If numbers, are something that is of interest to you, then be ready to be shocked. India has one of the largest numbers of millennials in the world. They are around 350 Million of them (more than the population of USA) and by the end of 2020, they will reach around 410 Million even more than China (Yes, we will finally beat them in population numbers but for good!).
India will have 50% of its population below 27 by 2020, with the majority of them falling into the bracket of a 'Millennial.' They are projected to spend 330 billion dollars annually by 2020! Now, if you are a marketer and that doesn’t stumble you off your chair, nothing will.
Decoding a Millennial - The billion-dollar industry
So who is a 'Millennial'?
A millennial is a person born between 1981 and 1996.
What are their traits?
The Indian cricket pitch captures the best analogy of how to define their trait – a little confused, unpredictable and can turn in any direction. Further, there is a wide variation within the millennials - some are as young as 22 and some as old as 36 and they react to the same things differently both at the same and different time.
So, if that has not confused you as a marketer then by now you must have cracked the code to decipher them and that makes you the “Marketer of the Year”. For those, like me, who are still struggling to identify one, here are few common patterns which are homogeneous when it comes to millennial’s and can help in designing marketing campaigns targeted towards them:
Friends are the best bet - Millennials get influenced by people who they know, and friends are their best bets. 50% of Millennials will buy brands or products referred or endorsed by friends. So as marketers spend money towards word of mouth endorsement as much as brand campaigns.
Trust Barometer - Millennials are the most difficult stakeholders to get back once the trust is broken. While they might look naive to start with at times, but once they feel cheated, that might be the end of the story with them. But the good part is that once the trust is established, they will go a long way and stand with you in thick and thin. As marketers, investing in them beyond the brand becomes even more important
Change is the constant - Millennials change their behavior quite often. That makes the job of a marketer all the more difficult. Hence subscription models, selling a narrative beyond the campaign, having a purpose-driven campaign, influencer and word of mouth branding and finally a social message closely knitted to brand messaging immensely helps in their loyalty.
They are to social media, what Kohli is to cricket - This analogy fits best, as both are topical. Millennials thrive on social media. They tend to spend more time (17 hours in a week average) on social media than anything else. As marketers spending money on digital communication, therefore, should be a no-brainer.
Instagram the treasure trove for millennials - With 80% of their 70 million users in the age group of 18-35, Instagram is THE place to find millennials. With the smartphone penetration(400 million smartphones with 86% of millennials owning one ) growing at a double-digit rate, Instagram is pipped to have more millennials than any other social platform by 2025. This gives marketers a wonderful opportunity to curate content that is relevant, weaves a story around it, and is socially appealing.
Decoding a millennial is as challenging as playing on a 5th day turning track; and with new innovations happening with a drop of a hat every day, this list is just a tipping point.
Until then….'Happy Festive Season' to all the 'Millennials'.
Amit Nanchahal is a blogger, street photographer, millennial and a social media influencer. He also works as a senior corporate communications professional at a ride-sharing firm in India.