Google your company’s name… what do you see? What can you find? It doesn’t matter what your business is or what industry you’re in, creating a digital footprint for your brand online is critical to ensure company longevity. Millennials, men, and women born from 1980–2000, are quickly becoming the group that holds the most buying power. Millennials need to see everything online before making a decision. Why else have so many “information source” start-ups (i.e. Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, Google) been so successful? Because millennials need information. And millennials ask a lot of questions. It’s almost an inherent trait of millennials… question everything.
Think your company is exempt from the online pressures? Although your company might be exempt from the current “digital or death” pressures, it won’t be for long. Even “traditional” and or “industrial” companies must start cultivating their brand online. When I say you need a digital footprint, I mean you need footprints- a path of where you’ve been that shows where you could go. And one millennials are able to follow. Millennials are starting new businesses at an average age of 27 years old. That’s thirteen years earlier than the previous generation’s average entrepreneur age. Soon, millennials will be doing the majority of business-to-business well … business and they want to know who they’re dealing with.
A 2016 CNN report found that Americans spend almost 11 hours per day consuming digital media through a screen. ELEVEN HOURS. THROUGH A SCREEN.
Use to, you just had to be seen. Marshall McLuhan said, “We are so visually biased that we call our wisest men visionaries.” Have an idea, develop that idea into a profit-making business, get your business seen- billboards, magazine ads, television commercials, promotional pens, sponsorships, all in high-traffic areas. Done. Success. And all of that’s still true, but the game has changed. A 2016 CNN report found that Americans spend almost 11 hours per day consuming digital media through a screen. ELEVEN HOURS. THROUGH A SCREEN. Traditional media is trying to keep up… transferring billboards to top-of-screen horizontal digital ads, print magazine ads into boosted Facebook ads, and TV commercials into YouTube videos. But it’s still missing the point.
The buying powers in America don’t want more things. Or they don’t want to believe they do. Millennials have largely never known a life without the Internet. They have lived through a recession, graduating college with no job market, and are still able to buy laundry detergent and have it delivered to their door with the click of one button. They can buy anything they want, and if they can’t, they’ll figure out a way (eBay? Credit card?). In 2016, success is no longer measured by the things you can buy, but by the things you have access to. Access is key. Millennials need to feel like they have access to a person or place that they feel good about in order to spend their dollars. The Internet is access.
Things weigh down the free-spirit. Things just create more that needs to be recycled. Things cost money.
Sure, everyone appreciates a good pen. When I type the company name printed on that pen into Google, what am I going to see? I really love this super-soft shirt you’ve given me, but I have a hundred more in my closet. But, I’ll wear your shirt if the logo on the front is one of my friends can Google and see all the cool stuff your company is doing. I can appreciate your witty billboard, but it’s cluttering the landscape of the sky. Millennials don’t need or want anything else. Things weigh down the free-spirit. Things just create more that needs to be recycled. Things cost money, what non-profit could you give that money to instead of spending it on more things? This is the millennial mindset. And millennials have buying power.
Stop spending money on things and paper to make sure your business is seen. Start spending money on ensuring your company is accessible. The great thing about access now? It’s completely customizable with just the click of a button.