Often confused with Generation Z teens, the last birth year for millennials was 1996. In 2018, this makes them 22 – 37 years old. And they are today’s business buyers. They didn’t know life before the Internet and grew up with information at their fingertips. Which explains why over a third of millennial buyers expect a business website to be their most helpful resource. They search, connect, collaborate and challenge. Most don’t even consider dealing with a salesperson until the later phases of their buying journey.
As of 2015, there are more millennials represented in today’s workforce than any other generation.
Recently, I’ve been exploring the millennial mindset and its impact on how business buyers are making purchasing decisions. This includes how they research, what influences their purchase choice, and the role that print plays in their always on, app-driven, omnichannel world.
Contrary to popular belief, millennials read more than older generations do—and more than the last generation did at the same age. In fact, a survey of college students found that 92% prefer reading print material to digital material. Over at JWTIntelligence.com, Frank Rose reports that 78% of millennial respondents said they enjoy the smell and feel of books and paper. 58% said the same of magazines.
In the article, Unbox An Experience That Captures The Attention of Your Customers I share how, by tapping into the science of touch, printers can create a memorable and long-lasting customer experience. An experience that drives profitability.
To the millennial mindset, paper = trust.
Compared to digital documents, paper is seen as more official, more trusted, easier to keep confidential and safer/more secure. More than three-quarters surveyed by RIT say documents are less trustworthy in digital format since they can be altered without your knowledge. Identity theft is a dominating concern.
However, waiting days for a document to be created, printed and delivered to their mailbox might just be enough for millennials to decide to take their business elsewhere.
To drive print profitability, businesses must empower their buyers with the ability to interact, purchase or make a transaction at any time, from wherever they happen to be, using their chosen device.
This means making it possible to pay bills and perform transactions on any device, most importantly mobile while recognizing the important role that paper plays in the millennial mindset. It means every online and offline touchpoint includes content and messaging relevant to the customer’s situation, preferences and interests. And it means fostering a sense of community, culture and environmental appreciation.
To drive print profitability, businesses must understand their buyers’ preferences and offer the services and products that are relevant to them.
One of the major factors driving the growth in our industry is the increasing need to keep customers engaged through communication over various channels.
According to the USPS, 84% of millennials take the time to look through their mail, 87% like receiving direct mail, 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers and 50% of millennials say they like to discover what the mail brings every day and consider time spent looking at and reading it time well spent.
Organizations need to constantly deliver relevant documents and promotional offers to their customers to maintain a healthy customer relationship. Those succeeding are providing communications that are targeted and personalized across all available digital, mobile app and physical channels. They’re real-time customer interactions with immersive and interactive customer journeys that are also fun, one-of-a-kind experiences. And they include print.
To drive print profitability, businesses must wow their buyers with engaging service, relevant products, and on-point pricing every time.
By 2020, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator, says a VisionCritical study of customer-obsessed companies. Customers will pay more for a better customer experience and are 4x more likely to jump to the competition when a problem is service-related vs product or price-related, or if they feel they weren’t treated well. Businesses must anticipate their customers’ needs and deliver consistently.
Now is the time for the print industry to take advantage of what’s happening to the buyer landscape and pay attention to what the millennial mindset is saying, expecting… and willing to pay for… in an experience.
Tap into the millennial mindset. Deliver a meaningful customer experience that engages, empowers, and wows. And drive print profitability.
Joanne Gore is the founder of Joanne Gore Communications. She is spearheading the initiative to help the print industry drive business now, and in the future, with programs that generate awareness, customer engagement and growth.
Joanne is an industry presenter and published writer and has worked with some of the largest brands in the technology and print industry. She is the President of Xplor Canada, a member of the Xplor ABODand a returning mentor for the Ontario Summer Company, a Government initiative for youth entrepreneurship and employment. She graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant.