Do you have a customer strategy for Consumer 2.0?
In this guest post, Bill Hanifin of Hanifin Loyalty, shares insights on how to strategically market to and engage this new breed of customer.
Move over Millennials. You’ve done your job, have won the attention of the marketing community and your influence is pervasive. Now it’s time to share the marketing “love” with Consumer 2.0, the first truly new generation of consumers since the 70′s.
In a presentation about Loyalty and Millennial Marketing created 3 years ago, we highlighted the unique characteristics of Generation Y, otherwise known as Millennials, and predicted that this new breed of consumer would represent not just a shift in behavior, but a wholly different type of consumer.
Millennials have grown up with technology and are comfortably immersed in an always-on state of being. They don’t always set up voice mail on their phone, managing their life by leaving the handset on 24/7 and monitoring their “missed calls” instead of listening to messages. They probably have the most calloused thumbs in human history as they text with high frequency, but they aren’t pleased to receive marketing messages and promos through the SMS stream. Their tech-savvy is contradicted by their lack of understanding of the implications of sharing intimate details of their lives on social networks.
In short, Millennials are our society’s technology cognoscenti, but interact with the technologies and devices in ways that continue to surprise.
We also predicted that Generation Y would heavily influence their Boomer parents, Generation X kin, and even older folks who wanted to keep up with this super-sized “me” generation. The shift has taken place and the core group of 80 Million Millennials has exerted its influence to such an extent that we estimate Consumer 2.0 to now consist of just over 150 Million people in the US, about 50% of the population.
This is a critical learning because we all know that business investment follows potential return.
We reported earlier that 75% of CMO’s surveyed three years ago believed that Millennials would have a major impact on their businesses but over half did not have a strategy for targeting or attracting this group as customers. Considering that the economic value of Generation Y is still viewed as “emerging”, most brands have watched and learned but invested proportionally less in Generation Y.
With the realization that developing a core strategy to engage and earn business with 80 million emerging Millennials can be extended to have equal impact on 150 Million in Consumer 2.0, it’s time for business to shift from neutral into gear and move swiftly up to speed.
Of all the foundational behaviors exhibited by Consumer 2.0, the dependency on referral and recommendation from trusted sources in making purchase decisions is undeniable.
In pulling together material for two recent webinars on referral and recommendation marketing with RewardStream over the past month, I am even more convinced that marketers need to shift their approach to delivering value propositions to engage this new breed of consumer. Making the leap to Social Loyalty models is core to business success and referral models can be effectively introduced as an important element of building a customer strategy for Consumer 2.0.
“Some good takeaways here Bill. There’s something to be said about “influencing the influencers.” If Millenials have that much impact on their older generation relatives, it would only make sense to target them further.”
Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 12:09 PM
Drew Hawkins from Hinda