Scion markets heavily to the leading edge of the Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1994. But apparently some of their sales staff didn’t get the memo that the company wants these customers.
Today, Millennials (also called Gen Y) have money to spend in spite of the economy. Even though the recession had 37% still looking for work after graduation in 2010 according to Pew Research, many are now being hired (especially here in Silicon Valley) and getting started with their lives as independent adults.
In my son’s case, he has a full-time job as an engineer (low six figure salary). The credit union had pre-approved his loan. He was ready to buy but the sales guy wasn’t ready to sell.
The Millennial Generation makes up 25% of the US population with 80 million people. In contrast, the Baby Boomers are just 76 million strong. Gen Y’s are just entering their prime earning and spending years. They are wary and skeptical and value conscious. According to Pew Research, 75% have social media accounts. Show that you “totally get” them and you will develop loyal customers who will tweet, post and pin your company’s messages on every social media account they have.
Millennials like to connect with businesses through a variety of channels. Before we left the house that day, my son had spent some time on the Scion website. He was fascinated. “They totally get me,” he marveled.
But the online brand didn’t match the onsite experience. That positive feeling evaporated as soon as the salesman opened his mouth.
It is important to note that Millennials like speed in their communications. Text messages are the norm over email or phone calls in their personal lives. More than half (52%) have smartphones. Another dealer we visited had QR codes on the window stickers that linked to an interactive website for each vehicle. We didn’t need to take one of those glossy (and expensive) brochures that the dealers have about each car. All we had to do was snap a photo of the QR code. All the information was there on the mobile website.
My son got respect…and a pretty decent deal… from the Honda dealer. If they continue to treat my son well, they have developed a customer for years, not just one car.
The bottom line of my cautionary tale: if you have products or services that are perfect for 18-29 year olds, make sure that your marketing and sales are in alignment on how to sell to Millennials.
Otherwise, you could be pouring marketing dollars in the gutter. And your customers for the next 10 years could be buying from your competitors.
BIO: As the Chief Marketer at Customer Rush Marketing, CK Wilde helps businesses get and keep more customers. She focuses on Content Marketing, Driving Web Traffic and Converting More Prospects into Customers. Get a free assessment to boost your website’s results (link to http://www.customerrush.com/services/assess-your-web-presence/)
Car shopper image courtesy of Microsoft Office
____Etiquette is an attitude.
Rosalinda Randall is an Etiquette and Civility Consultant. She provides on-site workshops for your sales team, administrative assistants, new hires, exit package, managers, high school and colleges. She brings a modern attitude and a little humor to the age-old topic of etiquette. Your Relationship Edge: improving interpersonal and communication skills.