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On Beyond Stereotypes: The Truth About Next-Gen Customers

Millennials

CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — There are more myths than truths circulating about millennials. This generation, currently with about 55 million people in the workforce, are poised to be your next customers, with $1.4 trillion in spend by 2020. Think you should get to know them? You bet.

TBI's Bryan Reynolds

TBI’s Bryan Reynolds

In his keynote, “Winning the Next-Gen Customer,” Bryan Reynolds, post sales director with TBI and Channel NX2Z board member, walked attendees though how to attract next-gen customers and how to convert them into sticky customers. His strategy was to debunk myths and lingering misconceptions, challenge you to think differently and venture outside of your comfort zone and to provide advice on how to take targeted action to make millennial and Gen Z consumers your next source of revenue — and hires.

It’s a misconception that members of this generation are lazy, entitled, cheap and always on their phone.

In reality, millennials are purpose driven, quality conscious and educated. What is interpreted as being cheap is actually an awareness of a volatile economy. “We know what it’s like to have bills that we can’t pay,” said Reynolds, referring to skyrocketing student debt.

As for always being on their phones or other mobile devices? Well, yes, they’re adopters of technology and that’s a good thing — and your opportunity to get into the “virtual” door. With that, social media reigns.

Millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996, according to Pew Research — are poised to be the largest generation in history. “Digital transformation – millennials will bring it to fruition. Security – we’re going to be the biggest consumers of security,” Reynolds said.

If you want results on social media, you have to make sure that what you post matters. Make small but impactful posts. Evaluate videos, quotes and pictures in terms of the relevancy and impact.

If you haven’t yet, Yelp your business. Encourage Yelp and Google reviews. Be edgy but not too over the top. You want your post to elicit a response. And, give your brand a persona — what’s your value, what’s your purpose?

Once you’re in, there’s more that you need to know. Some tips from Reynolds: converse, don’t lecture and be inclusive. Also, visualization is very important. And, whatever you do, expectations matter – don’t overpromise and underdeliver.

“Don’t sell, create an experience,” he advised.

Now, you want to turn these new customers into sticky customers. This requires ongoing interaction. What that means to millennials is hands-on omnichannel communication. For example, encourage them to write online reviews. You must keep them involved.

For this generation, purpose is not value. “Your value is what you can do for them. Your purpose is what you’re doing to contribute to society,” Reynolds explained, adding that millennials want to give their money to a company that is doing good with it.

Customer life cycle is a process. Remember that social media rules. Stay on the edge with engagement and track what’s trending.

No, you’re not in Kansas anymore.


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