Your company has no doubt already spent a great deal of time and energy considering how best to reach the millennial generation. It’s quite likely that your marketing plans have adapted to their digitally-driven interests, and your employee recruitment efforts already reflect their diversity and sense of independence.
But when it comes to engaging with millennials, it is not just a question of how to connect with them, but also where in the world to find them. And the answer is simple: everywhere.
If your organization wants to benefit fully from the sheer size, buying power, and digital attachment of the millennial generation – which is now the largest in history in the U.S. and abroad – then you need to be operating on an international scale. That’s because, as the first generation to grow up with the internet, social media and mobile technology, millennials are also the first that can be considered a globally united group.
The strategies for reaching millennials at home will also apply in great measure across our borders and so, if you are already targeting the segment here in the U.S., there is a degree of efficiency involved in expanding your plans to new territories.
First, let’s take a look at what makes the millennial generation so unique. Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials are perhaps the most studied generation in history, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation notes in a helpful research overview. Today, there are more than 80 million millennials in the U.S. and nearly 2 billion worldwide. By 2025, they will comprise 75% of the workforce.
What sets them apart from previous generations? Simply put, technology. As Google’s Consumer Barometer research suggests, young people live online, with 90% of 16 to 34 year-olds using the internet daily. They also lead the mobile adoption trend: 75% of millennials go online with their smartphones at least as often as they do with their computers. According to research from InMobi, millennials consume 7.2 hours of media each day, and 27% of this occurs on mobile devices. They watch and learn from video, the opinions of their peers help them make purchasing decisions, and they use social networks to obtain advice at more than double the rate of those over the age of 35.
Importantly, these trends apply on a global scale. As InMobi’s data shows, online mobile activity is growing internationally, from South Africa and Kenya to France and Germany. In Japan and India, among others, the amount of time millennials spend on mobile internet usage even exceeds the global average.
To get your organization in front of the millennial wave, consider the following four key principles:
As mentioned, if your company is not already engaged in international trade, it may be time. Millennials communicate, collect information, and make purchases online in a borderless, digital world, and it only makes sense that the products you sell should be similarly unfettered. With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of our borders, business growth can only benefit from a global approach. That’s why international trade is predicted to continue its expansion in 2016.
Millennials are attached to their mobile devices in powerful ways. Even while watching television, they are likely to be looking at their phones, fact-checking information and talking with friends. Your marketing strategy and your online sales approach should have an increasingly robust mobile element.
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of social media in the lives of millennials. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are all part of their social existence, and thanks to mobile technology, they can be accessed at any time. Having a strong social media presence and engaging in social networks is essential if you want to keep global millennials involved in — and excited about — your brand.
Now that you are thinking globally, you need a global logistics network that can move as fast and efficiently as millennials can fire off a text. Make sure your logistics partner has a clear understanding of individual international markets, because, while millennials everywhere may share an affinity for technology, border clearance procedures vary dramatically from country to country. Also, make sure your shipping offer includes expedited delivery. After all, if it was ordered online from a mobile device, there is a good chance the millennial at the other end wants it now.
What is your strategy for engaging with the millennial generation? Let us know at @DHLUS.