Print Does Wonders For Millennials

If you think of millennials as “kids with their faces buried in smartphones all day” you’re missing the point. And you’re likely missing them.

Millennials are the people assuming positions of leadership in business today. And they’re your current and prospective customers. So it’s not smart to dismiss them as a stereotype—or to underestimate the importance printed materials play in their lives.

I came across an interesting article the other day that destroyed some myths and found some realities about a group whose annual spending will reach an estimated $1.4 trillion in less than five years. Might be wise to understand them if you plan on your business growing.

Millennials Are Impressed With Print

Yes, millennials love their tech, smartphones and tablets, and spend more time on them than any other generation. But millennials are more traditional than most of us would think.

Research studies have confirmed that print’s “physical” nature creates a deeper impression in the brain than digital messages. As a result, content delivered in paper form is more stimulating than content in virtual or digital form. That’s not a claim; it’s science. And statistics show that millennials  agree printed materials more worthwhile.

  • 82 percent of millennials read direct mail from retail brands
  • 54 percent look forward to receiving hard-copy catalogs in the mail
  • nearly 75 percent use grocery retail inserts (more than the average shopper)
  • 49 percent took print coupons with them to the store in the past 30 days

The article doesn’t claim digital channels are not important to millennials. No one disputes their fondness for technology. But these statistics certainly attest to the fact that traditional direct mail, advertising inserts and catalogs remain very important to any successful marketing campaign.

For Marketing Messages, Digital Doesn’t Dominate

That notion of millennials on their smartphones isn’t wrong. But it would be wrong to think that they’re looking at marketing messages. Email marketing is cheap, easy and often done to excess. Millennials are often buried under blizzards of electronic marketing. As a result, they develop message fatigue and tune out.

  • Nearly half say they ignore email and Internet ads
  • Only 15 percent say they ignore direct mail print advertising
  • And while 62 percent read content on mobile devices, 45 percent ignore mobile text advertising.

And as for social media, many think it’s the only way to “reach” millennials. For business, that’s a costly mistake. While a remarkable 83 percent of millennials share content and stay connected through Facebook (the most popular social network), it’s easy to draw the wrong marketing conclusion. Check the facts:

  • Fewer than one in 10 made a purchase based on social media activity
  • Only 1 percent purchased an item from a social site.

Bottom line: they spend time there, but they don’t buy there.

Millennials are Smart Shoppers—and Print Helps

Finally, the article takes on the perception that millennials spend freely. But the facts show that they are cost conscious and work across many channels to find savings. Furthermore, print provides them a big boost in that effort.

  • 57 percent respond to “BOGO” offers from direct mail
  • Over 50 percent respond to gift card and percentage-off-total-purchase offers typically delivered by direct mail or other print formats
  • 52 percent would gladly switch from regularly used brands if they had coupons

Technology certainly plays a part; millennials do consult websites for retail flyers and do respond to emails from their “opt-in” loyalty programs. But the best way to view this substantial group is to see them as astute bargain hunters. They know how to do multi-channel shopping, and will eagerly embrace print vehicles that offer a chance to save money.

Reach Every Audience—Including Millennials

At Superior Business Solutions, we have the expertise to help you tap customers in all segments. Our sales enablement tools help you identify and track your best prospects. Our document printing technologies offer plenty of ways to put direct mail and other materials in front of their eyes, and offers right in their hands.

Contact us today or work directly with one of our award-winning sales reps and ask for a print management review. We can help you efficiently use print, promotional products and technologies that put you smack in the middle of your prospects’ cross-channel shopping experience. If you’re not there, you’re not anywhere … that matters.


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