Three Ways to Reach a 21st Century Consumer

by Kyle Reeves

One of the largest generations the world has ever seen is currently edging their way into prime spending years. Millennials and Gen-Xers, love ‘em or hate ‘em, will represent more than 70% of the purchasing power in the United States by 2020. Whether they are buying their first homes, starting their families, or making major financial decisions, we as business owners need to understand how they operate.

When Millennial and Gen-Xers are looking to make a purchase or long-term investment, keep in mind these three key traits:

  1. Too Many Choices
  2. Welcome to the Online World
  3. Apprehension in Goliath, Confidence in David

Too Many Choices

Humans no longer make purchasing decisions based on need, but rather, centered around desire. It breaks down to human anatomy. For many years consumers made purchases based on a rational thought process. They said things like, “These are the most affordable clothes, this is the most dependable car, this is a well-built home.” Instead, humans now rely on a part of the brain called the limbic system which controls behavior and emotion.

We see this in the major brands today. Three decades ago companies like Nike and Apple were relatively irrelevant. However, they now lead their respective industries in almost every category. Think about it. Are you willing to spend money on an Apple product knowing there are better and cheaper options? How many articles of your clothing are designer brands? Understanding that a free market leads consumers to make more decisions, which leads to greater competition, thus putting more emphasis on our marketing strategies.

Welcome To The Online World

You can order an entire week’s worth of groceries, graduate from college, and even meet your significant other all without getting out of bed. What a time to be alive! Before starting your marketing campaign, consider this:

  • The average person now spends more time online than with TV and all other media combined
  • Total spending on the Internet is predicted to grow by 12.9% in 2017. Digital marketing will become the largest medium for advertising by 2020
  • Long before they make a purchase, 75% percent of consumers admit they traffic a website and judge the company’s capabilities based off the design of their website
  • 85% of the B2B industry use search to before making a purchasing decision
  • 9 out of every 10 consumers say they use email, social media and a search engine at least once a day

Like it or not, we live in a digital world. Mediums like search engines and social media outlets now provide the most effective and cost-efficient way to market a business. As business owners, we need to hop on the train before it is too late.

Apprehension in Goliath, Confidence in David

Millennials and Gen-Xers have come of age during a time of immense technological change and economic disaster. They’ve watched an entire generation cripple under the powers of crony-capitalism. This has resulted in a different set of behaviors, experiences, and expectations than their parents. Say goodbye to Wall Street and big banking as you know it. Millennials just don’t trust big business. This ain’t our granddaddy’s Buick anymore. Instead, we must capitalize on trends like “farm to fork” and “buy local” or “made in America.” Terms like these now have a greater presence than they have in decades. Call It a renaissance of the mom and pop shop.

What is the Takeaway?

The Millennial generation is the largest in U.S. history. They are about to enter into prime working and spending years. The impact on the economy is going to be huge. They’re also the first generation of digital natives. The new generation of consumers does their research online before they even step foot in a local business or organization. Their passion for technology is shaping the way they buy. Millennials and Gen-Xers have become used to instant access to price and product comparison through websites, searches, and online reviews. Whether we want to drag our heels through the dirt and put up a fight or just give in, it is time to appeal to a 21st-century consumer. Digital marketing is here, and here to stay. Is your business prepared for it?

Kyle Reeves is the Founder and CEO of Revolution Online Marketing.

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