An investigation into the behaviors and motivations of the generational cohort that is reshaping the marketplace.
“Millennial women represent 85% of the $200 billion millennials spend annually.”
—Levo Survey, 2018
Not only is this group spending money, but they are also making money, with 42% of millennial women identifying themselves as primary breadwinners. At 22-37, they are also entering into a phase of life typically associated with big spending: houses, cars, weddings, babies, childcare, and even eldercare. Millennial women are poised to become the movers and shakers of the global economy for the next decade.
Why should you care?
The short answer: millennials are a massive segment of your customer base, and they’re not going anywhere. Within the millennial demographic, women command (or at least heavily influence) an estimated 85% of overall U.S. spending power — approximately $170 billion annually. They are also becoming workplace decision makers, which means they are influencing B2B transactions. If you don’t have a marketing strategy for reaching this demographic, you’re leaving money on the table.
As Merkle and Levo explain, “The top 60% of millennial women spenders are 19% more likely to spend during a given time frame, and they will spend an amount 25% higher than the corresponding proportion of the U.S. population in the same spend rankings.”
Millennial women are spending more money and spending it faster than their male counterparts. And businesses within every industry would be wise to take note.
Millennial minds work differently.
The boom of the “experience economy” is attributed to millennials. In Welcome to the Experience Economy, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore observed that a marketable experience occurs “when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event”. Though the article was penned in 1998, Pine and Gilmore appear to be right on the money. A recent Harris study found that 72% of millennials would prefer to spend their money on experiences over products.
It is no surprise that the rise of the experience economy coincides with the popularity of social media. From #wanderlust Instagram posts to unboxing videos, successful companies have figured out how to leverage experience as a marketing tool.
How can I capture the attention of millennial women?
Start by considering how the buying behavior of millennial women differs from that of their male counterparts. One of the major differences is the role of research in purchasing decisions. Women are not the impulsive hormone-driven shoppers Don Draper made them out to be. Rather, Boston Consulting Group found that women research purchases significantly more than men do. Women are also less likely to be influenced by ads.
When considering a purchase, women seek endorsement. It is not sufficient to say, “our widget solves this problem.” Instead, female buyers want to see favorable reviews and details from sources they like and trust. They are also more apt to respond to an indirect selling style (think sponsorships and product placement). In a nutshell, women don’t respond to repetition or in-your-face marketing messages.
When selling to a woman, think like a woman!
In Why Women Will Redefine Brands, author Derrick Daye explains, “Most of the sales techniques we still use these days are based on an outmoded model, developed in the post-war period. This was a time when men still sold largely to men — and everything was about convincing, overcoming objectives, nailing the sale, making the budget.”
Day recommends softening your sales approach while focusing on sincerity and relationship. Soft does not equate to weak, though. Rather, transition from hard-nosed budget selling to a relationship- and value-based approach.
Sounds great, now what?
Ready to get started? Reach out to a team of top-notch millennial marketers right here!
If you’re not quite ready to make moves, I suggest revisiting your digital marketing strategy. Are you creating content with the intent of delighting customers or merely telling them why they should buy from you.? Is there a way you could build experiences into your brand? Do you consider millennial women part of your customer base? What is your plan for reaching them?
These fundamental questions will get you started; once you have your answers, give us a call (we really are the experts!)
About the Author: Agency Director Allison Wasz is a holistic thinker and digital marketing expert through and through. She lives and breathes digital — strategy, social media, paid search, user experience, and content generation are part of her day-to-day. Allison’s drive to understand the ‘why’ behind every action makes her well-suited to helping businesses of all sizes and across all industries develop and implement their digital marketing strategies. She believes in an educational approach to digital strategy, empowering clients to grasp how digital works in tandem with traditional marketing. Allison is a coffee drinker, part-time yogi, and red wine aficionado who spends her free time eating guacamole and patiently waiting for the next George R.R. Martin book.