As I mentioned in my last post, I just got back from the Alphagraphics Gold Circle meeting in Naples, Florida. One of our speakers was Liz Brohan of Colman Brohan Davis a company specializing in brand strategy and creative marketing. The first part of Liz’s presentation to us was explaining to us what the new Gen Y customer was like. In a nutshell, here is some of the things she asked us to consider.
First, Gen Y is defined as those young adults born between 1980 and 2000, essentially children of the baby boomers. They, in fact, do not like to be called Gen Y’ers but would rather be called “Millennials”. The millennials have high expectations, they feel special, they are connected 24/7, they are very technical and, quite suprisingly, they want to serve their community. Liz also said that they feel indispensible, they love a challenge, they work best with friends, they are good with finances, they are goal oriented and they want recognition for what they contribute.
So, how do millennials go about making a decision to buy. In case anyone has not noticed, they go online. They go to the company website, they go to blogs, they go to business directories, they go to wikipedia, they ask their friends (online of course), they search out comments on the business in the social media networks of FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Only when they have found out as much as possible about a business or product will they actually try and contact the business. One of the surprises in Liz’s presentation was that the millennials will also look at printed items to help in their selection. The other aspect of how the millennials are doing their searches is that they are increasingly using their mobile device to do all of the research.
In the business-to-business environment, the millennial will probably present their decision to their boss, a baby boomer or a Gen X’er who will make the final decision. In the near future, the millennial will make the decision. Then, once the decision is made and the transaction is completed, the millennial will go back online, and will rate the quality of the service and product by going to sites such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, City Search, Google Maps, Bing Local, etc. In addition, they will post a comment on FaceBook, Twitter or probably Google Buzz.
So what is a business to do to help the millennials along on their search? We need to be active in the Social Media arena. We need to have our websites in good order so that when we are found, we can answer what they are looking for. Our websites need to have a mobile phone presentation. We need to blog. We need to have a presence on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the ratings sites.
I am commonly asked. What has all of the work that you do in the social media area gotten you? My answer is that the rewards come slow, but they come. Just this week, I had a inquiry on Twitter about signs and posters and I had a customer compliment me on how high I ranked in their mobile Google search which got them into my door.
My thanks to Liz Brohan for her insight into our new customers and I hope that when she checks in with the AlphaGraphics owners in the future that she will see that all of our social media work has benefited us greatly.
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