With modern society comes modern audiences. The Millennials are rapidly becoming the largest consumers, with the group slated to take over the Baby Boomers in numbers next year. How did this happen? And what does it mean for my practice? Let’s dive into what the Millennial shift in the market means for you.
John Gapper states in his Financial Times article, “How Millennials Became the World’s Most Powerful Consumers”, that many of the older millennials lost their jobs during the Great Recession in 2008, and younger millennials were left with a crippled market. This event caused widespread cynicism and distrust of big business to skyrocket - and you can see it in how they consume:
- Millennials are shopping online more than previous generations. Because it’s easier to compare prices from all companies on major online retail sites, they have both created maximum competition amongst retailers and managed to spend as little as possible purchase to purchase.
- They’ve created the Share Economy. MIllennials see little to no value in owning possessions themselves, but rather have the mindset of sharing everything they own. Co-working and co-living spaces have popped up in major cities around the world. Businesses such as Airbnb, Uber and Lyft, etc. are all patrons of the Share Economy.
- They have personal standards for businesses - and they pay for them. The biggest consumer generation believes in the ethics of companies like never before. 3 out of 4 Millennials have stated they are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services instead of supporting their cheaper, less environmental competitors.
- They embrace technology. Millennials have found ways of incorporating technology into every part of their day; from step counters to GPS to grocery deliver, the accessibility and assessment of a product matters. Just like retail, Millennials are shifting the economy online: over 85% of Millennials have smartphones and around 39% interact with them more than they do with people.
Key Takeaways in Marketing to Millennials
Michelle Flores writes some strategies in her article, “Marketing to Millennials: Tips for Law Firms”:
- Make it Mobile. Since Millennials are always on their phone, make sure whatever channels you choose for outreach or awareness of your firm are mobile-friendly.
- Inbound Marketing is Key. Keeping in mind the distrust Millennials have for established corporations, you must understand this carries over towards traditional marketing as well. A personable and relevant marketing plan is a must. As Flores states, “Millennials know how to find what they are looking for online. Your job is not to give them direction, but to be the destination.”
- Social Media is the Modern Word of Mouth. The online world meets within social media and anyone and everyone can talk and share about your practice. Making sure you are managing your presence and creating relevant content within these channels is vital.
- Expand Beyond the Phone and Fax. Building on the social media presence, Millennials prefer to have the option to get to know you and your practice via less direct means; texting and messages through Facebook and Twitter. This is as much about trust as it is about timing. Make sure you’re listening and responding appropriately before moving to more conventional contact to advance the consultation.
- Don’t Try To Be Their Attorney When You Shouldn’t. Millennials value honesty and transparency. If you can be clear about your practice, the services you offer, and provide referrals or additional information when you are not a good fit for their needs, they will thank you for it. Simplifying their process of selecting an attorney is not only a part of your job, but it’s making you memorable to them for all the right reasons.