They have grown up with internet from a young age (or since birth!) and so are knowledgeable of technology and the world of social media. Normality for them is having access to mobile technology and information at their fingertips quickly. They like the convenience and will opt for products that fit their lifestyles rather than being loyal to brands.
Millennials like to live a lifestyle with quick accessibility to information and services. They adopt new technologies swiftly – be that via devices, apps and programs.
Often described, in a cliched fashion, as narcissistic and self-centred individuals who are lacking motivation, they have had more challenges than previous generations. They are confident and well informed due to the immense wealth of data available in their hand-held devices. Millennials are notably socially responsible with a global awareness and drive to improve the environment in which we all live and in order to leave a better planet for generations to come.
These individuals value word-of-mouth more highly than the usual channels of marketing and branding. Companies who have embraced an understanding of social media channels and designed their strategy to attract and interact with these 20-40-year-olds will benefit and succeed in engaging this generation. Millennials are happier to give recommendations to friends and family for brands they align with, who are conscious of environmental impacts and are future focused.
Companies who can utilise user generated content (UGC) in their social activities will engage more with their followers, fans and customers – and in turn be seen on their feeds by their hundreds or thousands of friends. Being able to react quickly to communications from the public, be it a comment or a simple ‘like’ will drive interaction.
Enabling customers to be able to swipe up whilst on Instagram to access their shop is a key driver for sales in this digital age. With a brief thumb movement, millennial customers are familiar with browsing and purchasing whilst on the go via their mobile devices.
Millennials are found across all social media platforms, so companies should ensure their messages are shared over their chosen, relevant apps. In order to engage this generation, make your business content relevant, friendly and appealing – shareable.
As we know, mobile activity is the norm nowadays so do be certain that all aspects of your business work clearly and visibly on mobile first and desktop second. Millennials are multi-taskers and can order clothes whilst in the queue at the coffee shop or buy an item just seen on an Instagram post whilst on the train journey home. Make sure you are visible to this influential generation, on their preferred channels and once they engage, they will be loyal and responsive customers.
In the middle of 2018, it seemed the only topic being talked about, prepared for and worried about was GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation. This regulation was introduced by the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and European Commission in order to give European citizens a higher level of control regarding their personal data.
All organisations now need to be fully compliant, ensuring any personal data they collected prior to the May 25th 2018 deadline is accompanied by consent from the individual for the organisation to retain it and use it in the way expressly permitted by the individual. This covers employee, client and customer data so is relevant to all businesses.
The type of data that the GDPRs protects are names, photographs, email addresses, IP addresses, medical information, bank details and social media posts.
There are penalties for companies who do not comply with the regulations and also for those who do not deal with any data breach in a correct and timely manner. The biggest named example of this is British Airways, who reported a data breach incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office in September 2018, where customers were diverted to a fraudulent site where hackers then harvested personal data and financial details from 500,000 customers. The ICO fined BA for this customer data breach to the tune of £183m.
After announcing the fine for British Airways, the next day the ICO imposed a fine of £99m to the Marriot hotel chain for failing to protect the data of 339 million customer records.
If a data breach should occur, the GDPR specifies that companies must provide the adequate notification. Your company would have 72 hours to notify the appropriate data protection agency and must inform all affected individuals without undue delay.
You must ensure people have chosen to opt-in to receive emails from your company and be sure to give them a clear instruction on what to do if they want to opt-out at any time. When visitors to your website or customers give you permission to record their data, you need to also make a record of when they opted in and keep this data secure. People can submit access requests to your business to find out what data you hold about them.
Security on websites is of key importance so do check that your website has a current SSL certificate (you’ll see a padlock symbol in the address bar if so). If not, get your web team onto it immediately.
If a company is found in breach of GDPR they can be fined up to 20million Euros or 4% of their turnover. It is not a law worth flouting so do ensure your business is up-to-date and compliant with the GDPR. Check your company’s GDPR procedures for the following:
- Deleting personal data
- Providing data following an access request
- Do you need to obtain parental/guardian consent for data of under 16s?
- Check your plans and procedures for detecting, reporting and investigating and data breaches.
- Ensure your current privacy policies are clear and correct.
www.ico.org.uk continually updates its website with reference to GDPR and is a useful resource.
Mobile marketing is the technique of online multi-channel digital marketing focusing on a specific audience using their smartphones, tablets and other portable devices. With over 80% of internet users owning a smartphone, the mobile world is dictating how brands need to plan their communications to customers. There was a time when websites were designed for desktop viewing primarily and were then adapted to become mobile friendly. Nowadays, with more traffic viewing websites via mobiles or tablets, website design and communications need to be created in order to get the best experience on a mobile.
Websites now must be mobile-friendly to reach audiences in the right format and to feature favourably in Google’s mobile-friendliness rankings. Search engines, such as Google, will be looking for content that loads quickly, fits to the mobile screen size without cropping or zooming and is free from errors known to be specific to mobiles.
Augmented reality is a great tool for the mobile generation where customers can visualise updates to their homes (new kitchens, décor or furniture) or individuals can see how a new hairstyle or colour would look before taking the plunge.
User generated content is a very powerful tool in the mobile world. More people are influenced by their friends and families purchases than by celebrity influencers. Real people are important and help leverage authenticity. If you have a happy customer who posts online and tags your business, that’s top-quality content. A customer who loves their manicure, new hair cut or colour, and wants to tell everyone about it or someone who posts about enjoying your food or loving their new purchases from your company creates fantastic, genuine content. This is recognised by family and friends on social channels who prefer the content of such posts over any celebrity endorsements and are more likely to be prompted to buy the same products and services.
The ease of making purchases from your mobile phone now extends into social commerce so consumers can purchase whilst scrolling through apps including Facebook and Instagram. Businesses with goods and services would be encouraged to utilise the selling features on these social channels.
Chatbots are here to assist in our daily lives. Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ and Apple’s ‘Siri’ are on hand to help us stream music, check facts, create shopping lists or order items online. Marketers will need to edit their keyword strategies because online search terms differ from what people ask chatbots. Rather than entering a generic search such as, “Italian restaurants in Penrith”, people will re-phrase their enquiry to a chatbot, saying “Find an Italian restaurant near me”, in a more conversational style. Marketers need to ensure the re-phrasing is included in keywords for titles, descriptions and content.
Mobile apps now deliver push notifications which are an ideal tool for marketing strategies, covering downloads, subscription renewals, recognising birthdays, highlighting promotions and shopping cart abandonment.
Recommendations to users via push notifications are a simple way for companies and brands to remain in contacts with their app users. Maximising the user preferences on the data collected, companies can suggest related content. Netflix sends push notifications when an app user’s favourite series has a new episode available or alerts them when a new film is release, based on their viewing history. Brands can maximise this technology to wish users happy birthday and share an offer, discount or gift.
The technologies available for marketers to maximise communications via mobile devices continue to develop and opportunities increase to reach end users via their powerful portable devices. Let Acorn Marketing help your business by assessing your needs, creating and managing your general marketing strategy. Get in touch here.