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November 24, 2016

Understanding the millennials

At Web Summit in Lisbon there was a lot of talk about the millennials generation – that is to say the people born after 1982. What makes them tick, what do they want, how do they behave, consume and interact? And how can brands reach them and engage with them?

One of the most common ways to describe the millennials generation is to talk about them as digital natives. Using the internet and digital tools has been a part of their lives since childhood. But how has this behaviour affected their consumption patterns, communication skills and expectations?

Customer experience for millennials

Ryan and Jared Smith from Qualtrics spent some time on the stage at Web Summit trying to explain the millennial mindset. According to them millennials are:

  • - Always collecting experiences
  • - Always questioning everything
  • - Always commenting and communicating

With this in mind creating customer experience for millennials means that companies really have to be on their toes. Millennials will not accept crappy service, bad interfaces, slow connection or a botched user experience. They have zero tolerance and will move on to the next thing. So it is crucial to use data and real insights to continually keep on working on and improving the user experience when it comes to services, apps, websites and products.

How can advertisers reach millennials

During a talk about the rise of geek culture Alex Schaaf from Imgur and Stewart Rogers from Venturebeat talked about how advertisers need to adjust their messages to reach the millennials. One key takeaway is the insight that this generation do not want to be disturbed. They use adblockers to avoid seeing intrusive advertising and they want to hang out within their communities of interests, talking about what matters to them. At the same time they are very passionate, or as some would say geeky, about their interests. The key to reaching them is for advertisers to create genuine engagement within these communities, creating value through means like native advertising and delivering amazing content that appeal to the millennials’ interests.

Creating content for millennials

During the talk “Millennials to their own devices” Shane Snow from Contently and Jonathan Hunt from Vox Media talked about how millennials consume news and stories nowadays. According to them this generation does not care so much about the sender of information. They consume most of what they read on their mobile phone and through services like Facebook or Snapchat, and a lot of time referred by their friends. In this context the sender is not important – but rather the story itself and if it is interesting and relevant for the reader.

To reach this generation media companies and brands have to do a few things:

  • - Have a social media presence and publish content where millennials prefer to read it.
  • - Understand how the social media platforms work and use the tools within – for example Facebook video.
  • - Adjust content to different platforms – on Facebook a video might be 15-45 seconds long, on YouTube people consume longer videos of a couple of minutes and on Netflix we binge watch for hours.
  • - Test different variations of content – mixing images, text, colour, video length etc. See what works best.

Want to know more about how to create services and communicate with millennials in the digital world? Or just want to hear more about Web Summit 2016? Get in touch with Sara Hernandez, +46 761 09 05 06, sara.hernandez@comprend.com.


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