Ashley Anna McHugh
Special to the State Gazette
While the youngest millennials may still be 18, many of them are in their late 20s or even mid-30s now.
Despite the fact that most of "Generation Selfie" has fully entered adulthood, at least according to their birthdates, many millennials still haven't reached the traditional milestones that were important for their parents.
For example, millennials aren't as established in their careers; according to Time, 60 percent of them see their current jobs as a "stepping stone." A recent Urban Land Institute study showed only 26 percent of millennials are homeowners, and according to a Pew Research Center Survey, just 12 percent of millennials are married with children.
Because of facts like these, some companies feel like "Generation Selfie" hasn't entered their target demographic yet. Home ownership, marriage and starting a family were meaningful milestones for previous generations, and millennials haven't gotten there yet.
If you're waiting for the millennial generation to "grow up" before you start marketing to them, though, you might be waiting forever. Many of these milestones just aren't as important for "Generation Selfie."
However, just because millennials don't fit the traditional profile of your company's ideal client doesn't mean they aren't interested in your products or services. It might just mean that your ideal client profiles are outdated -- and if you're still using those same old profiles to target your marketing efforts, you will not reach your ideal millennial client of the future.
Instead of waiting for a sea change in millennial attitudes and behaviors, brands need to make an active effort to recalibrate their understanding of their targeted ideal clients.
Start by analyzing the demographics of your current millennial customers. How old are they? Are they married? Do they have children? How are those demographics different from what you know about your older clientele?
Next, conduct interviews. What drew your current millennial customers to your company? What products or services do they find most meaningful? How do they define the value they get from working with you?
For example, even if you typically target married couples with children for your life insurance policies, you may find that most of your millennial clients aren't concerned about providing for the children they haven't had yet. Instead, they may be more worried about the financial welfare of their aging parents, or how their partner would fare without two incomes.
Understanding this difference could be the key to unlocking a new generation of ideal clients, but if your sales team is still working with an outdated customer profile, they might not think to frame their sales pitch around the key issues that appeal to your ideal millennial customers.
Make sure your marketing and sales teams are aligning their tactics to identify and target your ideal millennial customer of the future, and you will be able to drive your company's growth for years to come.
Ashley Anna McHugh is a training and development strategist at RedRover, and she can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.