A few months ago, I was asked what my vision of the future of marketing would be for when my 3.5-year-old son becomes an adult. This sparked my imagination and I felt compelled to share my vision of the future of marketing. Being a data-driven marketer myself, I realize that this vision is slightly utopian, and I don’t know how many years it will take for this vision to be realized in reality. Regardless, I would love to play a key role in making this dream come true.
The young man asking this question elaborated to ask whether I believe my son will be bombarded with too many messages and too much information when he comes of consumer age, which frankly I believe has already started. My simple answer at the time was “no.” By the time he becomes an adult, all content will be curated for and by him. Even today, we have the technology to personalize all content. Just a few years ago, this meant knowing who the customer was and targeting the message to her. In this day and age, we can go far beyond knowing “who.” We can push personalization to “where” and “when.” With the consumer carrying her mobile phone on her person virtually 24 hours a day, I know not only who she is, but I know where she is and even the time and the weather in her exact location.
A recent study reported by Forbes affirmed that contrary to what many brands and marketers believe, Millennials can be brand loyal. They are no longer the noncommittal bachelors and bachelorettes of the demographic cohorts – they are capable of brand love. The study reports that 60% of Millennials are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase.
Realistically, Millennials have been capable of brand love the whole time. But with so many marketing messages in their faces – they have simply tuned out. And why wouldn’t they? With so many brands vying for their hearts, Millennials will wait for the ones that try harder – the ones that understand and engage them on a personal level. And at 80 million strong with an estimated $200 billion in annual buying power (in the US alone), they can.