How to Harness the Buying Power of Millennials | Social Joey

Dear Reader,

It’s 2019 and chances are if you’re a business owner, franchisor or franchisee—or you’re just generally trying to make a dime—you’re trying to figure out how to get your slice of the “millennial pie.”

We have good news and bad news: You’re not alone and there’s good reason.

As of 2018, millennials have the most spending power of any generation. And this buying power isn’t going away any time soon: According to a recent study, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025.

As you would imagine, there are lots of millennials working at Social Joey (shocker, I know…). Because many people are trying desperately to understand and market to our generation, we thought we’d put together a few pointers to help you as you structure your marketing strategy to try to harness the buying power of millennials.

Why We Are the Way We Are

Before we begin, we think a foundational baseline for who we are will help you to understand why we respond the way we often do. For the sake of this blog, we are only going to assess the millennial mindset for marketing-related purposes:

  • We grew up in an unparalleled transitional era where technology took over for traditional methods of doing very basic things.
  • We’re the last generation that had to remember our friend’s phone number because we had to call on a landline before we were able to just click a name in a saved contacts list and call them.
  • We remember getting our picture taken at a birthday party and then waiting several days to see the photos that were printed at the drugstore. A few years later, we could take a picture with our phones (!) and could not only see it, but share it with friends and family, immediately.
  • We went to the library and searched through the bulky card-based Dewey Decimal Catalog systems, and then a few years later, all we had to do was type a title into a computer.

The bottom line is that—because we actually saw the world turn on its head at such impressionable ages—we came to believe that the world really was at the tip of our fingers and was ours for the taking.

With all of this said, buckle up: here we go…

Get Online!

First things first: You HAVE to be online to win over millennials. This means all areas of online involvement: e-commerce options, social media, third-party sites, blogging, etc.

A recent report found that when millennials make a purchase, 82% of the time they will buy either on their phone, desktop/laptop, or tablet, as opposed to only 11% of the time buying in a physical brick-and-mortar store—and yes, this means groceries, too.

As a group of people who naturally tend to hate telephone calls, the “personal touch” of a live person is going to be missed on us. Millennials care more about immediate results than a lengthy discussion…and that’s where your online presence steps in BIG for us.

Did you know that more than 75% of adults in the UK own a smartphone, but a quarter of them never use it to make phone calls? No doubt, that’s the same here in the United States.

We value our time and convenience. We want to open an app and find everything we want to know about your business on our timetable, not yours. Why wait until your location opens when we can find out what we need to know at midnight?

Your website, social media pages and any other third-party sites you actively belong to or contribute to (Lands of America, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.) are the lifeblood of your success with this group of people. Invest wisely and often here.

Parenting Matters!

Let’s get our facts out of the way:

In 2018, more than 90 percent of new moms were millennials.

And it’s not just the mamas having the impact here. Not only are millennial dads spending more time with their kids than the papas before them (40% of millennial dads have at some point been a work-from-home or stay-at-home dad), they are sharing the household chores and childcare responsibilities (we are talking about you, dirty diapers) more than any other generation.

In a recent study, 91% of millennial parents said that they value “raising successful children” more highly than “living up to my full potential.”

So, what does this actually mean for you? It means you’re going to have to start helping us write the story that helps us raise kind, well-traveled and intelligent kids.

  • We value travel and experiences over traditional parenting “checkpoints.”
  • We are far more likely to spend money on a Disney vacation for our toddlers than we are to put a down payment on a house.
  • We’ll invest in art, culture and creativity far faster than we will in a college savings account.

And the bottom line? We’re going to use your product or service in our lives happily if we believe that you can help us fulfill our purpose as parents: raising emotionally intelligent, highly influential and culturally aware children.

Spending Habits

We believe that our work has a social impact in our communities, and 40% of millennials even believe that they can have an impact globally.

It’s why Tom’s Shoes will always be a textbook case for wild success in “cause marketing.”

I don’t know why, when or how it happened, but it is deeply ingrained in us to look for truth and authenticity in brands that we “marry up” to ourselves, but it’s just as important to us to find purpose in our purchases.

We typically don’t trust big business, and we want to know that you have a bigger goal as a corporation than just to make a profit. We want to believe (even if naively) that you are going to use your platform as a pillar of the community to not just do well, but to “do good.”

At the time of writing this, millennials are somewhere between the ages of 23 and 38. That is a HUGE scope, so marketing to this group of people is going to take some social savvy and research.

It takes someone to listen, monitor and adjust a branding strategy in order to meet the needs of your business specifically based on your brand’s personality, service or product offering, and location.

Lucky for you, that’s our specialty! We know how we want to be marketed to—and we’re ready and willing to help your business or franchise authentically gain our trust, and ultimately, our dollars.


A Poster-Child Millennial