How to Engage Your Millennial Customers

By: Sofie De Beule

April 22, 2014

baby boomers
customer experience
dunkin donuts
millennial customer

There’s no other generation who embrace the digital universe quite like the millennial “breed” (the generation born between the early ’80s and the early 2000s). Millennials are well-educated, digitally-savvy, self-confident, and marketers can’t seem to stop raving about them.

But, how exactly can you capture their attention? What drives their attitudes and behavior?

Rapidly emerging in the workforce, millennials have a drastically different outlook on life compared to Baby Boomers, for example. But more importantly, their extremely social mindset means they have different (and higher) expectations for the way brands engage with them and deliver on customer experience.

Having grown up with the internet, multi-tasking millennials expect a seamless online experience regardless of the device they’re using. On the other hand, millennials aren’t as brand-conscious and adopt a more pragmatic approach to purchasing. Unfortunately, marketers haven’t (yet) embraced the new, unconventional approach to engage their millennial customers that scores high on transparency and authenticity.

What new methods can marketers adopt to keep their millennial customers engaged?

1. Speak on Behalf of Millennials’ Worldview

It’s hard to create compelling content that will capture Millennials’ attention. However, Millennials easily identify with brand content that speaks on behalf of their view on the world. “What’s in it for me?” For example, the type of content BuzzFeed delivers proves that branded messages combined with humorous content is right up the Millennial generation’s alley. But, make sure it meets your guidelines, and don’t just create content because it’s “cool”.

Research in 2013 proved that 92% of consumers said they would buy a product for social or environmental benefit. More than ever, millennials are sensitive to ‘social good marketing’. Tie your content in with the causes Millennials care about, monitor and track them, and inject some authenticity and transparency into your brand. Let your voice resonate with positivity and take a leadership role. Don’t be afraid to foster the dialogue on important causes, and adjust them according to your industry and company image.

2. Connect Millennials with Each Other

Millennials have the desire to share and feel connected to the people that matter the most to them, both in the physical and digital world. It isn’t just enough to deliver compelling content, it’s about a brand listening, interacting, and “caring” about them instead of falling back on a one-way street of marketing.

Dunkin Donuts, for example, connects millennials with each other by featuring everyone willing to share their experience through the fully integrated #mydunkin-campaign across all media platforms (social, television, online, in-store, etc.), which invites their millennial community to participate in the conversation. Brands like Dunkin Donuts make their product more personally fueled on user-generated content.

3. Extend Their Experience

Customer experience is everything for millennials. So if you can’t live up to their expectations, this extremely fickle generation will easily flock to a competitor. Offer your millennial customers incentives to encourage them to return, proactively reach out to them, and focus on delivering the same quality experience over and over again. Claim a spot in your millennial customers’ minds. Establish your customer experience by focusing only on delivering customer experience on your millennial customers’ terms, not your own.