Who Are the Millennials?

We have talked about the silent generation, but who are the millennials?  They might be one of the most misunderstood groups out there.  However, I will admit that I could be biased.  I am a millennial and proud of it.

We are the future of the market.  Millennials are your future residents, and in some cases your current residents.  And, we communicate and receive information drastically differently than any other generation. We are the first generation to associate a brand with a customer experience. Because of that, we personally engage with brands and expect a relationship. And by the way, engagement with a millennial is not just over the phone or in person.

We control the relationship and when the engagement happens, because after all, it is all about us. Millennials engage digitally, and frequently on social networks. So don’t give us your one size fits all content or pictures of cute puppies. Unless, of course, you want us to unfollow you. We must see the authentic you with all of your imperfections. Okay, maybe not all, but we need you to admit to your flaws.

Where do these expectations of the millennial generation come from? We have grown up with the feeling of entitlement. Please note that entitlement is a learned behavior. Yep, I am blaming my coddling parents for this one.  We are accustomed to feedback and expect collaboration. It is how we are wired.

Our formative years were during a time of economic growth and wealth, which leads to an amazingly positive outlook. It has made us confident, self-reliant, and optimistic. We are empowered by technology and the idea of e-everything.

How else does this apply to apartments? If apartment marketers haven’t already done so, they need to focus on mastering true dialogue on the platforms we millennials use. Yes, the platforms we use, because you wouldn’t go fishing in a swimming pool would you?

Traditional consumer marketing is over. Sure, some traditional marketing will hang on as millennials continue to edge out boomers, but let’s face the facts. Millennials’ expectations of brands and marketing are creating a change in all consumer behavior – regardless of generation. Marketing today is about customer experience – it’s not a series of linear steps but rather a process of engagement, feedback, and responsiveness.

Are your apartment communities, marketing plans, and customer communication methods ready to support this?

Misty Sanford
Social Insight Thought Leader
Renter’s Voice