The millennials, also known as Generation are those born in the years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. So that basically includes all my children and their friends.
According to a lot of different research I have seen lately the Millennials have a more positive view of the world in general than we do and there are around 82 million millennials aged between 18 and 35 – which means that is 5 million more than us baby boomers who are aged around 50 – 68.
This means that marketeers are beginning to sit up and listen to this crowd. They are starting to observe their habits. Basically they seem to be a lot easier to track as they do everything except eat and poo online (I was going to add sex, but worryingly I think they do a lot of that online as well). They book their holidays online after being enticed by the photographs their friends post online or they go straight to a few key travel websites, such as Tripadvisor and Expedia. There is a growing trend as a result for a far more personalised experience and this is easily done via Airbnb or some other house sharing site that might even throw in a guide or at least a list of personal recommendations from the home owner.
None of this is rocket science in my opinion. You only have to get on public transport anywhere in the world to see what’s going on with smart phones and tablets. The “digital elite” are of course mostly in this age bracket. In other words, mobile is here to stay. Digital media increasingly important at each stage of the holiday process – from inspiration to experience review, changing roles of SM, online review sites and mobile communications. Therefore there is clearly going to be no halting of the use of mobiles and tablets to book and plan everything unless us parents get involved and tell them that their brains have been fried and they have lost the art of conversation and real life engagement and we can no longer stand back and let them burn….although that isn’t going to happen for a while and so at this early early stage of internet adoption all seems to be rosy.
They have a very different window to the world through the internet than we ever did, relying on glossy brochures and travel agents to help us plan out trips. This age group, like we did, want to travel extensively, but are massively empowered by a greater access to information than ever before. They are more cash rich than us give that they can’t afford to buy themselves a house and they don’t have many children yet or a pension to worry about. They are also happier to take a long haul flight and set off for longer and in addition they all want to boast about their holidays on FB and Instagram and then other in their peer group are tempted by the same trip, with a twist. They can demand personal, local experiences and seem to want to go further afield than we did.
So for those in destinations or hotels – how do we engage this crowd if not through a Facebook competition? Using digital influencers to entice all the followers is massively popular at the moment, but with a decline in engagement in blogs in general owing to the sheer numbers, there are new challenges to be met and things are moving all the time.
Video is the new world order – cool, short and sweet. It’s what they can all do in a heartbeat after their holiday and it’s doing a good job of promoting destinations. Now all of us in the travel industry need to find a way to appeal to them. It’s a fast paced world out there and lots of opportunities….
I just don’t have the answers. Anybody else out there have any thoughts on where it’s all going? I just know we need to be quick! Targeting and personalisation is key, but I’m just not sure how best to do this in the online world.