My favourite Internet meme at the moment is “I love (insert thing/product/service here) like Kanye loves Kanye.” There is no greater love…, as the saying goes, and Kanye West is not a man lacking in confidence or followers. Finding something that Millenials and “Fledglings”* love that much, and engendering the blind adoration that the hip hop star has for himself, would be the Holy Grail for us marketers.
But sometimes preferences and leanings come from left-field. Consumers and customers respond in a way that’s counter-intuitive and which takes us by surprise. These young people are the perfect example. They’re often dubbed “digital by default” and so old-skoolers might assume that the engagement and brand loyalty we covet is best achieved by the younger, funkier channels. Not so according to The Life Stages of Mail;
1. They love a bit of print
If all that ever drops onto the doormat with your name on it is a bank statement, receiving something else makes for a welcome surprise. More than 60% of those questioned in the research agreed they’d be more likely to remember something if they had a physical copy of it and 32% were more likely to trust information they see in print.
2. They don’t mind opening an envelope!
Sounds sloth-like but sometimes, for most of us, even that effort is just too much. These energy-charged whipper-snappers however don’t view the envelope as a barrier to what’s inside their addressed mail.
3. They know quality when they see it
Said to be key factors for gaining the Millennial generation’s trust is the credibility and authenticity of a brand. 38% of them are more likely to look at direct mail that is printed on high-quality materials, seeing that as a good indication of the quality of the organisation that’s sending it.
4. They respond “emotionally” to it
Brands that use direct mail to appeal to the Fledglings offering reassurance, support and that connect on an emotional level, report longer-term, deeper connections more likely to result in a “customer for life” or at least beyond a single, initial purchase.
5. Direct mail and digital together works for them
They’re still more likely to respond through a digital channel. So physical mail needs to link to a brand’s online presence, whether that’s a website, social channel, video, etc. Plus, it goes without saying, they’ll be doing any research on line so search and display still have to figure large in campaigns too.
6. The bank (mail sifter) of Mum and Dad
Envelopes may not be too much trouble but it’s still parents that are tasked with sorting the post. Getting it past those particular gatekeepers means grabbing their attention too – the case for personalisation, strong messaging, good creative and an age-appropriate style and tone of voice.
While the narcissitic Mr West loves attention so much he doesn’t care if it’s for the right or the wrong reasons (his new “Famous” video won’t be making him any new celebrity fans anytime soon) the rest of us are obviously more discerning. We don’t need customers to love us, but getting them to read our messaging is a great first step!
*“Fledglings” (those 16-34 still living in the family home*) Royal Mail’s “Life Stages of Mail” http://mailmen.co.uk/downloads/