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GC: 5 ways to use data to befriend millennials--Ganga Ganapathi

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GC: 5 ways to use data to befriend millennials--Ganga Ganapathi

Millennials fall in love quickly, but if disillusioned, may drop the object of their affections just as quickly. This is not a comment on their romantic proclivity but on the way they engage with brands that see wooing them as their most important step towards success.

Many marketers are thrilled with the growth millennials can bring to a brand, but rarely have the technology or analytical wherewithal to leverage data and insights to create deeper connections with this group of consumers.

Here are five practices to get started on the journey to becoming more data friendly in marketing and communication strategies:

1. Know that Big Data is created and consumed by Millennials

Millennials are truly digital natives. They've grown with, and helped grow digital technologies. They crossover between platforms with ease. They adopt new technologies like they were born to it. And everything they do generates data. Finding a way to harness this data can yield rich dividends for the marketer.

2. Look at audience numbers beyond the demographics

If you look for what's out there is terms of techniques, tools and data sources, it's possible to paint a rich picture of millennials that goes beyond the classic psychographics. Likes, associations, propensities, lifestyle indicators -are all insights marketers can use to reach consumers at moments of interest. But brands must be willing to make the technology and analytic investment required to activate these insights in real-time.

3. Think mobile first
Millennials consume 70 per cent of their content on mobile, making it their device of choice. Millennials believe what they see, and disengage just as easily if the experience is cumbersome or irrelevant. So marketers who see mobile as an extension of the desktop experience are bound to lose millennials, because any design that is not mobile first will never be good enough.

4. Create value exchange at the altar of rewards

When rewards are designed right, millennial are more willing to share personal information like location, interests and preferences to receive these rewards. But, if millennials are offering data, brands must be ready to leverage that data to deliver personalized experiences. The flipside is delivering irrelevant experiences that millennials ignore and as a result disengage from the brand.

5. Millennials value being acknowledged as individuals

The time has come for brands to make personalization a requirement. Millennials value being connected to brands, and brands that can achieve this will be rewarded with a relationship and loyalty. Using data to deepen an understanding of individuals, and creating relevant and real-time personalized experiences is what brands need to aspire to.

Millennials might be the best understood generation ever. It's up to marketers to decide whether they continue to hope for success using superficial data, or gather the courage to dive deep into real data and insights, to understand Millennials as individuals and reach them with personalized experiences.

Ganga Ganapathi is the Vice President at Epsilon Agency.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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