Marketing to Millennials: How to Hook the “App Generation”
They’re the first generation that grew up with the internet and the first to have truly incorporated technology into their daily lives. They’remore likely to be skeptical of marketing and less likely to be loyal to a brand.
I’m talking, of course, about the millennials.
They’re the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, and they’ve been called a lot of different things:
One thing that all marketers can agree on, however, is that millennials mean business. In the United States alone, they represent $200 billion in annual buying power and their effect on businesses globally has “been dramatic in a relatively short period of time.”
Nowhere is this effect more evident than in mobile. An overwhelming 85% of millennials in the United States owns a smartphone, and their early adoption of apps has proved the necessary catalyst for the explosive takeoff of the current app economy.
For mobile marketers and app developers this all means one thing: Dollars.
Yet, if millennials aren’t responsive to traditional marketing, how can mobile marketers vie for their attention and loyalty? How can they cater their marketing to millennials and grab their share of this $200 billion?
Understanding Wants and Needs Proves Paramount when Marketing to Millennials
Oracle dived into this very question with a study on what they called the “App Generation,” looking at what factors millennials consider “must-haves” in an app.
The study found that millennials identify performance/speed as the single most important factor in an app, with 63% of survey respondents reporting the factor as a leading reason for app uninstalls. Other leading factors include cost (62%), security (59%), and design (49%).
The report further found that among those millennials who regularly use location-based services in app, 85% prefer not to receive push notifications, and a similar proportion report rarely acting on push notifications. Millennials are looking for more personalized, contextually relevant brand messaging, yet do not equate these attributes with the standard push notification. (See our new eBook for how to be better than the ‘standard’ when it comes to contextual in-app messaging.)
While push or low-speed apps may not unlock millennial budgets, the study found that this tech-savvy generation is still more than willing to purchase apps that meet their unique needs. Across all app categories, willingness to pay for an app appears to be highest among Asian-Pacific (APAC) millennials, followed by those in North America and those in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
In these “must-have” apps, millennials are particularly looking for a few key abilities, including the ability to purchase a product or service from the app and communicate issues or complaints:
While they may elude traditional marketing efforts, millennials nonetheless represent a significant opportunity for mobile marketers and app developers everywhere. They have both the ability and the willingness to pay for an app, but require demonstrated value in return.
Marketers that hope to unlock a portion of the $200B in millennial dollars will therefore need to deliver on this value, and paying close attention to the needs of millennial customers is the first step to attracting and retaining their business.
How do these statistics compare with how millennials engage with your app? Have you found success in marketing to millennials or a “must-have” feature not listed above? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!