Why businesses text to reach millennials
With 85 percent of millennials owning smartphones (the largest generational demographic in the US), 78 percent sleep with their smartphones next to them. Therefore, it’s no mystery why marketers are checking in with their young clients on their device of choice: their mobiles.
Whether it’s shopping, dating, looking for a job, paying bills, arranging a ride with Uber or finding directions, this generation is doing it all with their cell phones. Businesses that ignore them do so at their peril when you consider that millennials represent 1.78 trillion dollars in spending power and by 2025, they’ll represent 75 percent of the workforce.
Millennials’ love affair with all things mobile means that businesses who market to this group with texts are reaping big rewards.
Millennials love to text
Every generation has jumped onto the texting bandwagon. It’s quick, cheap and convenient. But nobody texts like millennials do. 72 percent of millennials say they text 10 or more times a day and 31 percent text 50 times a day or more. What kinds of things do millennials like to receive texts about?
- Appointment reminders
- Delivery notifications
- Payment reminders
- Fraud alerts from their banks
They much prefer texting to voice calls or social media when it comes to customer service issues. In fact, 60 percent prefer to text companies to resolve problems.
They’re responsive to text marketing
Millennials don’t just enjoy texting friends and family. They also respond positively to businesses who reach out to them via text. Even businesses with traditionally low engagement with millennials managed to increase their involvement with texting campaigns. In fact, sending a text caused an increase in engagement of 11-30 times. A call-to-action sent to a millennial via text is 40 times more likely to be answered than if it were sent via email.
They join loyalty clubs
Marketers have had great success with SMS loyalty clubs and that includes with millennials. There’s a mythical perception that millennials don’t engage in brand loyalty, but 60% of them report being committed to certain brands. They are quality seekers, with 77 percent of millennials saying they prefer brands that have a great product. Asking a millennial to join a loyalty club is definitely not a waste of marketing energy.
They have specific marketing tastes
By now, most marketers are aware that millennials have different values than their parent’s generation. They are putting off milestones such as starting families and buying houses in favor of life experiences. Millennials, more than any other generation, are interested in content, authenticity, stories and personalization. Don’t be sales-y. The key is seamlessly integrating your brand with their lifestyle and needs. 64 percent of millennials say that they respond to messages that are crafted to fit their cultural interests (sports, music, movies) and 62 percent want messages that help them solve lifestyle-specific issues.
What’s next for millennials and marketers?
Here are two trends that can help marketers reach millennials (and both are mobile):
- Millennials have been early adopters of mobile innovations such as mobile pay. As mobile pay grows in popularity and credibility, millennials can be expected to lead the way.
- Snapchat is the preferred social media channel for millennials with streamlined, uncluttered newsfeeds and content that caters to their interests without missing the mark like Facebook often does. Marketers who figure out how to implement click-to-buy on Snapchat will be harnessing the purchasing power of the millennial generation.
Bonus: As brands incorporate text messaging with other marketing platforms, here are some key words to consider when communicating with millennials: Personalization, lifestyle, experiences, authenticity, innovation, passion, connection, discovery.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”