Millennials Require a Digital Touch

If you want to hire, sell to, or in any way reach individuals born between the years of 1980 and 1996, the Millennial generation, you need to develop your digital presence.

A website, though necessary, simply isn’t enough, and the website that you have may be of marginal value if it isn’t integrated to multiple platforms. A recent Applied Systems report on the Millennial generation provides some pointers on a digital direction your company can take.

According to Goldman Sachs data cited by Applied, 44% of Millennials communicate opinions about services, products and brands using text messaging, while instant messaging and social media are used by 38% each. Just 16% use blogging to communicate their consumer opinions.

Not only do they share their own opinions via these methods, they look to family and friends for theirs. They also want in-person interactions, either over the phone or face-to-face, when they get to a certain point in their insurance experience, Applied found. Their purchases of auto insurance were split between online (35%), in-person (37%) and over-the-phone (25%) methods. For homeowners insurance, Millennials said they like to communicate with an advisor via phone, online, in person and through mobile apps or texting—in that order of popularity.

Your company’s marketing and CSR strategies now have not only bountiful avenues of communication but also myriad platforms to integrate. At-a-touch, fast-loading links that work on laptops, tablets, smartphones and, someday soon, in-home smart appliances must also function on multiple brands in multiple formats. Call centers that waste consumers’ time are in competition with immediate-response live-chat advice, and hold-time Muzak might underperform against informational and educational snippets presented to clients as they wait on the phone, other industry experts note.

Applied found that Millennials have grown up with almost unlimited choices and expect a lot of options so they can choose what fits best at the moment. If your technology is limited, expect your response from this next (and largest) buyer and employee segment to also be shackled. On the other hand, those who capitalize on Millennials’ technological literacy can expect to gain on more parochial competitors.