How Millenials are Shaping the Future of Business and Marketing

The Millenial. One of the largest generations in history are unquestionably shaping the future of business and marketing. Known as digital natives, they have a combine purchasing power of over USD 10 trillion globally. With their unique experiences, they are poised to change the way we buy and sell. In the following article, Lucy Kiruthu, the Lead Management Consultant at Evolve Business Consultants explains why it is easy to understand why many companies are trying to appeal to the millennial generation with alternative marketing solutions.

Who is the millennial customer?

The millennials are those considered to have been born between early 1980s to mid-1990s. This generation otherwise referred to as generation Y is sandwiched between generation X and the upcoming generation Z or the centennials.  Millennials are the sons and daughters of the younger baby boomers and the older generation ‘Xers’. Most of their parents have had formal jobs and as children, millennials had a structured lifestyle to fit in their parents’ schedules. In matters business and customers analysis, millennials are today shopping for themselves, for their children and are influencing the purchase decisions of their parents. In addition, as business owners, middle level and senior managers they are involved in the making purchases in their organizations.

What do the millennial customers prefer?

The millennials are well educated and informed. They witnessed the digital transformation from their early years. They have grown up with access to the internet, with computers, mobile phone, cable TV, microwave, instant showers, mobile money and the like. As a result, they are tech-savvy.  Notably, these millenials have grown up experiencing much better services than their parents did. Because of the environment within which they have grown, millennials as customers tend to have higher expectations. They prefer to get things done faster and prefer to interact online via their mobile phones and other gadgets. They like to look at online reviews and ratings for both products and services and to compare multiple online stores before making purchase decisions. Because of the improved access to information, millennials are able to make informed decision and get better deals than their parents. With better understanding of their rights as customers, the Millennials often demand to get value for their money unlike their parents would.

What can businesses do to serve the millennial customer?

Is your organization making it easier for millennials to do business with you? As customers, millennials comprise a sizeable percentage of consumers that has a significant purchasing power. Ignoring this group is only to the detriment of your business. Businesses targeting the millennial customers need to understand them more.  Having grown up in an interconnected world, the millennials like to do business with businesses that are easy to do business with. They desire to have a painless end-to-end customer experience; they are keen on quality and trendy stuff and like to keep up with the times.  To serve the millennial customers effectively, businesses must rethink their overall customer experience. Most importantly, businesses must focus on speed and pay more attention to what their millennial customers are saying.

Social media is a big talk currently. Are Kenyan businesses connecting adequately with Millennials online?

Millennials are active on several social media platforms. They are on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp and many others. They not only use social media to keep in touch with their friends, but also to interact with businesses. Millennials would rather chat online than send an email, make a telephone call or visit an office. Therefore, businesses hoping to reach out to Millennials need a heavy online presence across multiple channels. While some Kenyan businesses are adequately connecting with their millennial customers online, many others are still lagging behind. Businesses need to embrace social media to keep the Millennials informed, to handle their enquiries, offer services and to deal with any dissatisfaction expressed online. Businesses must not shy away from customers that have gone digital and that demand a better experience than the generations before them.

Understanding market needs and meeting them appropriately is vital to developing brand loyalty and certainly something that will give any business a competitive advantage.

Kiruthu is the Lead Management Consultant at Evolve Business Consultants a Nairobi Based Management Consultancy firm on a mission to Inspire Positive Change in Business and Society. The firm focuses on Strategy, Leadership and Service Excellence. Please connect via twitter @EvolveAdvisory or Facebook @EvolveBusinessConsultants



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