“Millennial” word itself fills up the heart with a “futuristic” time – more digital, more fancy and more tech savvy. So, who is a Millennial? Millennials are the people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s and currently, this generation is known as the powerful purchasing population, alongside Gen Z.
In the U.S. itself, this generation controls $600 billion in annual spending and it is expected to multiply in the coming time. They undoubtedly are the enormous commercial force but capturing this audience requires an engaging marketing and personalized experience.
Millennial buyers behave differently
First and foremost, it’s important to know the difference between millennial buyers and others. There’s a fundamental behavioral and preferential difference between Millennial Buyers and Baby Boomers/Gen X and others. Their whole approach to understanding, processing and responding to media and advertising is so different that it has left many brands wondering and figuring the best way to attract this massive consumer powerhouse.
They like to do a thorough research before buying any product; reviews, comparisons and social validation play important roles in convincing them. They rely on their friends’ opinions and real experiences rather than blindly following an advertisement.
The following infographic by CEB ‘Iconoculture Consumer Insights’ provides a glimpse of the millennial mindset:
Millennial buyers are anxious and always looking for something new and exciting. So, howcan one really make them swoon and stick to a brand? Let’s dive little deeper and get a real taste.
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy
According to Christopher Brace, CEO at Syntegrate Consulting in New York, “Shoppers’ most valuable asset isn’t their dollars, it’s their attention. Every move should be vetted against its ability to capture the shopper’s attention. If it can’t, then its relevancy significantly lessens.
Millennials have a very short span of attention, that’s why it’s important to engage them and provide the best end-to-end customer experience that lasts forever. Better engaging experiences help in with brand recall, when so many products are cramming the market, it’s important to standout and make the buyers choose you. How? Let’s talk about a few things that make this audience tick and how augmented reality resonates.
Millennials appreciate transparency, especially when being sold too. They are attracted to honest and authentic brands; carefully convey your underlying mission and beliefs. Be yourself and avoid fake portrayal of your beliefs.
It’s not uncommon for sales pitches to be carried out through content. Content is king and it’s what precedes the sale of most products today, primarily with eCommerce. Ads are passé! Create shareable and meaningful content is the future of product marketing. Videos and GIFs have been dominant because they are attention-grabbing. The future is looking towards experiences like VR to attract consumers to new brand products. Augmented Reality is another experience that has proven engaging and something brands are willing to pay for given Snapchat and Pokémon Go’s success with AR.
Creating experiences is the most important element in engaging
Millennials and generations hereafter. They want to know the brand they’re buying from and feel that the brand knows them. User experience is everything and augmented reality is the next tool to create engaging marketing experiences.
Millennial Buyers and Augmented Reality
Virtual experiences are thriving amongst the Millennial audience and it’s clear that the future is going to be filled with exciting technology used to craft marketing experiences. These campaigns influence the buying decision, on top of building brand awareness and conversation.
Augmented Reality has greatly increased buyer engagement. Engaging buyers and stimulating their senses through virtual experiences in your real environment, in real-time. This technology is cool, fun and is already creating waves in the millennials’ minds.
Snapchat has garnered RFPs north of $750,000 for augmented reality “lenses” which are an innovative form of advertisements. Pokémon Go has built a loyal user base used augmented reality to allow players to catch Pokémon in real locations, and the interactivity has been addictive.
A large number of industries are already tapping AR’s power to engage their customers. There are two ways to use augmented reality in marketing: interactive print and augmented commerce.
Interactive print ﹣AR makes it possible to layer interactive, digital components atop a real life environment. For example, AR-powered apps like Augment allow users to scan an image on a page, screen, or package with their smartphone, and an interactive, associated 3D model will pop up and hover over the printed media. The interaction with these augmented trackers can easily become addictive, used by customers time and time again. Brands can also link the interactive campaigns to a website, directing the consumer to purchase.
Augmented Commerce ﹣Shop from home without having to envision how it would look in the store. Augmented Commerce is set to engage millennial buyers by allowing them to see virtual products in their physical space before they purchase, all through AR.
Without even leaving their houses, the buyers can virtually try and experience the products they’re looking to buy. AR is a tool that will make the buyer’s journey much more captivating, consumers won’t hesitate because of uncertainty. AR has been instrumental in creating a great interaction environment between buyers and sellers and establishing an emotional connection between product demand and consumers’ desires.
Dennis is the Content Marketing Manager at Augment, where he’s active in building content to grow digital communities.