You know how important it is to win over to the Millennial demographic, and you’ve been focusing your efforts on that group for a while now. Currently between the ages of 19 and 36, Millennials (also known as Gen Y) spend around 82% of their income, according to Nielsen data. As they enter their prime earning and borrowing years, they’re poised to dominate the market.
But they’re no longer the new kids on the block. Now that you’ve figured out how to communicate with Millennials (while continuing to engage Gen X and the Boomers), get ready to take on another challenge: there’s a new generation on the rise.
They don’t have an official name yet, but this young generation’s financial activity already ranges from piggy banks (probably virtual ones) to checking accounts.
So who is this new generation?
- According to McCrindle Research Center, they were born between the years 1995-2009.
- There are approximately 23 million of them in America.
- They’ve never known a world without the Internet.
- They speak emoji.
- Online research and online interaction are a way of life of them.
- By 2020, they’ll account for 40% of all consumers.
- They’ll pay for technology, but not for things they can get online for free.
Meet iGeneration. Or Generation Z. Or Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Socratics, Gen Next, Post Gen, Plurals… All of these prospective names came from a recent USA Today poll on what the post-millennial generation should be called, but so far nothing has truly stuck. For now, we’ll call them iGen.
Here are some tips for communicating with these up-and-coming prospective members:
- Personalize everything. (And we mean everything.)
iGen wants brands to recognize them. They don’t want emails that say “Dear Customer” or “Valued Customer.” They’re used to their data being collected and they expect to be addressed by name. iGen is the first generation that has grown up with social media and they expect brands and companies to be social media savvy.
- Speaking of social media, iGen relies heavily on social media for research.
Millennials and Gen X look at social media as a way to connect with friends. iGen sees social media as a way to receive information. A study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that when researching colleges, 60% of iGen stated that they felt comfortable contacting schools through social media. 48% of those surveyed by HBR said that Facebook is their primary platform for social media and research. Almost 50% of iGens who participated in the 2014 Most Memorable New Product Launch survey turn to YouTube to learn about new products, compared to only 25% who read emails from brands.
- Give iGen a reason to love your brand.
iGen is looking for simple yet sophisticated social media platforms. They constantly have a screen in front of them – in fact, multiple screens (and they’re rarely without a smartphone).
And one of the surprising findings from the HBR study is that iGen loves content. This generation is intrigued by research and finding more things out. Look for ways to quench their thirst for knowledge and offer user experiences that are simple but powerful. For example, Instagram is updating their marketing platform to allow users to click on a photo and instantly buy that product.
If you want an example of a brand that’s doing it well right now, watch this ad campaign from Dominos. Yes, you saw that right: you can order pizza by texting an emoji.
iGeneration is here, now. They are graduating from high school and enrolling in college. They are working their first jobs and making their own money. Alternative methods of banking are more natural to them than traditional methods of banking. Now is the time to re-evaluate your member service practices and marketing efforts, because very soon this new generation will become a dominant purchasing power.