Targeting Millennials

Last October, Annie Waite (on internalcommshub.com) wrote about the way communicators should change their approach to targetinternal_comms millennials (those born between 1982 and 2001) instead of the baby boomers… This post was inspired by the results of a survey conducted by Genesys on how millennials call for another type of communication to be addressed by organizations.

To understand better what millennials are made of, respondents were asked the following questions (below, mostly picked answers):
« In your opinion, what do you consider to be the most distinctive characteristics of Millennials? » Select up to 3.

  • Ease with technology: 74%
  • Willingness to challenge convention and standard business practices: 38%
  • Innovation and fresh ideas: 32%
  • Interest in building relationships, teams and networks: 30%
  • Represents a large and growing market: 28%
  • Comfort communicating feedback: 20%
  • Commitment to social causes: 18%

« What techniques do you believe are most effective in targeting Millennials? » Select up to 3.

  • Participate in viral marketing and peer-to-peer recommendation sites: 41%
  • Sponsor or advertise in areas populated by Millennials (eg, extreme sports, music venues, chat rooms, social networking sites): 36%
  • Delivering great product at a great price: 35%
  • Focus not only on Millennials but also on their key influencers (eg, parents, peers): 30%
  • Contribute to social causes that Millennials support: 28%
  • Contribute to corporate or issue blogs: 21%
  • Wireless text messaging: 21%

These are certainly keys to manage effective communication with (future) new consumers or employees and will probably shape interactions beetween different stakeholders of many organizations, but let’s not forget, in my opinion, those who are already left behind of new technologies or social networks as much of this evolution is done through digital conversations. Many employees in large organizations, for example, could be completely lost if such millennials oriented communication were implemented without a little bit of training and help (contribute to corporate blogs, using networking sites, wireless text messaging…).

If I strongly believe in the benefits of technology and web innovations in communication, the digital divide is there, between baby-boomers and millennials, even if I’m quite optimistic about the abilities of baby-boomers to catch up quickly, being a later baby-boomer myself (born before 1982 :-). The challenge is in the capacity of organizations to bring everyone at least to the same (average) technology level, convincing the less-experienced to take the step…

That’s my wish for 2009… Let’s make it together !

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