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Best Strategies for Engaging the Lucrative Millennial Market

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They’re a force to be reckoned with and still somewhat maligned. Millennials — the age cohort generally agreed to have been born between 1980 and 1996 — might be called the punching bag generation. They’ve long come under criticism, suffering a bad rap as being self-indulgent. While the bad rap is a blind generalization, what’s not debatable is the buying power of this generation.

Millennials are the largest age group in the workplace today and they represent a collective $1 trillion in buying power, according to Gallup. But what does it take for marketers to move the dial on this market segment and drive them to purchase goods and services?

That’s a question we’ve sought to explore in the CodeBroker Mobile Coupon Survey. Of the 1,204 respondents to the survey the largest segment were millennials.

One of our key findings: millennials are increasingly interested in, and highly likely to respond to, mobile coupons — but only if those coupons are presented to them through preferred channels and with the right offer.

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If you’re attempting to reach the millennial market — and chances are good that you are — understanding how to boost engagement by delivering the type of offer they most value, through the channel they’re tethered to 24/7, will help you drive more dollars to your bottom line.

The Mobile Tipping Point

The millennial/mobile phone connection is driving a tipping point when it comes to coupon marketing. One of the key findings of the mobile coupon survey is that digital and mobile coupons are now just about as popular as traditional printed coupons. While slightly more than half (53%) of respondents still prefer traditional coupons, 47% prefer mobile — and that number is growing exponentially with millennials. Marketers can readily leverage a mobile coupon platform to drive sales and customer loyalty.

Mobile Assures Easy Access

Millennials are a “right now” generation. They’ve grown up in a digital reality and have come to expect to have whatever they need literally right at their fingertips. That’s certainly true when it comes to mobile couponing. One of the biggest frustrations millennials and others express about traditional coupons is that they don’t always have them readily available when they need them. In fact, 77% of those surveyed indicated that “not having coupons readily available” was their top frustration with paper coupons. Mobile couponing removes this barrier to ensure easy access all the time.

Mobile Means Less is More

Because millennials enjoy a real-time relationship with their mobile devices, they rely on these devices for the source of most of their information. That means traditional marketing efforts like advertising in print or broadcast media has diminished in terms of potential impact for driving sales. What works better? In-store signage.

When asked, “Which ads are most likely to get you to respond to a coupon offer?” 57% of respondents said “in-store signage.” The next most cited driver: “online ads,” specifically Facebook ads.

In-store signage is cost-effective and immediate. What better way to drive action than to connect with consumers in the moment? And again, what better way to boost coupon redemption than to ensure shoppers have ready access to their coupons via their mobile devices? Mobile coupon software provides a fast, convenient and cost-effective way for marketers to connect with consumers.

Mobile Means Action

When mobile coupons are delivered via text message or SMS marketing, the result is higher levels of purchase driven by an immediate sense of urgency. Research indicates that not only do 25% of people redeem texted coupons within three days, but 60% redeem them within a week. Text message marketing drives real, and immediate, results.

Mobile coupons can also be successfully used to build marketing lists through “welcome” coupons and offers. Of those responding, 68% said they would be more likely to join a retailer’s marketing list if they received an instant coupon. These coupons can be delivered and tracked through a mobile engagement platform, allowing retailers to measurably improve sales.

Redemption rates for coupons received via text message. Source: CodeBroker

The message is loud and clear: for retail marketers hoping to engage the lucrative millennial market, there’s no better option than digital coupons made readily accessible on mobile phones that appeal to an always-on generation. A mobile marketing platform that supports ongoing connections and engagement, through coupons delivered at the right time and in the right place can yield results. Those results can be even greater when specifically targeting millennials.


Dan Slavin is CEO and Co-Founder of CodeBroker, a provider of mobile marketing solutions. He was CEO of Framework Technologies, VP of Open Market, and CEO of International Testing Services. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale and an MBA from Harvard.

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