5 tips for engaging with Millennials
At Edentify, we've been speaking to clients a lot lately about how to do research among difficult-to-reach groups. The one group that keep coming up as being incredibly difficult to research also happens to be one of the most valuable to marketers – Millennials.
There are good reasons why younger people – especially those aged from 16-30 – can be particularly difficult both to recruit, as well as to engage and keep engaged. Communication channels that have typically been used by research recruiters and panels, including landline telephones and emails, are not widely used. We have found that calls to younger people on their mobile phones are more often than not ignored or go straight to voicemail.
Even when you can manage to get a group of millennials into a room together, the results are often disappointing.
The key to running successful research among young people is to understand how they prefer to be communicated with, and running the research in a way that suits their needs.
People are so used to receiving automated communications that they feel they can ignore them without offending anyone or putting them out. Personal communications help researchers to build a connection with younger people that will encourage them to contribute more.
2. On their terms
Millennials are used to doing things the way they want to do them. Trying to coordinate a group of 20-somethings into a focus group room at the same time can be like herding cats, and even if they agree, don't be surprised if they cancel or just don't show up. Make it as easy as possible for them to participate, and if possible let them do it when and where they want.
Which leads us to…
3. Use mobile
Wander around among groups of young people and you'll soon see the most important possession is their phone. It is the central communications hub in their lives and it's never far from their mind. Using mobile as the primary contact point for research is essential.
4. Make them feel part of the process
The world of marketing is much more transparent than it used to be. The explicit involvement of brands on social media, as well as TV shows like The Gruen Transfer and even Mad Men have opened people's eyes to how the industry works. Young people know they are being used and they know their value, so listen to them and take their ideas on board.
5. Leave your stereotypes at the door
We've said before that Millennials are misunderstood and underestimated. Look past the clichés and you will find a generation every bit as smart, interesting, and committed as those that came before.