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Tips on how to market to millennials

By Justin Di Vilio

You’ve heard the term “millennials,” but do you really know this generation and are you ready when they walk in your store?

By 2020, millennials will account for roughly $1.4 trillion in spending power, and by 2030, millennials will outnumber baby boomers by 22 million.

These new consumers are the most educated generation in history and have grown up with technology that the generations before them are still adjusting to. They are digital natives, and they expect the businesses they interact with to be as well.

It is vital that you stay ahead of the digital curve if you don’t want to lose the next generation’s attention. Ready to put a plan in place? Read below for three simple tips for marketing to millennials:

1. Sell the Experience

Shopping needs to be more than a transaction for this group. They want to feel a part of the world that your products can offer them before they even consider buying. How do you pull that off? Think about the environment you’re creating. Consider playing fast-paced, contemporary music and turning it up a notch or two. From there, make sure there’s sounds, video or elements of boating life all around your store.

Ready to go a step further? Offer classes on wake surfing/wakeboarding or host local athletes or water teams to talk about their experiences. Allowing millennials to picture themselves owning your products will get them in the buying mood and encourage them to tell their friends, share on social media and come back for their next purchase.

2. Help Them Succeed

Millennials pride themselves on being educated. Publishing or sharing how-to videos, life-hacks and other content that helps them feel connected and informed will go a long way with this generation.

Videos are a powerful tool for the average on-the-go millennial. Whether it’s a new boat launching, a short tip from your leading sales person or even a personal greeting from yourself or a GM, millennials will love watching original videos.

Need video inspiration? Make them a teachable moment. Film a “How-To: Get the most out of your battery” or “How-To: Repair a porthole” to get you started.

3. Be Website Ready

Millennials have high expectations when it comes to all digital platforms. That means your website needs to deliver if you want to keep their attention. If a website has 404 errors, incomplete links or inaccurate information, millennials will leave and are not likely to come back. Keep in mind that this goes beyond the desktop.

Mobile shopping and online browsing has increased every year for the last five years, and that trend will only continue. Do an audit of your site today and contact your web provider to ensure that not only is your site working properly, but that you have a mobile-friendly version that won’t scare off millennials.

Bonus tip: Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Take this quick test!

Learning how to market to this tech-savvy generation of shoppers is vital to your business. Soon they will be overtaking the baby boomers in their buying power, and you don’t want to miss that wave.

If you have questions or would like more information on websites and digital marketing services, reach out to me and my team here at ARI Marine. We are always glad to help.

Justin Di Vilio is director of business development and program manager for ARI’s marine and RV divisions.

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