The purchasing habits of millennials is a puzzle many brands, businesses, and retailers are desperate to understand. Currently accounting for 21-26 percent of the population, millennials are responsible for approximately 33-35 percent of retail spending. They represent a massive segment of the economy, and they are notoriously difficult to market to with traditional means. As they are incredibly tech savvy shoppers that look to connect with brands through technology and social media in a personal way, nurturing and retaining millennial consumers requires a much higher level of customer tracking and interaction than previous generations.

Despite persistent industry myths, millennials tend to be quite loyal to those companies they feel are looking to enhance the customer experience rather than squeeze consumers for every penny. “Our findings confirmed that millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and – despite popular belief – do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands,” says David Arabov, CEO Co-founder Elite Daily. “Millennials will generally invest only in brands they feel are just as interested in investing in them.”

Celebrating originality and personal uniqueness is a core trait of the millennial generation and they are more likely to respond positively to marketing directed toward them personally rather than mass-marketing. Millennials will not only become loyal, but they will spread the word about businesses and companies they feel a particular connection to. They tend to share all aspects of their lives online, and with over three hundred people on the average Facebook friends list, potentially reaching thousands of future customers can be as simple as nurturing that relationship.

Keeping track of those online and interpersonal relationships is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software becomes a real necessity for most businesses. It has become imperative for companies to keep incredibly detailed records of who their customers are, what they buy, their level of knowledge about the industry, prior orders, interactions and inquiries, and a wealth of other information. CRM software is an important tool for collecting and accessing that mass of information quickly and easily.

Beyond the consumer aspect, millennials are also becoming a significant portion of the professional workforce (approximately 34%). They bring their ideals and character traits into the office and business meetings as readily as the market. Interactions in a business setting need to have the same level of personal and technological relationship building. These can become difficult to track without the aid of an advanced platform like CRM software. 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis as consumers and that number climbs significantly with professionals. They prefer to communicate with each other and businesses through text and social media platforms, and they expect to have any query responded to promptly.

Members of this generation have grown up with technology and access to whatever information they desire at their fingertips, and they expect businesses to have that same access to knowledge about themselves instantaneously. Prior orders, service calls, and tech support information is more than just a convenience when making a sales call, it is a necessary set of statistics to confirm identity and the customer relationship with them.

No business is too small to need a CRM system — if you have customers, you need to have a reliable means to organize and access all possible information about them. Marketing and CRM are intricately tied to one another in today’s business world. Not utilizing the tools available to track and interact with today’s consumers means a real loss of customers and business opportunities.

Marketing to Millennials with CRM Software

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