4 Surprising Facts About Millennial Spending Habits

4 Surprising Facts About Millennial Spending Habits

You may ask, “What does this have to do with marketing?” well my friend, let me explain. Millennials are the hottest target audience in the market today. The majority of companies are targeting 18-30 year olds because they know that’s where they will get the most out of their branding and ROI’s. Millennials are constantly sharing and promoting products they love and voicing they’re opinions on products they don’t, so you can see how such an influential group of people can mean success for any business.

As a “selfish” and “entitled” Millennial though, I feel it is my duty to defend my own (hmmm maybe this what they were referring to as entitled?), especially when it comes to my spending habits, because c’mon, lets me realistic…they’re not that great. We often get a bad rap for not contributing to society: being unemployed, living with our parents, and putting off getting married or having kids. But with a collective $1 trillion in student debt and the constant rejection of employers, can you really blame us?

I recently stumbled upon a Business Insider article that summarized a report by Mizuho Securities surveying more than 1,500 millennials aged 18-34 on their spending habits, and was pleasantly surprised to find that millennial spending habits aren’t as bad as society makes them out to be. I guess there is more to us than meets the eye (and our wallets). Here are 4 [surprising] facts about millennial spending habits and my thoughts on them:

1. “Millennials do most of their shopping in physical stores. Sure, they are tech savvy and frequently shop online, but millennials haven't completely abandoned stores and shopping malls. They like to touch and feel products before they buy them, and still appreciate the experience of shopping in a store. In fact, millennials still complete 54% of shopping in physical stores, according to the report.”

 Yes. Yes. Yes. I am a first-hand account of this one, partly due to my slight shopping addiction, but nonetheless, factual.

2. “Millennials save more money than the national average. "Contrary to popular rhetoric regarding a highly challenged consumer who may be burdened with debt and living 'paycheck to paycheck,' our survey of millennials suggests the majority of the demographic (74% of total responses) saves money every month compared to 26% who do not," the report says.”

Listen, budgets are hard work. First of all, actually building a budget is a task in itself, but actually following through? Forget about it. But in all seriousness, saving is important. We know it’s annoying, but we also know its necessary. Even saving $20 a month, could be very beneficial in the long run! To my fellow millennials who don’t have a savings account: get on it!

3. “Millennials are planning to buy homes. They are delaying home-buying and marriage and kids, but they are planning to get to those life milestones eventually. When asked what they are saving for, millennials said (1) a house, (2) a car, and (3) retirement.”

Of course we want homes, what do you think we’re saving up for? Maybe we’re not looking to have the traditional “white picket fence” home, but we still want a place to call our own. As far as having kids, some of us want to wait because we want to be financially prepared for the expenses that come with raising a family (aka responsibility) OR some of us just simply don’t want kids. Is that such a crime? Plus, why change diapers when you can cuddle with a dog? Just saying. 

4. “Millennials aren't just relying on Uber and Lyft to get around. They are actually buying cars. Like with homeownership, many millennials have delayed purchasing cars. But car buying among this demographic is rapidly rising and will continue to grow, according to the report. About 64% of millennials plan to buy a car in the next two years, and most of those who don't plan to buy a car already own one, according to the data. Only 5% of respondents said car-sharing services like Uber and Lyft serve as a replacement for owning a car.”

I believe this 100%. Sure, Uber and Lyft are life-savers after a Saturday night out at the bar, but relying on a car-sharing service 24/7 can get a little stressful. As I mentioned before, we want something to call our own and having to depend on an Uber simply isn’t cutting it. I’m not saying we’re out purchasing Range Rovers and Mercedes Benz left and right (although it would be nice to be able to afford a Rover), but we are still financing cars and steadily growing that sales market. 

To end today’s article, or what appears to sound more like a rant, don’t underestimate Millennial spending habits. We work hard for what we want and no matter how many obstacles you throw at as (yes, this is directed to you baby boomers) we will continue to contribute our part to this world and grow any business who wishes to pursue us. We are loyal to the products/brands that we love, thus making our presence in the market very valuable!


What To Expect (And Not Expect) From Your Marketing Firm

What To Expect (And Not Expect) From Your Marketing Firm

Working with your marketing firm or ad agency should be a partnership.  A partnership that allows for open communication, integrity and respect.

You should expect this from your firm.  And they should be able to expect this from you.

When this kind of partnership exists you can expect the following:

  1. Expect them to want the best for your business.
  2. Expect them to give you their best.

In order to do that, they’ll expect you to give them the time, consideration and trust to do the job you hired them to do—this is why you chose them.

