With Diwali around the corner, every digital and physical marketplace is buzzing with one word… OFFERS! Between looking for topics to write about and finding time in between to check out deals online, I thought this topic could give me the best of both worlds.
Coming back to Millennials, this target audience can be quite hard to please. Why? Because they have different attitudes to ownership and are reshaping the economy with their consumer behaviour. And what’s more interesting is that these people entering their 30s make a very diverse and large group of target customers around the globe. This is precisely the reason why the media loves to talk about them and why marketers always want to analyze them.
Marketing to millennials can mean different things to different business models. Talking about the online digital space and taking the local market trends into consideration, there is absolutely so much to learn from online brands these days. But deciding the right mix that works best for your unique online business can only land you at the top of the game.
After looking at consumer trends and online brands for a while, I feel that there are several actionable tips that can work in favor of any online business. Let’s go through these in detail and learn how to make millennials happy this year.
Believe It or Not, The Pandemic Is Your Friend
I wouldn’t say the same for brick and mortar stores though. Many people (let’s just say not all of them) find online shopping quite convenient and are now coming to prefer it over heading out to a mall or a speciality store.
And by many people, I do not mean our parents or the older generations. I always find it amusing how old people are so enthusiastic to head out these days. But, that’s definitely not the case for millennials. According to a Kinsta E-commerce Demographic report, roughly 67% of the online shoppers are millennials. That definitely is quite a big fish to fry i’d say.
Staying at home means looking out for more online shopping and deliveries. Or that’s the case with me atleast. But when I look around my workplace crawling with millennials, I think I can say the same for everyone in and around my age bracket.
So what does this mean for your business?
It means that this can actually be an opportunity that you can milk during the coronavirus pandemic. Marketing your products and content wisely can make a lot of difference to your online business. Let’s take an example to illustrate this better. BOHECO Life India offers a variety of hemp-based cannabis products from tinctures to raw hemp seeds. When you visit their website, this is what you see:
As a millennial, even before I begin browsing for products, there are 3 things that I learn. And what are they? A festive sale is going on, free shipping above INR 499 and COD is even available on bigger orders.
I think this covers the basics. Why? Because online shoppers look for convenient delivery options and discounts to find products at great prices. And I don’t need to dig in to some weird chrome extensions to find coupon codes to get a discount. So, the moral of this story is? If you want your product sales to survive the pandemic, then you have to be okay with giving your customers more delivery options and basic festive discounts. Otherwise you’ll just be the run of the mill.
Providing your customers with regular shipping updates and choosing the right courier services ensures that your customers spread the word and keep coming back. Remember, delivery delays can be the norm if you are shipping during a pandemic (especially from within a containment zone or a lockdown area). But as long as they know when to expect the delivery, it all works in your favor.
Think From Customer Engagement to Customer Anticipation
According to me there are two kinds of businesses. The first love their customers and the latter REALLY love their customers. I am sure we’ve all been there at some point of time.
An active and blooming customer engagement is what you need to reduce customer churn. However, a customer churn can be calculated in different ways according to Nadav Dakner of InboundJunction.
The # of customers you lose
The % of customers lost
The % of Monthly Recurring Revenue or
The value of MRR lost
But the good news is, customer engagement can help you deal with all the above problems that are taking your customers away. So talking to your customers and looking out for them is a good start. Let’s look at a few examples:
Upcoming beauty brand Dot & Key not only has spot-on branding that is consistent with all the customer touch points but their products are also revolutionizing the Indian skincare market and people are definitely saying yes to this fresh take on skincare.
I came across their recent post on Instagram and found this contest alert on my feed. These days people are looking for an excuse to try out new clothes that haven’t yet made out in the world. And D&K just gave them a reason to do so. Talking about the giveaway, it features two of their best selling products and a scented candle that gives it all the Diwali feels.
The result was a big list of comments and a lot of excited IG followers waiting to dress up and click a selfie.
Moving on to customer anticipation. Well a giveaway does sound nice but nothing beats a surprise! It’s human nature to be excited about the unknown. So don’t be scared to explore this unexplored territory. Keeping your customers and followers anticipated can work wonders for your brand awareness.
Let’s look at a competitor, The Earth Rhythm and see how there are keeping more than half of the Indian skincare bloggers hooked to their products. They recently launched a new product and started out by sending samples sans labels to conceal the identity of the product. Just a few days before their live feed was soaring with re-posts from hundreds of influencers around the country. I found a post too where no product name was mentioned. They gave their audience a clue by revealing the
ingredients before the big reveal. The reveal came with a bundle of posts in a highlight on their profile that makes it easier for new users to find the latest products.
To conclude, if you want more traction for your business this season then think customer engagement and find ways to keep the mystery alive. These little gestures allow your customers to talk about your brand in their stories as well. And all of us know how fast word travels around here.
Seasonal Offers! Friend or Foe?
