There's no doubt we're in an era of change. Millennials are at the center of this monumental shift with plenty of factors impacting the way they think, behave, consider and consume goods and services. As couples, they're not only connecting, networking and dating through mobile apps, they're enjoying a bit more of that #singlelife before heading down the aisle. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennial women are getting married at the age of 27 , men at the age of 29. To give you some perspective, that was 21 and 23, respectively, in 1963! This age difference is just one of many aspects that make Generation Y unique and deciphering what they want can seem like an impossible task . Yes, they rule with technology but the digital age has also given us pros plenty of tools to keep up with them! In today's Pro Blog, we've got you covered with deep detail and a host of tips on how to market to and connect with this tech savvy generation dreaming about their own 'gram-worthy weddings.
Same but different.
Regardless of generation, do you know the number one key to successful marketing? Knowing your audience. Investing time in learning your audience creates opportunities for you to craft your marketing plans specifically for them. Your objective? Meet them where they are and establish personal connections. Sure, Millennials share quite a few similarities, from the way they dress to the how they talk and the way they consume memes. From race to culture, ability to religion, sexual orientation to gender identity, however, their backgrounds are more diverse than any generation before them. By using the tools already at your disposal (thank you, Silicon Valley!), you can track them, learn about them and build your marketing plans to match.
Make it personal.
Generation Y values acknowledgment and personal experience. They connect to storytelling and interaction. The success of your Millennial-minded marketing strategy revolves around telling your brand story and the shared values your future clients find in it. Create content that ignites emotion and helps to establish a personal connection. Millennials will be more likely to remember you and believe in what they think you can do for them. Additionally, since they generally have their basic needs met, they can create time to think about self and world improvement. More socially aware and conscious of where their products come from or who's providing their services, Millennials seek out relationships with businesses that care about things that are important to them. Inclusivity, environmental effects and ethical business models are some of the characteristics Millennials seek out in their business partners, and continue to show they're more than willing to put their money where their beliefs are.
The Millennial couple.
Likewise, relationship dynamics and wedding planning involvement between couples have changed with this generation. Gone are the days when the bride was the most involved in the planning process. Invites are increasingly void of a link or mention of a department store registry (anyone need a bread maker?). Now, both partners are equally involved in the planning process. As that sooth-saying census data told us, they're marrying older and, funding their own weddings as young professionals instead of leaning in on their parents. They already have those traditional household gifts and prefer to shop (read, register ) online where there are bigger, global marketplaces and more unique products and experiences.
With wicked fast QWERTY keyboard and crazy swipe skills, Gen Y has extraordinary mastery of their devices, keeping up to date with news, real or fake, trends and the latest fads at lightning speed. This makes social media and streaming services some of the most powerful and accessible marketing tools available. The Millennials on Millennials Report found that Gen Y actually doesn't mind ads as long as the content they're consuming is free. They are also quite the multi-taskers. They're streaming movies on their smart TVs while reading articles on their laptops. They're texting then instantly flipping to their their social media apps, scrolling through their feeds at lightning speed. The rate of consumption is furious. Here's the catch: their digital savvy and gluttony for content open the doors for you to the Millennial marketing kingdom! There are so many avenues to reach their Blue Light-strained eyes and ravenous content appetites. Consider expanding your brand reach by advertising and creating content for multiple platforms. Each has its own unique use and purpose for the content-crunching Gen Y user.
Besides image and text, you've got new and innovative methods at your fingertips for catching the right new clients . Videos and live streaming options, for instance, are great ways to engage Millennials. With emotional connectivity, they create a sense of honesty and transparency. Given their high level of engagement and interaction, you can also consider giveaway promotions, surveys and polls. Creating a two-way relationship will go a long way in not only building trust but creating a sense of ownership in the connection and participation in the conversation with your brand.
In order and in reach.
An organized bunch, Millennials are checklist-making, agenda-setting, planning fanatics. Just as your marketing should appeal to more emotional, sentimental values and personal experiences, consider their interests in products and services that free up their time. A long to-do list can be overwhelming. We can all admit how much we love the feeling of accomplishment, though, when we check things off. The permissions settings in your Aisle Planner account allow you to invite your clients into their project. With full control of their visibility and participation level, you can let them take part in the process and see the progress being made. Similarly, finances are one of the most popular planning pain points, especially when budget information seems inaccessible. Giving your clients visibility to their budget helps alleviate some of that stress. Hosting their mobile optimized wedding website is another great opportunity to give your Millennial clients the tools they need, where they want them and with the added bonus of being completely integrated with every other aspect of their event in Aisle Planner. Being able to participate in the wedding process is critically important to Gen Y couples. By bringing your Millennial clients into the planning process, they can see how invested you are in them and their event, and how you can make their wedding planning smooth.
Get Trendy. Get Pretty.
For our Millennial friends, trend and aesthetic are inseparable. With the world, and your competition, at their wireless-wielding fingertips, it's crucial for businesses to stand out. This puts critical weight on your first impression. We're a visual species but Gen Y takes this trait to the next level. They're 5 times more likely to engage visual content over text, and are even more engaging with motion graphics and video! With our Design Studio feature, you can collaborate with and help your clients visualize virtually every aspect of their wedding in a stylish, intuitive online space. Likewise, with access to the most current info from around the world, it's certain their weddings and events will be not only be fashionable and on trend, but reflect plenty of their own personality and unique style. In the same way, Gen Y couples are drawn to wedding professionals that are up to date and engaged with the latest trends. By delivering interesting, editorialized visual content featuring the latest in designs, decor and fashion, you can show prospective customers you're on top of today's trends.
The real value of the review.
No living generation knows the power of the peer review more than Millennials. From day one, they've grown up reading and writing reviews about products and experiences that they like and don’t like. They trust the endorsement and opinions of others. Seeing reviews from your past clients is a great way to prove the quality of your work to your prospective millennial customers. Our Marketplace listings are specifically designed to create a fantastic first impression and provide all the proof browsing brides, grooms and other event clients need to connect with pros for their events. Not only can couples see your business name, contact info and services, they can find you via your specific geo-targeted markets and business categories. You can customize your unique products and services, and showcase your best work with photo or video portfolio galleries. And, most of all, you can follow up with past clients, request reviews and host them in their listing, all from within Aisle Planner. When the talk of the town is a swipe away, millennials are looking for "fire" when it comes to the brands they do business with.
Hero photo courtesy Jasmine Nicole Photography