wiki entries, blog posts, microblog posts and product/service reviews. Sixty percent of them participate in this activity, compared to 29% of non-Millennials.” This makes a lot of sense combined with information from a Polk View study which notes that “among consumers who made use of the Internet during their vehicle research process, 76% of their time was spent online (11.3 hours online of a total 14.8 hours spent researching the vehicle).” When it comes to millennial consumer behavior in purchasing vehicles, they greatly appreciate customer service. A 2013 Autotrader study conveys this fact by revealing that “Forty-nine percent of Millennials said they rely on the salesperson for information on a vehicle. That’s compared to Gen X at 41 percent and Boomers at 38 percent.” Another study from Autotrader entitled “Next Generation Car Buyer Study” also says that they don’t just want anybody helping them though. They “rely more heavily on a salesperson for information than older generations… (Millennials: 49%, Gen X: 41%, Boomers: 38%)…but are more likely to go out of their way to avoid interacting with them for fear of high-pressure sales tactics (Millennials: 56%, Gen X: 49%, Boomers: 37%).
Now you know a bit more about Generation Y, but why should you even care? To put it simply, millennials represent a whole new kind of consumer. With that in mind, they already take up a considerable portion of car buyers. A J.D. Power and Associates 2013 study reported that millennials “ are increasing in market share at the greatest rate among all new-vehicle buyers and now comprise more than 20% of all retail sales.” Not only that but, according to Autotrader, this rate will continue to grow considerably. Millennials “are expected to represent nearly 50 percent of car purchases by 2020.” Now that’s alot of purchasing power!
As a wise man once said, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” So what would the other half be in the case of interaction with millennial customers? Given all the information and common sense seen so far, partnering with a chat-marketing center is the best option to succeed in a millennial business environment. Not only that but nobody does chat like Crossroads. Crossroads is the intersection between marketing innovative, informative technology, and the relationships crucial to converting and maintaining customers. When it comes to understanding misfits like millennials, don’t sift through the myths. Checkout what is happening in the world of WOW customer service and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org