Competing Against Traditional Competitors Is Not Enough
As the Millennial consumer has increasingly become “the” voice of the consumer that so many companies covet, I think many of these same companies have missed a key fact. As customer engagement becomes mobile-first, no matter what your company or what your vertical, if you only compete against companies in the same vertical you are not thinking big enough.
You of course still compete against the other people who sell the same items you sell or services you offer. However in the mobile first world of a Millennial you are also competing against every other digital experience they have on the go at that moment and the best of all the ones they know.
Every person age 10 through 75 has a couple things going on just on their phone at any one moment. But teen and young adult consumers are balancing multiple apps as well as operating in reality at once. They are texting, on Facebook, Snapchats and also checking out multiple different items. So your first challenge in reaching this consumer is the fact that you need to get through to them in and amongst this myriad of noise.
Your Marketing Is Probably Not Going To Break Through
If you want this consumer’s time and attention you must realize that you cannot do the same type of marketing that works elsewhere. You need to be relevant and interesting to the consumer on that specific device (make your content mobile first because your customers are mobile first) and in that moment because any time they spend on your content or your digital experience is time they are not on Instagram viewing the best from a distant friend’s bridal shower ore texting to make dinner plans. You are literally competing for moments of their time against the best of everything in their lives
If that was not daunting enough, lets say you are able to cut through the noise and having customers try your mobile experience is not your issue.
Consumers Expect The Best Of Everything
You only need to be around some of our younger team members or our co-ops to recognize that there is absolutely no longer patience for any company’s experience that bills itself as “personalized” that is not trying to reach a one to one level or does not look at Facebook as the bar. If a company wants to refer to itself as convenient it better have a digital experience that fits amongst experiences like Uber or Amazon 1-Click ordering.
Consumers do not care what industry you are in, they do not want the best “hotel” app, they want the best of AirBnB, Uber, Google Maps, Facebook wrapped in your corporate hotel app. The world is changing and who we wake up to compete against and learn from has to change as well.
I’m not writing this from a doomsday perspective, I’m an intrapreneur all day long so I write this as a call to arms. Every company should lean forward and set the bar not at their competitors but at the best. Come to work and push your teams towards the experience you think of when I say “personalized”, “convenient” or even “fun”.
Michael G. Cohen is General Manager and a founding member of Zero Gravity Labs.
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