Imagine yourself sitting in a conference room with your peers. You’re talking about your next marketing campaign and how to improve your ROI. Someone raises their hand and says, “We need to focus on the younger audience.”
That sounds like a great idea, right? But how?
While generational marketing isn’t a new concept, it has mostly relied on vague insights and generalized segments. With over 72 million Millennials and Gen Z making up 20% of the total US population, you must take a deeper look at buying behavior trends to develop more engaging campaigns.
Today’s Fastener brands face a unique challenge: there are more generations with disposable income than ever before. When it comes to spending power and buyer preferences, some generations have been in the game for a while, and others are just getting started.
How can you engage and convert a younger generation? Let’s look into the top ways to adapt your marketing and selling strategies to attract this important audience.
- Each generation has its own buying preferences, trends, and engagement levels.
- Focusing on the overall customer experience and messaging for different generations will help you long-term.
- Younger generations tend to lean more digital and require an omnichannel approach to make an impact.
How are Generational Preferences Different?
Each generation consumes information and makes purchasing decisions differently. If you’re looking to attract younger generations, it’s important to understand experience expectations and always meet their needs with personalization. After all, you’re dealing with people who witnessed the dot com boom and others who grew up with a smartphone.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, buying behaviors across n all generations have dramatically shifted. For example, over 2.5 billion digital buyers and 96% of people are now shopping online. In fact, even B2B industries have embraced a digital approach with 89% of companies retaining customers with an online omnichannel approach compared to competitors.
To help you get started, here’s a general breakdown of generational preferences:
- Gen Z: While they have smaller buying power, this generation has never known a world without the internet. They often experience brand distrust, are mostly influenced by social media sources like Instagram, and use their mobile devices for everything.
- Millennials: Valuing brand authenticity, Millennials use the internet to make informed decisions by reading reviews and scrolling social media. They’re very price-conscious and are comfortable using multiple devices.
- Generation X: As the core decision-makers, Generation X makes up 31% of total US income and wants honest product messaging that outlines a clear purchase path. Generation X prefers email and desktops.
- Baby Boomers: With the most disposable income, Boomers value in-person customer service and are more likely to have brand loyalty. Overall, they prefer shopping at local retailers, but will typically research products online first.
You need to alter your selling and marketing strategies to boost conversion rates within each generation.
5 Ways to Adapt to Generational Preferences for Your Fastener Business
If you’re planning on tapping into younger generations, it’s important to leverage digital tactics that capture their attention and drive results. Here are a few ways to adapt to generational strategies for your business:
- Focus on an Omnichannel Approach
An omnichannel approach uses multiple channels to market, sell, and deliver a seamless customer experience regardless of the platform. For example, you should provide a consistent experience through your mobile marketing, social media campaigns, and website so the customer can build a relationship with your brand.
Since younger generations primarily use their mobile device, you need to ensure your communication channels provide consistent branding and use the customer’s perspective to frame the messaging. You can implement an omnichannel strategy across all stakeholders:
- Product development
- Customer support
- Understand Online Shopping Devices
Most younger generations shop and/or browse online. As a result, e-commerce sales surpassed 3.5 trillion dollars last year with no sign of slowing down. As a manufacturer or distributor, you need to consider how you can provide not only an online shopping experience, but also a digital presence that educates your potential customers about your brand and its solutions.
- Develop Responsive Customer Service
While generations relate to brands differently, everyone values customer service. In fact, 90% of Americans view customer service is a deciding factor when vetting a company. Consider implementing the following customer service tactics to ensure your customers are always pleased:
- Send personalized email communications
- Offer relevant coupons and incentives
- Respond to all negative reviews
- Use fact-to-face service calls
- Invest in a chatbot for your website
- Use social media chat like Facebook Messenger
- Provide knowledge guides, FAQs, and online forums
- Develop New Messaging
Younger generations find value and emotional attachment to different messaging when making a purchase. For example, Millennials are more likely to be influenced by personal recommendations, fleeting moods, and in-store experiences. On the other hand, Gen Z is influenced by tech, speed, and reviews.
To attract Millennial customers, you need to build an emotional attachment between them and your brand. Meaning, you need to relate to them on a more personal level and highlight how your product adds value to their lives. Your Millennial messaging could include savvy how-to tips, educational videos, and personalization in every communication. However, Gen Z wants straightforward messaging that showcases the “why” behind your brand. Attract Gen Z customers by highlighting your brand’s advantages against competitors and discussing any non-profit ventures your brand engages in.
- Provide a Seamless Customer Experience
Your customers are in control. 80% of customers stop doing business with a company because of a negative customer experience. In an evolving digital landscape, providing a seamless customer experience is the difference between landing a sale and losing one to competitors. You can improve your overall customer experience by the following best practices:
- Develop an informational, interactive and clear website or redevelop and restructure your website to meet customer experience expectations
- Gather and implement feedback from your customers
- Revolve your company strategy around a customer-first mindset so you can meet their needs with each communication touchpoint
- Focus on speed and ease-of-use through all your channels
Consider Younger Generational Preferences to Grow Your Business
When you understand generational tendencies, you can more effectively meet their needs to boost your engagement and conversion metrics. With younger generations making and spending more money, it’s crucial to consider their preferences to guide future marketing, selling, and customer service decisions.
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