Between the years 1980 and 2000, something terrific happened. Something that would forever change the shape of the world as previous generations knew it. No, it wasn't the launch of MTV (though that was pretty awesome, too), and it wasn't dinosaurs being reanimated at Jurassic Park. No, no. Those 20 years introduced the world to what would be known as "millennials."
So what's so special about this generation that sets them apart from Gen-X, the Boomers, the Silent Generation and on and on?
Millennials have grown up completely surrounded by and adapting to high-tech gadgets, the Internet, social networks and an encompassing feeling of being plugged in 24/7. What also sets them apart is the sheer size of this generation. Millennials alone are 79 million strong, making them the largest generation to date. And who are these adventurous, plugged-in, made-to-feel special dream followers with income to spare individuals catching the attention of? Marketers… especially in the travel industry.
The below infographic highlights the facts and stats of millennial travel trends and how marketers can effectively reach them across multiple outlets and platforms.
Who is the Millennial Traveler and How Can Brands Reach Them?
The Millennial Traveler, the endless explorer thirsty for knowledge, prefers to travel to learn something new. They're prone to taking last minute trips to satisfy sudden wanderlust. Social media plays a pivotal role in how the millennial traveler makes their decisions. In fact, 87% are looking at Facebook for travel inspiration. (Those "epic" selfies you took on your Barbados getaway? They're working.) Brands need to embrace the power of UGC (user-generated content) over traditional advertisements if they are to connect with this generation.
Want to appeal to the millennial mindset? Consider this:
- 85% of millennials check multiple sites before booking their travel to get the best deal possible.
- 46% book travel through a smartphone or tablet.
- 60% will upgrade their travel experience by purchasing in-flight wi-fi, early deplaning, etc.
- They WILL post their experiences on social media. In fact, 97% will post while traveling, and 75% will post once a day. That's a lot of social activity.
- 68% will remain loyal to a program that offers them the most rewards
- Cash / Freebies
So how does the millennial compare to generations past?
Millennials, like we said, are forever connected. Travel apps have become the millennials preferred method of interacting with brands, almost 1/3 more than past generations. They are also traveling abroad more than past generations. The spirit of adventure is alive and well with this generation… They also know this and want the world to believe their travels are the most important travels ever. #nofomo
With all of this information about millennial travel trends at a brand's fingertips, how can they effectively market to this generation?
Here are a few things to consider:
• Listen! The millennial consumer is on social media often. They are having conversations, initiating interactions and looking for brands that speak their language (whether passively or actively).
• Be mobile. 86% of millennials are disappointed by bad mobile experiences. How's your app doing?
• Secure loyalty though better rewards. Offer millennials something tangible: They like saving money (who doesn't?). They also enjoy VIP experiences and exclusivity they can brag about.
• Embrace spontaneity: Millennials tend to do what they want when they want. Try flash sales, limited-time discounts and hotel deal for one-night-only.
• Be authentic. Millennials love UGC and when a brand appears to not speak at them but speak to them. Ditch stock imagery and encourage engagement with hashtags and other social offerings.
View below for more information and to understand the millennial travel trends.