I still very often come around several entrepreneurs who don’t feel comfortable investing in freebies or seasonal discounts in their marketing strategy. According to them, their product is the best and they certainly do not need any marketing tool to improve their sales.
Now this is their thinking, and not mine. I somehow feel the opposite. Industry giants like Apple ventured out into the Indian market with their online store recently in late September. They certainly came out with an introductory seasonal offer on the-then latest iPhone ( Free airpods with an iPhone 11) until they slashed out the price of the iPhone 11 eventually. Definitely a great idea for launching a new online store.
Coming back to local Indian brands, Mumbai based Hibiscus Monkey is always on top with their offers. Co-founded by mom and twin sisters, HM offers a range of unique products like hair oils, in-shower moisturizers, cramp comforters etc.
Unlike other cosmetic brand companies, their USP is very different. Loving yourself by using ancient tried and tested recipes in their body products. In a market where companies sell products based on their features, Hibiscus Monkey imparts storytelling to highlight their journey. And as a result, they have a big tribe (yes, they actually call it the HM tribe) of loyal customers.
The brand focuses on selling its products through the idea of ‘Self Love’ or ‘Me First’. Which is ingenious I feel. And it’s just not what they write on their website or social media. They reach out to their followers by giving in free tips, DIYs and other valuable content, free of cost.
Looking at their Diwali plans, HB chose to introduce several Diwali offers this season. They introduced a new “Pataka Box’ with their assorted products & Diwali gifts and also offered a freebie on a minimum purchase price.
Adding different offers can definitely help you get more traction in the local market. It is crucial to get out of the brick and mortar store mindset. Try giving out different offers on different days like HM or you can just put in a flash sale till stocks last. If that’s not enough then you can choose to give a buy 2 get 1 offer or give out a freebie of a product that you want your customers to test and review.
Ad Campaigns! Haven’t You Invested Already?
Ads are a great way to make your products seen by the right audience. Infact, 46% of all searches are born out of local intent. Be it searching for a specific store or looking for reliable service, we all turn to search engines these days. Ads can thus help you realize the real potential of your business.Teabox is an Indian tea brand that sources its teas from all around the country from estates in Assam, Darjeeling, Nepal and Nilgiris. The products are sourced locally and then are sold all across the world. Over the years, Teabox has gained a lot of popularity not only in the Indian market but also internationally.
We need to understand a basic fact here that tea as a commodity will be used over time and the stock needs to be replenished every now and then. So this means that there is a very likely possibility for customers to come back if the product is good. And so retargeting customers with ads can mean big revenue in this scenario. This might not be the same case if the commodity in question was some tableware. Ads come very handy in such a scenario.
There are several platforms where you can run ads to gain more customers. Google ads are usually a hit with most online businesses but you can leverage the power of a graphic ad on social media platforms like Facebook as well. Remember that working with ads can be addictive so make sure you set up a budget and geo target your audience properly. Using the right keywords can help you target the right audience over and over again.
My Local Business Doesn’t Need SEO! Think Again
Another myth I’d like to bust. Local SEO is a real thing and it doesn’t only work for a specific industry. By optimizing your pages you can target the right keywords and become visible to people (millennials) looking for your product or service.
Apart from this, you can also make the most out of your Google My Business profile. With aggressive SEO you can rank in the Google Search 3-pack, Google Maps and Google’s Knowledge Panel. SEO allows you to highlight the important features of your business and also gain the confidence of your customers. It also allows you to get feedback about your business from clients or customers in the form of Google Reviews. This directly increases the credibility of your business and is a very impressive local advertising strategy for online businesses to invest in.
Remember that millennials love search engines and they trust who Google trusts.
Being There For Your Customers
I believe that when you are dealing with people, the idea should be to serve your customers in a wholesome manner. If the user journey ends as the customer makes a purchase, there are very less chances that you’ve made a customer for life.
There are lots of things you can do as a business owner to make sure that your customers get all the attention that they need. Let’s look at another example. I have been buying Needledust Juttis for quite some time now and anyone who knows me won’t say anything different. They recently launched their Diwali Celebration Collection in-stores and online. The founder, Shirin Mann Sangha created an Instagram Reel showcasing different festive looks with the new collection. This instantly gives their audience so many ideas on creating their own festive looks.
Similarly, you can choose any way to interact with your customers. Be it making reels or sharing how to videos, just make sure you are available for them. This doesn’t always mean creating valuable content, but also having dedicated customer support. If that means hiring social media managers and content creators then that’s what you need to focus your efforts on.
Ending on a bright note, there is so much to look out for if you spend some time on any search engine and social media platform these days. Being a smart entrepreneur means knowing your products and the customers who need them. Mix and match these strategies to find the right balance for your customers and business needs.
Millennials are an evolving audience and this has directly resulted in the death of certain industries and consumer attitudes once in for all. Keeping this in mind, learn what millennials want and how they want it. I don’t think anything can go wrong with that.
I wish you all the very best of luck with your marketing plans this holiday season! Cheers!
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