Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend of mine. Paul was describing what happened while organizing an outing for family and friends. They planned to celebrate his sister’s return from her Florida winter digs.

Email announcements went out to the 50 invitees.

Everyone replied except for Paul’s two kids, three nephews, four nieces, and his father. He called each directly.

Paul’s daughter summed it up best, “Da-ah-ahd! Why did you email me? Is your phone broken?”

The more syllables a kid uses, the more incredulous they are. Three is right up near the top of the scale. Four syllables are only for when we embarrass them in front of their friends.

I asked Paul about the non-responders. Turns out all but one were in the 25 to 32 age range. The exception was Paul’s father. Paul’s “kid” is 26. She’s an adult. She’s a strong demographic target.Paul’s father is 83.

Most non-responders fell into the late Millennial age group.  I know, I know! Even Millennials hate hearing about Millennials. (tweet)

Some people even say CMOs, as a group, made a big mistake focusing on them. They say we blew a huge chunk of change chasing a pipe dream.

I beg to differ. I’ll explain why in a minute.

Not a single member of that age group replied.  Is that just a coincidence? I think not.

Email just isn’t their preferred method of communication. Try as you might, you will never get great engagement that way.

This fact isn’t limited to Millennials.

Email is nobody’s favourite communication method. (tweet)

Be honest. Don’t you have throwaway emails addresses that you never check? (tweet)

I know I do.

“A Millennial is, as a Millennial does” – Forrest Gump (sort of)

Millennials live online. Come to think of, so do we. Email is for work not for life.(tweet)

So, why are you emailing everybody?

Paul had to make ten phone calls to fix things. You can’t fix things at all.

You need a change in tactics.

We need to change our myopic view. The same-old-same-old just doesn’t cut it anymore.  You already knew that.

As Millennials age, their habits will follow them. That’s important for later on.

Boomers are adopting Millennial traits. That’s important for right now! (tweet)

Mobile Commons says that 85% of Boomers  text regularly. Even Seniors 65+ text more than once a day!

Paul’s father texts like crazy and is active on Messenger, at 83! I nominate him as the World’s Oldest Millennial.

Email is dying. Get over it. (tweet)

It’s Darwinism at it’s most brutal. Change now, or die tomorrow.  Your choice.

The term “Millennial” is over-used.  It has more definitions than are useful.

Let’s add another, the SenOomerEnnial. That’s anyone who acts like a Millennial is supposed to act.

This definition transcends mundane things like age, sex, education, and political leaning.

It’s a state of mind.

It’s a way of looking at the world.

It’s a freaking attitude!

A Millennial is as a Millennial does.

If we act like Millennials and shop like Millenials, we are Millennials!

I’m a Millennial. Paul’s a Millennial.  Paul’s dad is a Millennial!

No,we’re SenOomerEnnials! And, we’re proud of it! (tweet)

MediaPost, quoting a Retale study, sums it up well.

  • 43% Of older Millennials clip mobile coupons or browse weekly flyers
  • 58% Use their mobile while shopping  (the older segment, 26-34, is actually 64%!)
  • 40% Use their devices in-store looking for coupons and consulting shipping lists.

Here’s a direct quote from that MediaPost article:

Among those consumers who report using their mobile device in-store, 40% said they did so “to find coupons and compare prices.”

When asked to identify what would most enhance their grocery shopping experience, 41% said they would like “offers, like coupons, sent to their smartphone when they enter a store.”

Older Millennials are telling us what they want. They are telling us how to connect with them. They are telling us they want to be our customers. They are telling us what we need to do and how.

Why are we ignoring them?

Mobile Commerce Daily talked about a Forrester presentation titled “Five Mobile Myths From A Millennial’s Perspective.” The presenter was Nicole Dvorak, a data scientist at Forrester Research.

Ms. Dvorak said,

“We at Forrester believe that today mobile messaging is the most important of your mobile strategy.

Why?

Because our data tells us that almost every smartphone owner receives some kind of message,” she said. “Not only that, but we know that consumers respond when the message is good, when it is relevant to them, when it delivers contextual, relevant information.”

And there’s the crux of the matter.

To paraphrase Ms. Dvorak, your content must be in context. It must be relevant, It must be helpful. (tweet)

TO THEM, the shoppers!

That means you need to focus on what they need and when they need it. Your needs and wants don’t enter into the equation.

At least they not directly.

You need to master the soft, long sell. You need to coax and cajole. You need to tickle and tease.

Old methods were like a physical assault. This is more like a seduction.

What your messages are, should be, or will be, is your job. You don’t need our help to figure them out. You just need to add another layer to your efforts.

Keep what you have, add in this new, “brand as councillor” layer.

Then you can let your training and instincts kick in full-tilt.

Engage, measure, weigh, adjust, repeat. (tweet)

You can even build a mobile communication platform. Do you really have the time? Will it actually be adopted?

Probably not. Ms. Dvorak also echoed the common knowledge that most customers will not use your app regularly.

So don’t use one. You don’t need it. Why wait months for an app that nobody will install? (tweet)

If you have your creative pieces ready to go, you can be up and running within a day or so with Tether™.

No that’s not a typo.

Ask me how, or just text Join to 80808.

About the Author

Peter PinfoldPeter Pinfold is a co-founder, and CMO of MobileXCo, a mobile technology and customer experience solution provider.

MobileXCo simplifies the world of mobile marketing.  Do you want to connect, identify, and build 1:1 relationships with your customers? Ask me about the Tether™ Experience Management Platform!

No apps. No hardware. Just results!

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