Supply Chain Management and 3 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Dealing With Millennials

Millennials – understood to be the generation of people born between 1980 and 2000 – have now come of age. Manysupply chain management have become earning members of society, and they represent a quarter of the American population at nearly 80 million with an annual spend of around $600 Billion. They are an attractive demographic target – but conventional marketing wisdom tends not to work on them. Why is that? What makes millennials tick? What will make them change their consumer habits to favor you? To understand this, you need to know more about how millennials decide to and spend their dollars.

Millennials are the first generation that grew up in the presence of commercially viable and available digital and network technologies, making them the first truly digitized generation of the USA. They are the trend setters, and the general marketing thrust towards social network and digital marketing is geared towards enticing these millennials. However, traditional marketing wisdom translated to technology driven mediums like the internet have not worked very well. Why is that? Read on to know the 3 biggest mistakes in trying to deal with Millennials.

  1. Advertising doesn’t work like it’s supposed to

Anyone who uses the internet for any amount of time will have run into various kinds of advertising. Small, contextual advertisements on the side of the page – brought to you by sites like Google and Facebook. Banner ads across the top and bottom of the page; links and pop up ads in the body of the page. Ads in your e-mail, on your social network, and in your go-to websites.

However, a Forbes survey indicates that only 1% of millennials will find a good ad making them trust a brand more. The commonplace nature of commercials has made millennials take them less seriously and ignore them, which is why advertising online has had to evolve.

  1. Peer Review is king

33% of millennials apparently use blogs and reviews to get more product information before they make a purchase. Apparently, they find that people within their networks who have also accessed that product are a more reliable source of information. Only 3% users still use TV, books or magazines to glance through reviews of a product.

  1. Trust is earned, not given

At one time, a company that spent on professional advertising and their general ‘look’ in the public eye was slowly considered to be a dependable company, because it bore evidence as the seriousness of the company as well as its deep pockets. Currently, there is a HUGE trust deficit between companies and their consumers. Consumers have never been as vocal, as demanding, and as deeply unsatisfied as they are today. Social media is rife with complaints against products and services from various companies. Responses that are less than desirable are lampooned and spread.

How does this impact you and your business? What should you be doing to fix this? How is Supply Chain Management involved?

One of the best ways to handle millennials is with information and transparency. Providing analytics and data which suggest that one particular consumer choice is better than the other (for instance, a line on a product description saying “78% of the people living in your area prefer this option”) seems to reap greater rewards than speaking of the product in absolute terms.

As far as transparency is concerned, this is extremely important with respect to handling complaints. Handling unhappy consumers is always tough, and it’s much harder to do with twitter feeds or Facebook comment threads where things tend to escalate, and not get resolved. The best way to deal with these situations for millennials is to be responsive, to be as helpful as possible, and not make any promise that you aren’t certain you can meet. This might save you and your company embarrassing publicity – and if you can handle the complaint with the right kind of humor, it might even help bring great publicity.

There are many strategies targeted specifically towards millennials and their kinds of choices. This webinar by noted experts Joe Lynch and Brigid Kellie Lynch talks about 8 Ways Millennials Are Impacting Supply Chain. It gives you the best tips and strategies with respect to supply chain management in this age of the Millennials.

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