Millennials are the next wave of consumers that businesses need to be able to attract in order to thrive. Also known as Generation Y, Millenials are those born between 1989 and 1999. These are people who can’t remember life without the World Wide Web. They were the first to have computer education in their standard curriculum in school and the first to grow up knowing what blogs are. They have lived and breathed the internet and never known precisely why phone books exist.
How do you market to these up-and-coming consumers? You engage them by thinking digital and accessible- by employing mobile apps. Mobile apps are the result of an ethos of ubiquitous technology built to cater to the user. In short, mobile apps were designed specifically with Millennials in mind, intended for them from birth, you could say. Millennials like things to be intuitive, fast, and connected- all things that can be neatly packaged in an app. Thus is the basis for the epic love story between mobile apps and the Millennial crowd.
User-friendly is the name of the game. There are more tech-oriented professionals entering the industry now than ever before, including those from the Millennial generation. And technophilia isn’t just for the tech-savvy anymore. Anyone and everyone can engage the most cutting edge tech. Therefore, anyone and everyone should be able to pick up a device and use it, at least superficially, without an instruction manual or computer science degree. Apps fit the bill because they’re a literal point-and-click. You should be able to navigate an app with little to no trouble- if that isn’t the case, hire a designer to streamline your system. Millennials like things to be instinctual, so make sure your app is clearly labeled and comprehensible to new users. There are a plethora of sleek app designs to draw inspiration from, most focused on the aesthetics of the Millennial generation.
Apps are masters of delivering content at the drop of a hat. The faster you can convey your information to a consumer, the more likely you are to keep their attention, which is key when it comes to Millennials who know how many options they have. Native apps are great for this because they’re downloaded into the device and don’t rely on often questionable internet connections. They’re powerful and integrated, so the app can pull data off of the device, often skipping steps of input for the user. This is extraordinarily convenient, especially for those apps that offer to remember GPS locations, telephone numbers, etc. And when you’re dealing with a generation that can expect a package from Hong Kong overnight, you’d better be able to provide the fastest data. Wooing them with prompt responsiveness will keep their attention on your business.
The one thing that most people know about Millennials is that they love to talk about themselves. The dominance of Facebook and Twitter in the social spheres of this age group is undeniable. Many people across most generations, in fact, are lost without the ability to link their technological activities with their social media and vice versa. Allowing people to use technology as a mirror that reflects their preferences through customization and inclusivity, therefore, is a winning way to get them to give you a second glance.
What I’m trying to say is that if your app doesn’t have a link to a user’s social media outlets, it should. It should be elementary to click an icon and tweet about your app. Whether everything that comes out of this interconnectivity is positive is largely up to the individual and to the quality of your services. But even if a user tweets about how bad your UI is, you can learn from that. Acknowledge and address their concerns in a personable way to get the most out of your app’s well-rounded approach.
So keep in mind, when courting the tech-savvy Millennials, you’re courting a group of people who have the world at their fingertips. Some businesses have made the mistake of assuming that they’re vapid and have short attention spans, maybe even that they’re stupid. I urge you not to generalize but instead to embrace their open attitudes. They expect a lot from their tech and from the businesses they patronize, but speak their language and you’ll find that they can be your greatest ally. Their tech soulmates, mobile apps are a useful and increasingly necessary way to engage them and exceed their expectations.
Adam Kinsey is a freelance writer and tech consultant. He has studied the millennial market base in their natural habitat and determined that they are generally friendly, tech-reliant creatures. He writes for software outsourcing company, Silicus.