Millennials: Marketing For Instant Gratification

12/30/2015 01:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

2015-12-17-1450386665-7570488-AndyKaruza.jpgAndy Karuza is the founder at brandbuddee.com and co-founder at SpotSurvey. He is a leader in the online and social media marketing community with experience launching startups and helping fortune 500 companies achieve online success through innovative strategies. 

Millennial consumers' attention spans are at an all-time low. Yet this new group of consumers is now the largest in the U.S., and their buying power is growing considerably. 

The millennial consumer is highly independent and looking for a unique experience. There's no room in the market for average products made for average people. They're busy and sometimes they only have time to skim a few bullet points. If they like what they see, then they'll read more. Can we blame them? Millennials' digitized lifestyle and media consumption have conditioned them to be really good at ignoring things.

With that in mind, here are some strategies so you can find success in marketing to those seeking instant gratification.

"What's in It for Me?"

First, your brand positioning and value proposition should be obvious. For example, GoPro did a great job building and positioning a product for a certain type of person with the specific need of capturing high-quality, live-action shots. They focused their message and marketing towards sports enthusiasts. The rest is history. There is no room in the market for another camera that shoots video. If you find yourself focusing most on trying to differentiate through a plus one feature over a competitor, you've probably already lost.

Consideration

Use icons or images to communicate key value points. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Help your target market figure out what it is and why they should care as quickly as possible. Icons and images are great for instantly communicating a story or value proposition. Instead of telling people that you provide dance lessons among a list of other classes, show them by adding an icon that represents dance to websites and brochures. Text is only successful when people want to read the nitty-gritty details as an option before signup. You can offer more information as you gain more of their interest and attention.

Conversion

The signup or sale should be designed in a way that's transparent, quick and easy to do. Only take as much information as you need to convert a customer. 

A considerable amount of sales are lost due to a poor design experience. A retail store with long lines will turn people away. Break them up into smaller lines to create the perception of a lower wait time. Put up a sign that tells people how long they might wait. They will appreciate the transparency. Having an estimated time in mind is better than the fear of the unknown.

Asking for too much information will also turn people away. Get an email and only the most necessary information. It's a bonus if you can let them know why you need their information. Mark anything that isn't clearly necessary as optional. We've found that providing four or five data points works best. Tinder provides a good example of how to do this well. The app has users sign up primarily using Facebook. Facebook already had all the information Tinder needed for a user to create a profile and connect them with potential matches in their area. Test your user experience to see if you can easily sign up for your website in eight seconds or less.

Customer Retention

The new customer is the most important person in the world. They want their issue resolved immediately without jumping through hoops. Quality is important, but fast is the new norm. Closing a sale typically costs seven times more than keeping a customer, so you should focus on customer retention if you want to build a business. The millennial customer is less brand loyal than other groups, so to keep them happy, leave lines of communication open in order to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. 

A high-touch customer service approach can be great for some issues, but not everyone has the time or need to wait on the phone for 30 minutes. A great number of customer service issues are simple questions that can be resolved promptly on your website through live chat tools like Olark. According to a survey by Nielsen-McKinsey, 33 percent of consumers would recommend a brand that provides a quick but ineffective response, while only 17 percent would recommend a brand that provides a slow but effective response. 

Make the human attention span of eight seconds your benchmark. Build your marketing programs around achieving their desired goal within this timeframe. If you need to communicate a message, can you get it across in less than eight seconds? If you want somebody to sign up, can they do it in eight seconds? You're likely losing customers you don't even know about because they're not taking the time to let you know through your tedious 21-question surveys. The true genius of marketing today is in simplicity: less is more.