The first generation to have grown up with internet technology being an intimate part of their daily lives is in the process of coming of age. Some of the Millennial Generation are even parents themselves already. Millennials, sometimes referred to as Generation Y, were born between 1980 and 2000 and therefore grew up under constant barrage from the incessant advertising and marketing efforts of brands during the last 35 years.
Millennials make up the largest current generation, according to U.S. Census Bureau the number is 83.1 million. Millennials have not even arrived at their peak earning years or reached the pinnacle of their life’s potential disposable income yet. They literally are the future of travel and in order for hotels to garner the patronage of Millennials, they must appeal to their sensibilities.
Millennials have been using digital technology as long as they can remember. It is second nature to this generation. Mobile devices are especially significant to Millennials and seen as a necessity, rather than a convenience, as is the case with many members of other generations before them. Having a hotel website that is, at minimum, mobile-friendly is fundamental to any hotel marketing effort seeking to appeal to Millennials.
Offering hotel apps for mobile devices is another step in targeting this market, and will certainly interest other generations as well. Mobile device enabled check-ins, virtual concierge services, and the selection and ordering of various hotel amenity services, are all possibilities available to hoteliers that Millennials will find highly endearing.
It isn’t enough for a hotel to be merely present on social media. Millennials demand engagement and interaction with the brands that wish to get their business. An active and vibrant social media campaign featuring regular posts that offer attractive images and videos showcasing not only the hotel and its amenities, but other relevant information of interest as well. Millennials desire to truly experience their travel destinations and view hotels within that context. Highlighting a hotel as part of the larger local surroundings and culture will prove exceedingly charming to members of the Millennial Generation. Richly compelling and visual content is a highly effective path to engaging any hotel’s Millennial audience.
Having been exposed to intense marketing campaigns literally their whole lives, Millennials respond best to what they perceive to be authentic. Rather than indifferently absorbing the advertising from brands pushing their products, Millennials insist that companies meet them at their points of need and respond to their desires. The payoff for brands that follow through is the Millennial Generation’s penchant for enthusiastically referring them, and reviewing the companies they love.
Millennials are growing up with a high degree of social responsibility and will acknowledge through their patronage and referrals any brand that authentically supports shared causes. Millennials believe in transformational action, as opposed to merely paying lip service to social causes. Companies that truly are making a difference in society with their actions are heartily supported in kind by the Millennial Generation.
In the last part in this hotel generational marketing series we’ll take a look at the so-called “Lost Generation” otherwise known as Generation X.
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