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“Selling is essentially a transfer of feelings” – Zig Ziglar

More than 7 out of 10 millennials consult, react or post about brands, products and companies on social media. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for many businesses and large companies that are competing for the same market segment. It is a highly competitive space and the loyalty is simply premised on how well a product or service gives a consumer the best experience or as Zig Ziglar puts it, the most memorable feeling. A brand or a business is therefore only as good its last customer experience.

According to Statistics SA, 66% of the South African population is constituted by people under the age of 35 years. This segment of the population is categorised as Millennials other wise known as Generation Y and Z respectively.

How Can Brands Capture This Market?

Use technology that works

According to a study by Mckinsey & Co. technology moves five times faster than that of the management of companies. It suggests that there is always new innovative technology that is available to make processes more efficient and effective. Brands and businesses that are in the technology driven services space ought to ensure that their technology works at the very least.  The opposite may create a perception of the brand that is not intended.  In order for a brand or business to succeed in retaining and attracting millennials, it has to ensure that it uses technology that is efficient and effective. The same principle applies to companies that are not necessarily in the tech space but have platforms that utilise technology, make sure that it works well.

The need to feel part of the journey

Increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%, this is according to a study by Bain & Co. Millennials feel the need to be taken on a journey by your brand or business – your ability or inability to map an interactive customer journey may inform whether your brand is able to leverage off this market segment and to what degree.

Customer journey mapping should therefore be a key priority for companies in order to retain customers and attract new ones. The mobile telephony industry is an example that has had to manage this process well through their new product development initiatives.

Ask Better Questions, The Right Way, To The Right People

Market research is a crucial component in the lifeline of any brand or business and marketers need to be innovative and diligent in the execution of the research.  Asking better questions, the right way, to the right people is likely to result in a better output of tailoring and customizing the desired customer experience for your millennial consumers.

The Kodak story of a missed opportunity in digital photography is a case study that many marketers and businesses ought to constantly navigate and grapple with. The simple innovation of a small camera on a Nokia 7650 phone led to the failure of Kodak as a world leader in photography and digital photography as it were. As a result, cellular phones are the most widely used devices to take photographs and videos. A lesson learned there would be that when your ability and agility to learn becomes slower than the pace of change, your business becomes irrelevant. Capture millennials by asking them better questions that capture their thinking and feeling processes, the right way and at the right time. It is at the heart of this, that your market research will be quantifiable and talk to your bottom line.

It has become clear that millennials are attracted and retained through the use of the right technology, an interactive customer journey, through asking better questions and lastly asking those questions at the right place. The ability of your company to be agile enough to meet the customer experience needs of millennials will therefore determine the growth trajectory of your brand and business.

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