There’s a lot of talk today about Millennials changing the face of business and commerce. Considering that Millennials are set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, there’s good reason to pay so much attention to the Millennial culture.
But by focusing solely on Millennials, businesses are set to lose tons of buyers equally willing to fill their online shopping carts during flash sales, or share their brand experiences on social media. That group: The Consumer Generation (Gen C). If you’re not marketing to it, you’re missing out on millions of potential customers.
Google Think dubs Gen C a “powerful new force in consumer culture … people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community.” Yes, 80% of Gen C are Millennials. But the rest if the people in that group are an untapped market that is ready and willing to connect, share, and buy what your company is selling.
Don’t believe me? The New York Times recently shared Nielsen findings indicating that Generation Xers are actually more obsessed with social media than their Millennial cohorts. With 65 million Xers on the planet, that’s a huge missed target for marketers focusing solely on Millennial buyers.
In that sense, Generation C is much more than an age group – it’s a mindset. Here are a few tips for marketing to this cross-generational group of enthusiastic buyers.
Once upon a time, we were stuck making purchases, looking up menus, and finding the nearest shopping mall on our desktop computers. No more. Recent reports show that 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone while shopping inside a brick-and-mortar store location, either looking up product information or comparing prices, etc.
It’s no longer enough to have a mobile responsive website. The fact that your site looks pretty on a smartphone is not going to cut it with Generation C. They expect more, and do more, than ever before on mobile devices.
The most successful companies will be the ones that actively engage these mobile users, using smart beacons to connect during in-store shopping experiences, sending coupons via text when shoppers are in the area, and connecting meaningfully on social media to encourage a long-term relationship. If you have not yet investigated the power of mobile marketing for your company, it’s officially (past) time.
User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX)
It doesn’t matter if you call it UX or CX – the ultimate discussion is the same. Gen C is all about personal experience. They’ve spent nearly 25 years on Amazon, nearly 15 on Facebook, and they found Google somewhere in between.
They don’t just love – they expect – personalized content. They are the founders of user-generated content. They want companies to care about their opinions, and use their gripes to improve their experience – and their lives.
If you have not built clear and direct UX or CX into your marketing strategy, you may not be around to experience Generation Z.
Thanks to the digital transformation – not to mention ever-increasing user expectations – experience has become the single most important differentiator when it comes to business success.
You might be wondering: What does that even mean? In the simplest sense, it means that, if your app or website is hard to use, you will lose customers. But, on a deeper level, it means a lot more. If you aren’t meaningfully engaging on social media, and aren’t going above and beyond to help your customers feel valued, important, and positively impacted by your product, you’re losing.
Gen C wants products, answers, and support now. It doesn’t matter if they’re buying shoes, picking out a new computer, or ordering take-out.
Clearly, the Millennial generation is one that can’t be ignored. And with Gen Z trailing closely behind, it’s clear that the call for mobility and UX is only going to grow. To truly succeed in today’s world, marketers need to start looking beyond the “generation gap” caused by age.
In truth, many of us are being transformed by technology and everything that goes along with it, including higher expectations. If you fail to see the market expanding, you will certainly miss expanding your market. —Dan Newman, Cofounder of V3*Broadsuite
Image by: nenetus