Expect to be frustrated at some time during the process.  Usually that happens early on, because a great deal of work is being done that you may not be aware of.  There is much data to be gathered, research to be done, competitive analysis to assemble, and it all needs to be assessed and processed.  There is an extraordinary amount of information to sort through in order to determine what’s valid vs what’s relevant as it relates to the marketing, branding and communication of your product, service or business. Good ideas take time. Don’t expect to rush the process.

That said, expect them to keep you updated on what’s happening and the progress that’s being made. Expect weekly communication at the very least.

Expect them to first give you what you ask for…then to bring you alternative thinking if they believe it will serve you better. They’ll expect you to be open to hearing their ideas. If you have doubts just ask questions to understand their thinking—there might be something that didn’t occur to you, something even better than you asked for.

All in all, don’t expect miracles.  But expect really good stuff if you’ve established the kind of partnership described above.

 


How Your Business Should Be Using Instagram

How Your Business Should Be Using Instagram

Ah, Instagram, the “visual storytelling” platform, unique in the way that it is solely mobile imagery. Think about social media platforms as the components of a marketing agency, in which Instagram is the Creative Director, in charge of focusing and connecting with their “clients” through the creativity of content such as photographs and videos. That being said, Instagram is more for the creative side of your business.

According to Instagram, this fun-filled social media platform has more than 300 million daily active users and 500 million monthly users. With so much activity and engagement happening every single day, it’s no surprise your business, big or small, can benefit from it. Not convinced yet? Well allow me to do so…

So, why is it important?

Although Facebook is still the most popular social media platform out there, Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for time spent on it. Instagram users are more likely to engage and share content which means that your business has a better chance of getting in front of your audience, and who wouldn’t want that?

Instagram also has a way of creating a deeper, more personal connection than Facebook. M. Gemi, a company who first launched on Instagram, says this about their Instagram engagement, “There is no other platform that allows us to form that type of genuine connection. Instagram allows us to communicate with, listen to and respond to the needs of our clients through imagery.”  Now with over 70.5k followers, they aim to keep that same feel throughout their images for years to come. Instagram allows your customers/followers to see who you are as a business simply by the use of trendy graphics and 10-minute videos.

How your business should be using Instagram:

Show Your Business’s Brand

 People follow businesses on Instagram to see their products quickly, but more so to see the business from the inside. Instagram allows you to get creative with bringing your customers to a side of your brand that they may never experience. Post pictures of your product, but also, post pictures that show you. Even if you are sitting in an office all day, there is still a ton of content you can create; just be creative.

Remember, do not over post. On this platform especially, “blowing up” someone’s feed, will annoy your followers and will quickly lead to losing your audience.

People that You Follow

The amount of people you follow will vary, depending on your business. There is no perfect ratio, however, following 10,000 people with only 500 followers does not look good. Keep it balanced. Follow enough people to get your name out there, we suggest to start out with at least 100. Remember, You do not need to follow everyone who follows you. This can lead to you following spam accounts, and will get you no growth. Verify the accounts you follow, read their bio, review their photos. Look at your competitors, and see how many and who they’re following. The people you follow should also be interested in you and your product.

Make sure the people you follow have the same standard of business that you do. Do not follow people who are irrelevant to your product or business standard. We do not recommend that you follow celebrity accounts, unless they’re associated with a reputable business that relates to yours.

Uploading Awesome Photos

Try and keep your branding as consistent as possible, by using images that have your company’s color, text and style throughout. Take a look at your competitor’s feeds. How are they conveying their brand? When you look at your competitor’s feeds, notice how they keep the images similar enough to where you can see their branding all throughout. If your website uses images, feel free to recycle them on Instagram!

Double Tapping

By double tapping on a picture, you can like photos and posts, and you can do it frequently. Liking photos is much more freely done on Instagram than on Facebook, but don’t overdue it. Like and share photos of things that are relevant to your company or customers who are engaging with your business/product. The more you interact with your audience, the more engagement you will get in return.

Comment frequently and get your name out there! A big misconception is that comments always have include something about your brand/company. Wrong. A simple comment, such as “great advice”, can suffice and make a presence.

Story Time!

Instagram stories is new to the Instagram platform and basically involves disappearing pieces of content, including photos and video. These capabilities include Instagram Stories, posts that disappear after 24 hours. At the top of your home page is a horizontal bar featuring photos of people you follow and one for yourself that has your profile photo with a plus sign. When you select the photo of yourself, it opens another screen, with the option of live video, an option called Normal (which takes a photo), Boomerang (which creates a GIF) and Hands-Free, which records a video without requiring you to hold down the record button.

