Millennials have grown up with personal computers, tablets, and cell phones. They're the most connected generation, with a number saying that it is their use of technology that makes their generation unique. Digital signage is just one part of this highly digital environment. Here are five facts about millennials and how digital signage may be used to engage them:
Millennials Are Part of a Community
Millennials are connected via social networks and other online communities to friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, and even like-minded strangers. The way they interact with content is influenced by this level of connectivity. Millennials are the most likely generation to share content on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. By creating shareable content and providing viewers with a mechanism to share that content, viewers of digital signs help spread that content beyond those who physically view the digital signs. But this does not just amplify the message from the digital signage; it satisfies millennials' need to participate in their community, be heard, and earn recognition for spreading humorous, clever, or socially relevant content. The right content may even go viral with the message reaching thousands or millions of people who would not be able to see the digital signage in person.
Millennials Are Always Connected
Roughly 92% of millennials have a smartphone and 54% have a tablet. While some may see this as an obstacle to grabbing millennials' attention from their devices, others may see that this is an opportunity to engage them through multi-platform content or unique content. For example, content on digital retail displays could use hashtags or QR codes to redirect millennial shoppers from digital signs to product information accessible on the shopper's smartphone. Alternatively, digital towers could display unique real-time information, such as wait times at a restaurant, inventory updates, flash sales and special offers, or similar information that would not be available via the viewer's smartphone or tablet.
Millennials Are Socially Conscious
Almost 77% of millennials take a company's environmental practices into account when making a purchasing decision. Similarly, 77% take a company's social or business practices into account when making a purchasing decision. Logically, digital content for signage that highlights the company's environmental, social, and business practices would engage millennials and influence their purchase decisions. Even the use of digital signs could illustrate a company's environmental practices. For example, content on digital signs that points out the number of trees saved by using digital signage could interest and engage millennials.
Millennials Are Multitaskers
Millennials may be criticized for having a "short attention span" but the other side of multitasking is that they address problems or questions as they arise rather than waiting. Everyone has been in a conversation where someone cuts a debate short by simply using a search engine. This is how millennials approach the world; no information is out of reach as long as they are connected. Digital kiosks are perfect for engaging people from this generation who expect information to always be at their fingertips.
Millennials Value Authenticity
The average consumer encounters 3,000 ads and promotional messages daily. However, as explained by data analytics company Bazaarvoice, millennials trust people over brands. As a result, 84% of millennials say that user-generated content plays at least some role in their purchasing decisions. Millennials' quest for authenticity can be satisfied by providing content on digital signage that includes, for example, customer reviews gathered from review sites, social media, and the merchant's own site to present unbiased reviews and show that the merchant is confident enough in its goods and services to present customer reviews.
Millennials' familiarity with technology provides opportunities for engagement using digital signage. By keeping in mind what distinguishes members of this generation from other customers, content can be created for digital signage to engage them on issues they care about when making purchasing decisions.