Written By: Andy Ogg, Editor and Marketing Director – Travel Professional NEWS®
As a Travel Professional, you undoubtedly know the power of new leads and new clients to add into your business. While there are clients out there of every generation, there is one generation that you should be putting some focus into. The Millennials.
You’ve heard it a million times and that is for good reason. Millennials are not only the largest generation in history, but also becoming one of the largest influences on the actual way we all shop, buy and yes, travel. Their preferences in unique experiences, digital interaction and communication have become a major focal point for many brands and businesses as the Millennial generation becomes of age to become a prime market.
Are you currently working with Millennials? If not, it’s time to open the door and get to work.
Since Millennials occupy 73 million of the population in the United States, it seems best to start innovating your communication approach to further improve your business. By using these helpful communication tips, you get to learn and explore methods to improve your connections with them.
Embrace New Technology
Millennials are known to be tech savvy since they grew up connected to the digital world in which we all find ourselves in today. It isn’t just a fun thing for this generation, it’s a part of them. According to a global study* of Millennials conducted by Telefonica Global, 80% of Millennials do everything tech-related in higher percentages than all other generations.
So, if you’re working with a Millennial or are looking to start relationships with this age demographic, stay up to date with the latest communication technologies such as text or digital messaging, in-app messengers, and even making your business available through digital phone services or location services such as Yelp.
Ensuring that your business is in front of the Millennial generation will not only ensure new leads, but will also show your future Millennial travel clients that you are up to date and current with technology.
Create Opportunities for Good Causes
Millennials always have a desire to make an impact for a good cause. This is why most Millennial brands or startup companies have their own charity or foundation to support. Opportunities to be involved with “giving back”, whether at a local or international level, provide Millennials with a greater sense of influence.
This tendency doesn’t just apply to a local community but to the world. If provided an opportunity to engage with a good cause while traveling, most Millennials will take advantage of that chance and become a positive influence on the destination in which you’ve helped them get to.
Support their Creativity
Creativity is king when it comes to targeting Millennials. Inspirations through the internet, TV, and music, Millennials are more visual when it comes to crafting or planning an experience or adventure. Cater your marketing and communications with Millennials to be more visual compared to textual. Show them the places they are going using a Pinterest board or even on your website. Allow them to choose from exciting and unique experiences in those destinations and as a result, your sales will soar.
Be sure to check out my other articles on Creating High Quality Content from your Adventures using your Smartphone series to ensure that your visual marketing and information is not only current, but enjoyable and visually appealing to Millennial Travelers.
Always be Innovative
Millennials are bombarded with cluttered content every single day. Even if your message is appropriate for them, it will be overlooked if it doesn’t grab their attention from the get go. It is important to be innovative and to always try to reinvent things, so you capture the Millennial market.
Whether it’s a unique video marketing a destination, trip or experience, try new things in your efforts to gauge the best results and highest yield. Through it all, remind yourself that visuals will reign supreme. In addition to marketing, challenge yourself to create “Millennial Only” travel packages that include comfort, experience, opportunities to give back and a uniqueness that only you can offer as a highly valued Travel Professional.
Speak their Language
Since Millennials grew up with the internet, one of their primary forms of communication is through the screens that we all have in front of us through the day. While being in front of them on the screen is important, it’s also valuable to note that the actual way Millennials communicate is unique.
Aside from face-to-face communication, Millennials have mastered the art of using an emoji, GIF, or even a meme at the right time. In actively engaging in these trends, your Millennial clients will not only appreciate the common ground but will feel more comfortable in the communications. Now, learning how to successfully embrace these additional communication methods can poise to be a challenge but as long as you are open to education from interactions with Millennials, you’ll become a master in no time!
Give them Flexibility
It’s impossible to avoid the cultural shift in work styles, time frames and even work flows that Millennials have influenced. More employees work from their home or remotely than ever before. The change continues to progress and with flexible work becoming a standard, it’s important to note that Millennials may not hold your standard 9-5 hours as once before.
When communicating with Millennial clients, be understanding that they may not respond right away. They may need more time than the standard client who works from a desk 8 hours a day and in doing that, may need a gentle “nudge” or reminder from you if there is a timely deal or discount that you think would be useful to them.
In addition to the communication, be sure to allow for Millennial flexibility in their travels as well. Maybe it’s an extra day in a destination or a few extra days after a cruise, if they are open to the idea, they will most likely thank you for the added value, experiences and memories that are created as a result of your care to their flexibility.
According to forbes.com*, 2019 is all about humanized brands, encouraging companies to share more personal and real stories. It is also said that Millennials want to learn more on “soft skills” such as leadership, communication, collaboration and time management. Furthermore, Millennials respond to the wellness of their body and mind. Sharing your story as a Travel Professional can be one of the most useful ways to connect yourself to Millennial clients and while clients are always the goal, you may be surprised with some new relationships that arise from the power of sharing yourself and your story.
Focus on their Passion
Millennials’ perspectives on travel is far different from the previous generations of the Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers. Nowadays, Millennials are most likely to pursue their passion rather than following the trends, and a possible reason for this is because they want to have a “sense of impact” that can allow them to feel important and influential in their adventures.
Providing Millennial clients the ability to share with you their passions, likes and goals is a great first step in crafting a travel itinerary that will not only suit them, but exceed their expectations. In a previous article about Millennial Travel Trends, we discussed the power of using the digital age to learn about your clients. Whether it’s a new friend on Facebook, a follow on Instagram or a tweet sharing a common opinion, Millennials share much of their personal life with the digital world and much can be learned about them by doing some engaging and browsing with their shares.
Millennials are aware if a marketing advertisement is hard-selling them, that is why they tend to rely on real people with real reviews.This is why the rise of the vloggers and social media influencers have occurred. As real people test products or services, it is posted on Youtube, Instagram, or any social media application, Millennials are noting the content and thus deciding their engagement as
Become your own influencer of Millennial travel by sharing real results, experiences and advice from your own travels and adventures. Steer away from force-fed marketing messages, and focus on connecting with them on a personal and authentic level and watch the results speak for themselves.
Recognize their Value
There seems to be a negative connotation to the Millennial generation, most likely due to the cultural, marketing, and technology disruptions they have caused with their habits and preferences. Sometimes referred to as the “me generation,” Millennials have a certain stigma around the generation which can empower or hinder their value.
The fact is that Millennials are currently the largest generation in history and are quickly becoming the largest influence in consumer habits. To downgrade Millennials as “not worth the hassle” would not be wise for any business as these are the future clients, buyers and deciders of the future of the marketplace.
While Millennials may require some different communication or efforts, there is no doubt that it’s worth the open mind and work. Millennials are more likely to stay loyal to a brand, business or person than any other generation. This is because they value relationship over price. Time and time again, Millennials show their loyalty to those they work and partner with.
The times are a changing and it’s time to adapt your marketing, business and offerings to add Millennial travelers to your client list. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and look forward to hearing your experiences with Millennials! Drop us a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your success with the largest generation
* Global Telefonica – https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:T6OI38tvTZcJ:https://www.telefonica.de/file/public/883/Telefonica-Millennial-Survey-2013-Global-Results.pdf%3Fattachment%3D1+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ph&client=safari