Millennials want attention on all fronts online

Younger generations are far more reachable on tablets, mobile devices and PCs.

Posted on Oct 23, 2013 by YuMe

While it is always important to make sure customers are not being overloaded with online video ads and other pieces of information, the recent Automotive Consumer Marketing Survey from FordDirect found that communication, a strong online presence and face-to-face meetings are all important when selling to millennials. Those who were born between 1980 and 2000 are savvy shoppers and know they can vie for the attention for companies, so those who know how to best tailor their approach will likely see the most success.

"Consumers are bombarded with multiple pieces of communication throughout their day, and how dealers communicate to those consumers is important to cutting through the noise," said Stacey Coopes, chief executive officer for FordDirect. "The results of this research indicate just how crucial it is for dealers to tailor their communication outreach to grab their customers' attention."

Coopes said a strong, multichannel approach that will include both new and traditional communication channels are essential. This means mobile video ads and making sure the customer feels wanted in person are both essential tools for making sales.

Numbers from the report found 84 percent of shoppers preferred email as their main method of communication, but millennials especially did at 91 percent. The majority of shoppers were just as likely to click on an organic link as they were a paid video.

Don't misread millennial customers
AdAge's Bonnie Fuller said the 105 million-plus millennial market is huge, but many companies seem to be missing the mark when it comes to appealing to these customers. Fuller said they should accept that these customers have not inherited the love for the "touch of paper" as it were and likely prefer online video. There is also a great deal more emphasis on smartphones, laptops and tablets from these users, as information from Forrester Research showed 91 percent of millennials are regular Internet users.

There is a perception that digital doesn't do as good of a job returning the investment as traditional marketing, according to what one chief revenue officer told Fuller, but she said it  may be more of a feeling of being overwhelmed by the older age group of marketers.

"Many advertisers are almost paralyzed by all the digital website choices they have for campaigns, so they stick with what they know and have trusted for decades — traditional media brands," Andrea Miller, CEO and founder of YourTango.

Organizations should be more willing to experiment with social media, online video ads and other modern options in an effort to appeal to the millennial crowd.