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Generation Y, otherwise known as the Millennials, are a very appealing pack of consumers to advertisers for two reasons: They are happily spending their disposable income now that they have entered full-time work and they have unprecedented influential power. Millennials are very active on their social channels and it is their voice that is becoming the primary source of information on products and services.

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The ultimate cheat sheet for capturing Millennials' attention in MENA

In the UAE, nearly 70% of 25 - 34 year olds are employed full time, and are approaching the prime earning years of their lives. Coming out of the recession, millennials are shifting focus and their attitudes about their finances, retirement and even brands. 41% of millennials are also looking towards buying property in the next five years, signalling a yearning for stability.

If you own a business looking to sell to the Gen Y consumer, then it is increasingly more important for you to rethink your approach towards millennials and tap into their mindset. Prototype brings to you the ultimate cheat sheet for capturing the attention of this powerful group of consumers.

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Focus on relationships

Millennials rely on influencers to make purchases. Now we don’t mean you should find a social media celebrity to do the talking for you; the average 30 year old is more likely to buy a brand that has been recommended by a friend than one that they see in an advertisement. With this in mind, it is more important to build relationships with consumers, past and future, to help promote your brand through user-generated content. 62% of millennials are more likely to purchase from a brand that has interacted with them on social media. Ensure your brand is active on social media as well as other local site listings such as Yelp and TripAdvisor and engage consumers talking about you, positive and negative.

Don’t dress up your ads

Don't get us wrong, Millennials love some viral creativity when it comes to advertising your product, but don’t dress up your ads so much that the consumer doesn’t understand the benefits of your product. Millennials do not mind you selling them a product and they know what you’re doing when you try to cover it up with a video or photo. This has a tendency to backfire, because as much as the millennial consumer will laugh, cry and share your heart-wrenching viral video, they will not always convert to your product.

Make sure you make a clear distinction between your different online campaigns: Do you want to build brand awareness or are you advertising a product? There is a balance between keeping it simple as well as capturing the Millennials attention. Keep your eye on your goals of each campaign at all times and don’t try to hide what you are doing.

Millennials know everything, so treat them like they do

A millennial consumer has likely researched your product, asked friends to offer their opinions on social media and read reviews before they have decided to purchase. 70% of millennials rely on reviews online before they make a purchase, especially reviews written by their peers. Facilitating this journey for your Millennial consumer will help them to see you as a loyal brand.

Avoid posting over-priced products and sharing rushed special offers as this will not appeal to the Millennial generation. They want to know they are making the right decision by choosing your brand so help to make them feel comfortable with the research they do before purchase.

Online payments are a must:

Millennials have no reservations about purchasing products online and actually prefer doing this instead of having to call or go in store. There are many things an ecommerce business can learn from the likes of Amazon about how to make the purchase process online seamless. Here are some initial thoughts:

  • Protect and store details for ease of purchase next time
  • Utilizing PayPal, a trusted online payment method, so consumers trust your site.

Millennials can be idle so making this vital step in the purchase funnel straightforward will see them coming back to your site in the future.

If you haven’t yet realised the value in marketing to Millennials, then following these efforts above will help you to target this lucrative generation. Tell us your stories over on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – How have you engaged Millennials with your business?

Be honest

Brands that have the potential to be a force for good are fast outpacing those that don’t have visible CSR initiatives with the Millennial population in MENA. Around 60% of millennials believe that brands should actively participate to improve worthy causes and are more likely to have an affinity towards brands that inspire change within the community. Contrastingly only 14% believe that brands should just focus on their own products and services.

As marketing becomes more nuanced, the lines between a brand’s personality and those of their consumers are slowly being erased, therefore it should come as no surprise that millennials believe that the brands they purchase should be an extension of themselves. Millennials expect of brands what is expected of them: the ability to be adaptable, be creative, never settle, and give back.

Statistics taken from Forbes and Initiative MENA

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