If there’s one thing you need to know about the most important segment of consumers in today’s marketplace, the “Millennials,” it’s that these young men and women can’t live without their phones. From this perspective, it makes plenty of sense to have a strong SMS presence that truly speaks to the needs and desires of this group.
Unfortunately, many brands simply don’t embrace this concept and let countless lasting – and prosperous – connections with Millennial shoppers slip through the cracks. For the businesses that would rather not let these mobile opportunities fall by the wayside, let’s look at exactly what it takes to craft SMS content that resonates with this powerful and influential sect of consumers, as well as how best to deploy these offerings moving forward.
Understand the Preferences of Millennial Shoppers
According to Venture Beat’s Stew Bloom, the best way to start off this conversation is by getting in touch with the preferences of Millennial shoppers. At the top of this list of predilections is the reality that traditional voice calls are on the decline and this group of consumers would much rather connect with automated customer service systems via the SMS channel.
In total, Bloom reports that customer support organizations anticipate a 35 percent drop in voice interactions over the next two years, and a 20 percent increase in mobile chat inquiries. In other words, the Millennials in your target audience still want to connect with your brand, but on their own terms and by way of easy and efficient text messages.
A stat from Bloom that is perhaps even more indicative of the insistence of these consumers to interact with automated text service systems is the fact that if all contact methods were equal in terms of privacy and ease of use, Millennial usage of text-based customer service would increase over voice calls by an astounding 367 percent.
Support Your Content with Employee Interaction
Aside from developing SMS content that creates a streamlined and efficient customer support experience, Millennials also want to be able to interact with your team when things don’t quite go as planned. This means having text-based live chat capabilities, as well as offering quick access to customer hotlines, social links, and other supporting channels.
The big reason for this “full service” approach comes from the realization that SMS is most definitely the leading conduit for interaction with this group, but failing to bolster this connection with a variety of different methods of interaction is tantamount to leaving a job half-finished. Millennials expect multiple avenues of communication, and often lack the patience to deal with organizations that don’t provide them with the ability to connect in a variety of ways, so your best bet is to support your text content by tying in these secondary avenues of outreach.
Push the Boundaries of This Relationship
Perhaps the most important key to crafting SMS content and services that truly speak to Millennials, as explained by Business 2 Community’s Chris Horton, is by pushing the boundaries of your brand’s relationship with these consumers. Specifically, Horton points to proximity-based marketing as the leading tactic on this emerging SMS frontier.
If you’re not familiar with how proximity-based SMS marketing works, this practice is all about deploying near-field communication (NFC) tools, geofencing, beacons, retargeting tactics, and other cutting edge technology in relevant regions – brick and mortar stores, public venues, etc. – to interact with Millennial customers in the local area. Regardless of which of these technologies your brand utilizes on this front, the core principle remains the same: Find a way to leverage your powerful SMS connection with these users from an angle that adds a real-world dynamic to the process.
In particular, this approach relies heavily upon triggered offerings that activate when a target audience member comes into contact with a proximity-based asset. This triggered SMS content usually presents text campaign participants with limited time offers, in-store deals, and other selections that can take advantage of the propagation of mobile phones and the appeal of real world experience marketing within this group of customers.
Even if this example isn’t in line with your brand’s marketing goals, that’s okay. The primary lesson imparted here is that the more willing you are to push the boundaries of this connection with your Millennial audience, the more likely you are to generate a meaningful bond with this portion of your audience. The only thing left to do now is decide if your brand is ready or not to take the next step in its SMS-based relationship with the most important consumer demographic in the marketplace, or let the competition capitalize on this golden opportunity.