Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Not All Promoters Are Created Equal: The Millennial Promoter

Voice of Customer analytics is becoming more and more relevant as data collection becomes cheaper and easier. As a VOC consultant, I’m constantly thinking about the value of a Promoter. A “Promoter” is someone who actively and willingly promotes your business. In the digital age a specific type of promoter is worth more than another.

Millennials make up 25% of the world’s population. While experts don’t agree on the exact years Millennials were born, for this article we’ll consider those born between 1977 and 1995. They have come to age with technology at their disposal. Millennials lives revolve around social networking and mobile devices, and this generation is entering the workforce in droves. This means their buying power isn’t dependent on their Baby Boomer parents anymore. In fact, Millennials will have more buying power than any other generation by 2017. Research supports they are the world’s most influential shoppers—86% of Millennials claim they are willing to share their brand preferences online, 70% having actually done it, and 47% claiming they have openly criticized business online1. The key word here is online. 


When posed with the classic NPS question, “How likely are you to recommend Brand X to friends or family members?” most people think about those they see or talk to regularly. For Millennials it’s a bit different—their thoughts translate online by recommending or blasting Brand X to hundreds of Instagram and Twitter followers, thousands of Facebook friends, or even via an Amazon review for countless readers. When a Millennial is converted to a brand, their reach is far greater than any other generation. You may be thinking they just influence other Millennials, but that is a mistake. Millennials produce the majority of consumer reviews for the rest of the population to consume.

Let’s look at statistics about their parents’ generation. 70% of Baby Boomers say they rely on online consumer reviews before purchasing—that is a huge majority. If 70% of Baby Boomers rely on such reviews, and the biggest share of these reviews are generated by Millennials, it’s clear that the Millennial reach is much broader than just Millennial to Millennial.
Purely looking at numbers, Millennials have 2x the amount of Facebook friends on average than any other generation. Thus, when a company acquires a Millennial promoter, they are acquiring a person who not only is more likely to share their thoughts with others, they are also reaching a network twice as large.
The good news is Millennials want to be engaged. They want to be connected to companies and expect companies to reach out to them. In a follow up post we will explore how to acquire and retain Millennials and keep them touting about company greatness.


1http://resources.bazaarvoice.com/rs/bazaarvoice/images/201202_Millennials_whitepaper.pdf
2http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_RC_EngagingTomorrowsConsumer_Report_2013.pdf
3http://www.brandchannel.com/images/papers/536_BCG_The_Millennial_Consumer_Apr_2012%20(3)_tcm80-103894.pdf