Millennials and the IoT: Part 2

Millennials and the IoTIn our last post, we mentioned millennials and the role this important generation plays in today’s marketplace. Today, we’re going to unpack that subject a bit.

Here are five facts about your millennial customers: what they’re looking for, what you need to do to keep them engaged, and what that has to do with the Internet of Things.

1. Millennials aren’t too worried about privacy.

Connected devices… why not? What could go wrong? Millennials don’t relate to privacy (or the loss of it) the way their parents do. They aren’t necessarily thinking about security. They don’t always evaluate the costs of connectivity along with the benefits.

TAKEAWAY: Your decision to leverage the business opportunities that are emerging from the IoT is not likely to disrupt your millennial customer base. That said – even if your customers aren’t thinking about the security implications of 50 billion connected devices, you should be.

2. They expect to be technically integrated.

The Internet of Things makes a lot of sense to a millennial audience. Again: these are people who were born and raised during the digital revolution. For some, there’s never been a time they weren’t connected – to a device, an app, a particular online resource, what have you.

TAKEAWAY: If you’re not doing a lot of creative, strategic thinking about what the IoT could do for your business, you should be. While many of these opportunities are still in their infancy, they’ll be growing up fast. If you choose not to grow in step with them, you’re passing up the chance to prove your worth to a crucial demographic.

3. They don’t want to be sold to.

Millennials aren’t naive. They’ve been immersed in advertising from infanthood. They don’t believe everything they see, and unlike their boomer parents, they’re not looking for a compelling brand story. In fact, if you give them one, they’re likely to distrust you.

TAKEAWAY: As you adjust your operations and offerings to take advantage of the IoT, keep your messaging direct and to the point. Tell millennials what you’re doing and how it helps them. Skip the flowery pitch, and speak concretely. In so doing you gain credibility.

4. They do want to be wowed.

What millennials are scanning for is value. They’re looking for products and services that are worthy of real enthusiasm. If you can deliver that, your millennial customer base will likely become your extended marketing team, tweeting about it, telling friends by word of mouth, leaving online reviews, etc.

TAKEAWAY: Make sure the changes you’re making are authentically beneficial to your customers. Then make a plan to revisit those benefits as time goes on. To retain this customer base, you’ve got to demonstrate value not just once, but every day, week in, week out.

5. They’re willing to jump ship.

What happens if you stop bringing that value? Your millennial customers will go somewhere else. That’s not brand disloyalty. That’s just logic.

TAKEAWAY: This is an audience you don’t ever want to take for granted. Not only are they powerful and large: they’re looking for what’s in it for them. If you can’t honestly answer that question, they will find someone who can.

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