Your business can give customers a live look behind the scenes of interesting aspects of your business (or answer live questions through the comments). Unlike Facebook, once the video has ended, it is no longer available anywhere, unless of course, you post it on your Instagram feed. This is a great real-time tool for any business who is looking to have short engagement for an event for example, such as a giveaway!

Connect. Connect. Connect.

You can connect your Facebook account to your Instagram account (and pretty much all other social media sites), that way post will be present on both, saving time and energy. This is great because if you have pre-scheduled post for Facebook, they will also be posted to Instagram without any extra effort on your part. Yay!

And just like Facebook posts, Facebook Ads can also crossover. If you have Ad on Facebook, that ad crosses over to Instagram giving you the ability to promote on both social media platforms. The perfect win-win situation!

Okay, So Now What?

Didn’t I tell you Instagram was so great?! When used properly, Instagram gives you an easy way to enhance your reach and expose your business to new people. It is also an awesome tool to bring people closer to your business by expressing your personality and creativity!

 Don’t have an Instagram account yet? No Worries! You can set up an account in seconds by simply downloading the app onto your smartphone (and I know you have a smartphone). The best part is, you don’t need an overly complicated strategy to be successful. By simply snapping pictures and being authentic to your business’s brand, you’ll surely be on your way to engaging with your audience all while driving your business to success!


How To Select Your Marketing Partner

How To Select Your Marketing Partner

Marketing is an essential part of growing your company/brand. But selecting a marketing partner can be a daunting task. When every dollar counts in business, it is important to do your research to find an agency who works with you to achieve your main goal: growing your business. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting your marketing partner

Pay attention to how well the agency strives to understand your business and your objectives.

Do they listen to you and ask probing questions in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business or product? Do you come away from your first meeting with a good feeling—that they can not only help you, but that you’ll enjoy working with them? You will be working with them for some time and you want that time to be pleasant.

Ask them to detail the process they will follow to identify, understand, create and execute your opportunities for success.

They should be able to explain the process they follow in working with you—the steps they will take to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Do you understand it and find it compelling?

Find out how they manage complex projects involving multiple media.

What talent and expertise do they possess in order to effectively, cost-effectively and efficiently market your business or product? How many different media do they have experience in that might be relevant to your marketing? Do you have a sense of confidence in their ability to execute what you will need?

Determine if they have knowledge of your product/business market:

If they are experienced communicators and marketers, they may not necessarily need specific experience in your market, but it is certainly a bonus if they do.  The learning curve will be much shorter.

Determine if their specialty fits within your needs:

Every firm has a different wheelhouse of skillsets and service offerings—the things they do well and the things they don’t handle.  Find out what those are so you can compare firms. Ask about the breadth of experience of the people who will be involved on your business.

Before you hire an ad agency, determine why you're hiring them.

Decide what services you need.  Come to the meeting prepared to express this so they can respond accordingly. Recognize what your capabilities are and what you need help with.  Be honest with them, then be open to hearing their ideas and recommendations—if they surprise with you with something you never thought of that’s great.  You want them to provide you with ideas, approaches and thinking outside of your own.

Match the size of your company to the size of the firm.

Kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you’re looking for a firm that’s not too big, not too small, but just right.  You’ll get a sense of that.  Come in with an idea of your budget.

Find out what “above and beyond” services they offer.

Do they offer web development and SEO, financial services, access to investors or funding, go-to-market plans for products in development, or legal advice?


Facebook for Business

Social Media: Facebook

Social Media: Facebook

We hear a lot of thoughts when it comes to social media-  especially the why and how to use it for business.  The most commonly referred to platform is Facebook- for good reason.

Have you said or thought any of these:

“Why should I use Facebook for business? I don’t even use it personally.”
“Facebook isn’t my audience.”
“I can manage my Facebook page myself, it’s not that hard.”
“I just use my personal Facebook page as my brand page”
“I can do it myself, I mean, how often do you really have to post stuff- once a week?”

Well, here are some helpful statistics to think about.

Facebook for business:
There are over 1.5 billion people on Facebook. 900 million of them on it every day. Facebook touches every age group from 18-65+

 

Successful Facebook for business pages post multiple posts per day, and managers spend between 4-6 hours on Facebook daily to create a positive and active presence. And this isn’t even accounting for the in-depth advertising components of Facebook.

Have you put together a detailed strategy for your social media? Do you have a dedicated employee who understands the ins and outs of what to post, when to post it and where?
No? We can help.