Creating A Millennial Loyalty Program That Works Pt. 2
The loyalty and rewards industry is changing. Thanks to new technology, customer needs and wants are ever-evolving. This is never truer than with Millennials. So what do Millennials want from a loyalty program? Winning the hearts, minds, and wallets of Millennials requires a unique outlet, strategy, and mindset. In part 1 of our series on Millennial loyalty, we looked at convenience, mobility, values, and the ability to go cashless. In Part 2, we’ll discuss more ways to tailor your Millennial loyalty program to give Millennials what they want in order to build deeper connections and gain their loyalty.
Forget About Traditional Advertising:
Online advertising can be very hit-or-miss; at this point, most users are fed up with annoying, irrelevant ads and have some kind of ad blocker in place. According to HubSpot, 84 percent of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Male Millennials ages 25-34 are the most likely to install an adblocker out of all demographics.
One of the best ways to effectively reach Millennials is through friends referrals, social media shares, and other “word of mouth” behaviours. Social media is a great tool because it not only allows for non-stop communications but it also promotes peer-to-peer recommendations. According to Kissmetrics, 89 percent of Millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand. A whopping 98 percent of Millennials are more likely to engage with a friend or family member’s post than a brand’s.
Email marketing has also taken a hit, with open rates consistently dropping over the last five years. Millennial consumers don’t want to be bombarded with endless spam emails. Millennials would rather businesses contact them via mobile apps or SMS messaging, as long as the information or deals offered have real value. The ability to tweak and customize settings in these apps makes them appealing to Millennials, which leads us to our next point…
Personalization & Customization:
According to a recent study released by global customer engagement agency Bond Brand Loyalty, consumers “spend more, advocate for, and remain loyal to brands with loyalty programs that offer innovative personalized experiences in addition to points and discounts.” Millennials expect and demand more from brands than their older counterparts. Brands must offer personalized, customized experiences that peak directly to their interests. Generic mass messages will not help with the acquisition or retention of Millennials. Millennials are both tech-savvy and highly connected. Personalized messages communicated across multi-channels at the right time will get the greatest value out of your marketing spend.
Millennials shop and spend much differently than previous generations. They prefer experiences and want to connect to the brands they purchase from. Brands must focus their efforts on creating a fun, personal, and entertaining shopping experience, both in-store and online, in order to build deeper, emotional connections with this consumer group.
This sentiment also holds true for loyalty programs. Previously, loyalty programs focused only on money; the more you spent, the more valuable you were to a brand. To attract and retain Millennial customers, businesses must offer something more. Exclusive deals, seasonal products/rewards, early access, free shipping, and other unique experiences that reward customer engagement all help create a community of loyal shoppers. A customer who feels their opinions matter is a customer who feels valued. Traditional loyalty metrics still have their place, but engagement is king for a Millennial loyalty program.
Millennials are now the largest generation living in the U.S. and collectively have an annual spending power of over $600 billion. Isn’t it time you focused your attention on giving them what they want?
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