A study of the way Millennials shop backs up the digital marketing advice we’ve been giving clients about the importance of segmenting their audience.

From how often they made online purchases to what they thought about fast service in shops, there were marked differences in attitude between Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomer shoppers.

Only Digital works with a variety of B2C clients who are constantly faced with the challenge of an aging demographic and how that affects their online marketing.

To stay relevant and continue driving sales, they need to recruit new, younger audiences and their digital strategies need to reflect these new audiences. But they also have to remain appealing to older customers with years of loyalty behind them.

By segmenting customers by their traits (such as age, location, gender, interests, shopping habits, etc.) and tailoring the approach according to our digital marketing advice, both these goals are achievable.

Customer acquisition

It can be a complicated ask because what previously worked for the Baby Boomer generation – and still works for them – often doesn’t get results among Gen X and Millennials, both in terms of customer acquisition (attracting them to the brand) and conversion (driving purchase).

You can see that in something as simple as the uptake of click-and-collect purchasing in the study for US firm Euclid. Millennials lead the way, with 47 per cent fans of the method but that tails off as the market segments age – down to 30 per cent for Gen X and just 13 per cent among the Boomers.

Differences in the rate of weekly online purchases were just as marked, with 52 per cent of Millennials making at least one, while that drops to 39 per cent of Gen X and 25 per cent of Boomers.

The study found Millennials were sceptical about ads and special offers in a way that the older generations were not, and that they were not as impressed by short queues and a good refunds policy as Gen X and the Boomers are. Millennials regarded them as expected, not an extra.

But digital marketing helps make them way more engaged in communicating with brands online, with 40 per cent having used Facebook to do so, while only 39 per cent had used email.

Social media marketing

That’s quite a chunk of people open for social media marketing, when you consider 43 per cent of Boomers surveyed didn’t even have a social media account. And it’s a good example of why it’s worth making sure your Facebook advertising is delivering for you.

All this clearly demonstrates that whilst new audiences need to be recruited, brands can’t forget about their aging audience. They need to straddle a fine line between digital and tech innovation without alienating their aging demographic. That’s an issue we covered in this blog about customer service.

You can see why there’s a need for digital marketing help to build appeal across age groups.

When we’re working with brands, we first off identify who their new audience might be and what that audience likes and dislikes – how they want to shop, engage with a brand and purchase product.

Based on these findings, we help brands segment their online marketing audiences and subsequent targeting strategies so that we’re reaching the right people at the right time with the right message.

Recruit new audiences

Ultimately, the channels we’re using to recruit new, younger audiences are different from the traditional channels we’re using to keep older audiences engaged.

What we’re seeing is very much in line with the statistics in Euclid’s research: Millennials and Gen X love to shop online – giving even more incentive to brands to up their game in the e-commerce space.

If brands don’t have a direct to consumer product to sell digitally, then their marketing and advertising strategy still needs to take new media/tech channels into consideration.

Everyone in the Only Digital team is a specialist - whether it’s strategy, search, web design, content or advertising. Call us now on 0800 612 9890 to find out how we can help your business.