The major adult milestones of marriage, having a baby, and buying a home—which often occur in rapid succession—each comes with its own set of new and necessary purchases. The buying decisions that consumers make during these key moments lay the foundation for a lifetime of brand loyalty. Perhaps it’s actually a lifetime-and-a-half, given that once consumers become parents, they pass household purchasing preferences onto their children, who won’t make independent purchasing decisions until they leave the nest and reach adult milestones themselves.
It stands to reason that retailers would be concerned about millennials’ perceived lack of allegiance to traditional markers of adulthood (there are so many things millennial wouldn’t need to buy if they stayed single, eschewed parenthood, and remained renters!). But it turns out that’s the wrong worry! Recent research shows that millennials actually have much more in common with their parents than previously thought—they just needed a little extra time to embrace marriage, motherhood, and the move to the ‘burbs!
So what should brands be worried about? Marketing to millennials in a way that makes sure you feel relevant during these major buying moments. Here’s three tips to make sure your brand matters to millennials, specifically millennial moms, as they settle down and start families:
Advertise on platforms built for the millennial audience.
Gone are the days of Mad Men when one single advertisement on weeknight television successfully reached the entire American population. In today’s complex digital landscape, if you want to reach the millennial audience, both now and as they progress through major adult milestones, your brand needs to advertise on platforms that are specifically built with millennials’ needs and preferences in mind. Things like user-friendliness, native content, and cool design are all top of mind for millennials as they decide which of the hundreds of platforms to engage with. Arguably, the most important item on millennial’s list of criteria is a platform’s “voice”. A brand’s voice refers to how they communicate with their audience across all media channels. Their voice represents who they are as an organization – their personality, values, and goals. To engage millennials, it is important for this voice to remain consistent, human, and relatable, as if they were connecting with a familiar source, not a smartphone. In our three mobile apps, Ovia Fertility, Ovia Pregnancy, and Ovia Parenting, we strive to create a voice that is warm, kind, knowledgeable, non-judgemental, easy to understand, and a little funny (while approaching serious topics with the appropriate tone). In addition to seeking out platforms with a consistent “voice”, brands should also select a platform that millennials stick with as they move through big life decisions. Too often, people progress through adult milestones and “outgrow” certain platforms that are specific to a time and a place (like trying to conceive). They then move on to another platform that is catered to their next life stage (like parenting). Making sure to advertise on a platform with a high app-to-app conversion rate to ensure that your brand is able to retain millennial interest throughout the decades.
Keep up with technology.
Millennials are the first generation in history to have grown up with smartphones in hand. This digitally savvy cohort spends five hours a day on their smartphones – engaging with their favorite apps, scrolling through Instagram, sending emails, and reading product reviews. Many prefer to make key purchases on their mobile devices (new moms in particular appreciate the convenience of shopping on mobile!). 63% of millennials shop on their smartphones every single day. Brands that want to stay relevant to millennial women as they navigate major adult transitions, like preparing for a first child, should adopt a mobile-first mindset and prioritize creating a great user experience. Make sure it’s easy to compare products, load a shopping cart, and check out on your website – for both mobile and desktop users. And if your brand offers a registry service, apply this same user-friendly standard to your registry creation tools.
Align your brand with their values.
One way that millennials stand out from previous generations is their almost uniform desire to make a positive impact on the world; they’re a group of 80 million people who want to “make a difference”. As they reach major adult milestones, millennials want to support organizations and products that resonate with their personal priorities. In other words, millennials want to put their hard-earned money towards brands whose mission statements and sourcing practices align with their progressive attitudes and beliefs. Millennial moms in particular prefer to make purchases from brands with pro-social messages, socially-conscious products, ingredient transparency, and ethically responsible business standards. If you show them how you do this, they’ll be more loyal to you, and may even be willing to spend more money with you! One research survey revealed that 73% of millennials are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand.
Turns out, millennials aren’t as different from other generations as we previously thought! As millennials start to embark on marriage, motherhood, and the move to the ‘burbs, these three tips will position your brand to advertise to millennials in a way that makes sure you stay relevant during these major buying moments.
Interested in learning more about how to market to millennials? Download the webinar recording below to learn key findings from our groundbreaking Ovia Insights survey of over 3,500 millennial moms!