Socrates (and a bunch of other people) once said that one of the first rules of life is “Know thyself.” The first rule of public speaking is “Know your audience.” Similarly, one of the first rules in business is “Know your customer base.”
Demographics and consumer segmentation may be viewed from various perspectives. One of those, relative to knowing your customer base, is understanding that the overall consumer demographic has changed significantly. The largest consumer segment in the U.S. is comprised of those between the ages of 18 and 34. They are popularly referred to as Millennials, and it is time for home improvement businesses to recognize who they are and understand how to reach them.
In 2015, the Millennials wrested the title of “The Largest Living Generation” from the Baby Boomers. As a group, the 75.3 million of them are forecasted to spend $200 billion per year by 2017.
If Millennials are America’s largest consumer segment, chances are pretty darn good they are yours as well. That means that your business’ marketing, lead generation, and customer retention efforts should increasingly be geared toward them if you expect to get a slice of that $200 billion pie.
Five Things Your Business Needs to Know About Millennials
In July 2015, BrightLocal conducted its annual consumer survey investigating “how consumers both read and use online reviews.” Search Engine Land did home improvement business a big favor by segmenting the consumers who participate in the survey by age. The results paint an interesting picture about young consumers.
1. Online Search Activity
Nearly 60% of Millennials search for a local business online every month. That would be 44.1 million. The BrightLocal survey found that, overall, 16% of the searches were for “tradesmen,” which would include the home improvement category. Applying that percentage across-the-board, that would include more than seven million Millennials searching for home improvement services. Some of them might be in your neighborhood.
2. Online Review Activity
In response to the question, “Do you read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business,” 41% of Millennials responded that they do so regularly. Only 29% of those in the 35 to 54-year-old segment and 25% of those 55 and older responded in kind. Combined with those who read online reviews of local business occasionally, a whopping 97% of Millennials are reading online reviews to decide where to spend their money locally.
3. Online Review Credibility
Overall, there is an element of concern when it comes to the authenticity of online reviews. Deservedly so. However, the important factor regarding Millennials is that 89% of them tend to trust local reviews, much greater than the other two segments.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: MILLENNIALS READ AND TRUST ONLINE REVIEWS MORE THAN ANY OTHER CONSUMER SEGMENT SURVEYED.
4. Reviews on Mobile Devices
More Millennials used mobile devices to read online reviews. The PC is still king in this respect overall. Regardless, 62% of Millennials “have read reviews on a mobile device.” Expect that number to grow with the continuing proliferation of mobile devices in the hands of young people. Ten years ago, Millennials were dubbed “digital natives.” They are now becoming “mobile digital natives.”
The moral of the story is that Millennials actively review businesses online before making purchases, and they tend to make buying decisions, at least in part, based on those reviews. In terms of lead generation, home improvement businesses need to keep a close watch on what customers are saying about them online. What is more, how businesses treat Millennials, by implication, is critical because…
5. People who read reviews also usually write them.
It is important for home improvement businesses to recognize how Millennials are changing local business consumer demographics. Then, a business’ marketing plan should consider the style and needs of America’s largest consumer segment. Contact us and let us show you how to make your lead generation efforts more effective.