Archive | April, 2014

Millennials Aren’t Afraid of the Phone, or Human Connection

Prized Demographic Wants to Talk to a Person When Deciding on a Purchase

Have you heard how millennials have forsaken all manner of verbal communication in favor of texts and tweets? And that the best way to market to them is through cat pictures and ironic memes? So have I. And I don’t buy it.

The stereotype is that this generation is lazy and entitled. They’ve lost the art of eye contact and a firm handshake. But I say it is marketers who are lazy, for this prized demographic of 25-to-34-year-olds doesn’t respond just to digital campaigns or social-media exchanges: they also care deeply about authentic human connection.

Studies show that millennials are the most likely of any age group to make a research-and-purchase decision the old-fashioned way — by talking to someone. They are most likely to call a business from a digital advertisement.

Readers older than millennials may remember AT&T‘s famous “Reach Out and Touch Someone” campaign, which promoted talking as the primary means through which humans form and build relationships. Today, marketers too often associate a personal touch with, say, emoticons and shy away from offline conversations, believing they are passé with 20-somethings.

But Google recently studied consumer response to mobile search, and found that a phone call is the most common response to a local search. But Google’s research doesn’t address demographics.

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