The Essential Guide to Millennial Marketing: The Power of Mobile Marketing

With a majority of Millennials treating their mobile devices as extensions of themselves, mobile marketing has become the single-most powerful tool for brands

Yesterday, we wrote about Millennials and their incredible spending power in part 1 of our series on Millennial Marketing. We arrived at the conclusion that a three-pronged approach is necessary if a marketing campaign is to be successful in an economy that is increasingly being dominated by Millennials. Such a marketing campaign would of necessity have to be technology-driven, allow for a greater degree of interaction and enable social communication. In fact, considering all these factors, there’s no doubt that when it comes to engaging with the Millennial Generation, there’s nothing quite as effective as mobile marketing.

Millennial Mobile Usage Facts

Let’s look at a few numbers before we proceed any further:

  • Millennials form 31% of the US population
  • 95.2% of US millennial adults will be mobile phone users by the end of 2013
  • While 60% of Millennials agree that having a smartphone or tablet to research products while they are on the go is a great convenience, more 50% actually use their smartphones to research products and services while they shop
  • Millennials spend 14% more time engaged with their mobile devices in an average week than any other age group
  • Early adopter Millennials are 20% more likely to use a tablet than other Millennials

Clearly, mobile marketing is the ideal way to reach Millennials, who currently have a spending power of over $800 billion (which is only likelier to grow as more Millennials mature and increase their income by getting jobs).

How Mobile Marketing Can Be Used to Reach Millennials:

  • Millennials love a good deal, and even though loyalty is important to them, Millennials are likely to switch brands if they feel like they’re getting better value for money. For instance, according to one study, 43% of Millennials will continue to buy from brands that they grew up with, but 56% are willing to switch to another brand if they get coupons. Moreover, 63% will buy from a non-favourite brand in case of a sale or promotion. Thus brands that use mobile marketing strategies such as sending mobile coupons to customers or informing customers of sales and promotions via mobile are likelier to succeed.
  • Interestingly, Millennials also shop in a manner that reflects or builds their image better. According to the study quoted above 37% of Millennials say that they are willing to purchase a product that contributes to a cause they support, even if they end up paying more. Brands can use a more non-direct mobile marketing approach such as the one used by Heinz to support the Wounded Warrior Project. The company had placed QR codes on ketchup bottles, which when scanned would send a personalized “Thank You” to veterans. For each “Thank You” sent and for each new “Like” on the company’s Facebook page, Heinz would donate 57 cents, upto $200,000, to the Wounded Warrior Project.
  • Millennials pride themselves on being able to see through marketing hype. They don’t like being ‘marketed’ to. Hence, for any brand contemplating a mobile marketing campaign there are a couple of crucial things to remember.
  1. One is that they need to abandon traditionally pushy marketing messages. Millennial mobile users will respond positively to any marketing message that they see as adding value to parties other than the brand itself. If the marketing message is fun, refreshing or enlightening in any way, then it will work. A great example of this is the QR code campaign by Macy’s which enabled users to view video tips by influential people such as Karl Lagerfeld and Michael Kors.
  2. Another thing to remember is that marketers need to enable mobile ‘discovery’ of their products. There are two reasons for this: one is, as stated above, the propensity of Millennials to use their mobile devices for product research. The second, and slightly more subtle reason, is that a product that is easy to find on mobile but which comes unattached with marketing hype, will be highly valued by Millennials.

In the next installment of this series, we will talk further about the value of ‘product discovery’ for Millennials, and how brands can use different channels to enable this.