It’s not news that Millennials love their technology. But how is this shaping the future of marketing? And what role does Big Data play?
Big Data and Millennials are two terms that get thrown around quite a bit these days, especially in the world of marketing. What’s interesting is how Big Data and Millennials are intersecting, particularly how Millennials are shaping — some might say speeding up — marketing technologies.
Who Are Millennials?
Millennials have a lot of stereotypes that ‘define’ them, but let’s get rid of the tropes and get down to the basic core. Millennials are the group of people that were born between 1980 and 2000, roughly speaking. They’ve grown up alongside the Internet, mobile technology, and the age of instant information.
As you’d expect from Generation Internet, Millennials tend to be very comfortable with technology. And this is influencing how companies connect with their target audiences and market their products. If not for the Millennials, would mobile and social media have taken off so quickly? It’s doubtful.
Because they’ve grown up with technology, this group of people have high expectations about marketing. And this is changing things across the board.
Why Marketing to Millennials is Different
Given their connected state, marketing to Millennials is widely different than marketing to their parents. Let’s look at just a handful of ways this group is shaking things up:
- Millennials don’t mind sharing information. They’re not as freaked out by the idea of companies collecting data about their purchases, browsing history, or social media accounts; it’s normal to them. They’re also fine with shopping, banking, and socializing online.
- Millennials are used to speed — particularly speedy data connections. Lose their interest, and they won’t hesitate to go elsewhere. They expect companies to engage them. They expect to be entertained or informed, not merely ‘sold to’.
- Millennials want to connect. This could be in many different ways: they might connect to a company because it supports a social cause they favor; they might simply be looking for one that speaks to their own identity. Either way, Millennials expect personalized offers, customized service, and highly-targeted offers.
- Millennials cross boundaries — at least in the Internet/social media sense. As technology consumers, they’re more likely to research a company and connect to it through multiple channels: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, review sites, etc.
What do all these factors have in common? They rely heavily on Big Data. These days, whenever we’re talking about highly personalized, highly targeted messaging, we’re really talking about Big Data.
Millennials, Big Data, and the Future of Marketing
Millennials provide companies with a vast ‘data library’ of likes, dislikes, viewpoints, and behaviors. This can be used to build a comprehensive picture of individual customers, providing them with the level of personalization and engagement they expect and want. But this only happens when Big Data analytics steps in to transform chunks of data into insights.
Millennials are changing things in another way: they expect cohesion across channels. If you’re connecting to a customer by means of several outlets, you need to be prepared to be engaging and highly responsive on all fronts. And once again, you need Big Data to make this happen effectively.
As Millennials continue to move into the role of the dominant consumer group, it’s logical to expect their behavior to continue driving the progress of marketing technologies, especially ones like Big Data that give them the personalization they demand.