Experience Always Matters – Not Just to Millennials
At the risk of doing what I hate to do as a person but am required to do as a marketer, I’ll attempt to lump a group of people together. Call them Millennials or Gen Y, define them by age or behavior, believe them to be entitled or optimistic – whatever your thoughts about the new generation of car buyer, we know they can be game changers.
Research gives us a few insights into why:
- They are a generation of users, not owners. Following a trend of placing less value on permanent ownership, Millennials instead find what they want, when they want it, often online.
- They trust peer reviews more than they trust industry experts.
- Gen Yers have shifted from long-term brand loyalty to a preference of instant gratification.
- Millennials place a higher value on the experience an object provides than on the object itself.
Instead of purchasing a car for the product itself, Gen Yers buy for the potential experience it will provide. They want to know: where can this car take them? Can they see themselves off-roading, or road-tripping, or taking their dates out for nights on the town? What kind of adventures can they have?
Gen Yers also want to know what the driving experience will be like. How will the car work with their technology: their smartphones, their music, their apps? How can it be personalized to fit their lifestyles?
On the upside, Millennials tend to have less guilt about trading up to the next new thing. They have an overwhelming desire to know what’s next, what’s big, and what’s the latest and greatest.
How can you market your dealership and your cars to appeal to customers who are more concerned about the experience of the car than the car itself?
Digital should be front and center as you consider how to show them the experience your product can provides. Millennials have grown up with the internet as an inseparable part of their lives, used for researching products and sharing opinions. That means for car dealers, the car-shopping experience should be just that – an experience. From the initial search, to research, to peer reviews and opinions, to a virtual test drive, and finally to purchase, your dealership needs to be present through the entire (online) ride.
In addition, your customers need to be able to find what they need quickly, easily, conveniently, and digitally. Help Gen Yers by using data to take a customized marketing approach to these customers. They’ll find what they want, even if they didn’t yet know that they wanted it – and that can help create an experience your customers will appreciate and won’t soon forget.
When your dealership places an emphasis on the experience – from online to the showroom – you’ll capture more business from car buyers of every generation.