And with a good reason: "I'm sure you've heard about how sizable the Gen-Y demographic is: 80 million consumers and $200 billion in spending power."
But it's not as difficult as you might think. And Hare believes you can reach them via...
- Word of mouth. Less than a third of Gen-Y consumers make purchase decisions based on a friend's social network likes—but nearly half rely on word of mouth when deciding to purchase your product or service.
- Engagement. A member of Gen-Y is rarely disconnected. Build relationships in the social networks they frequent, and don't forget to optimize your website for interactive discovery.
- Loyalty. Find the right balance between giving too much and not giving enough. You want real Gen-Y customers who spend money—not fair-weather fans out for a freebie.
- An "inside voice." It's a noisy marketplace, and you might be tempted to attract attention by turning up the volume. Don't. "Start discussions on social media; don't treat your social profiles as a canvas for free advertising," says Hare.
- Respect. Like any other demographic, Gen-Y wants respect. "Your customers are your best critics, and paying attention to them and their opinions is vital."
The Po!nt: Marketing to Gen-Y isn't drastically different from marketing to anyone else: Treat them well, and they'll likely return the favor.
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