Marketing to Millennial Business Travelers
Millennials are forecast to make up 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2020, and in five years millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce.
Fortunately for the travel goods industry, millennials would rather spend money on travel and experiences than a house or other material possessions, according to multiple studies by Gfk Global, Eventbrite, Redfin, the Census Bureau and Realty Mogul.
“Millennials are all about life experiences, and those experiences include travel,” said Consumer Anthropologist Georganne Bender.
And as the oldest millennials turn 37, that passion shows no sign of abating. Millennials are either delaying homebuying or buying a cheaper home specifically in order to have more money to travel. Millennials extend their enthusiasm to business travel, prizing work trips above other job benefits.
A recent survey by Hilton Hotels and Resorts found that 75% of business travelers aged 23 to 35 see business travel as a significant work perk, and 39% said they wouldn’t take a job that didn’t let them travel for business.
“Millennials appreciate travel as a job responsibility,” said Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, founder of Retail Minded.
For travel goods merchants, this presents an opportunity to cater to this desired lifestyle among millennials. Adam Schoenberg, co-CEO and chief creative officer of Hook & Albert, is bullish about the millennial business traveler market.
“Business travel is surging and projected to accelerate. It’s estimated that by 2022, $1.7 trillion dollars is going to be spent on business travel. Within this growing market, millennials are taking more business trips than any other generation,” said Schoenberg. Willy N. van Dooijeweert, CEO of URBAN Traveler, is also enthusiastic about his millennial business travel customers.
“The millennials that come in tend to be business people,” said van Dooijeweert. “They’re looking for really super high-quality products and they don’t mind spending more for it.”
But while some segments of the travel goods industry are successfully selling smart backpacks and artisanal messenger bags to 20 and 30-somethings, many are still struggling to market to millennials. When we talked to those brands, retailers, influencers and travel agents that have found success, the consensus is that digital marketing is key.
ENGAGING THE DIGITAL NATIVE
“Millennials definitely have a different style of shopping, compared to the baby boomer habit of going into a brick and mortar store, browsing around and then making a purchase,” said van Dooijeweert. “They do an incredible amount of research on the internet and then come in. Sometimes they will even get on the phone in front of me to verify my recommendations of the product.” Van Dooijeweert’s experience is in line with the “ROTH Millennial Survey,” which found that two-thirds of millennials research significant purchases online before buying the item in-person.
According to the “ROTH Millennial Survey,” a stunning 62% of millennials are Amazon Prime members. One of the toughest decisions for a brick-and-mortar retailer is how to respond to Amazon. Do you try to beat them – or join them? Index Urban is fighting back with personalization and merchandising, and some selective price matching.
If a retailer does decide to sell on Amazon, it can be smart to lawyer up. CJ Rosenbaum is a founding partner of Rosenbaum Famularo, P.C., the law firm behind AmazonSellersLawyer.com, which provides advice and protection for stores trying to navigate labyrinthian Amazon requirements or respond to complaints. “Retailers, especially small- to medium-size brands, should look to sales on Amazon but only after they protect their intellectual property rights, including trademarks and design patents. We suggest that the intellectual property rights be maintained in a separate entity than the one actually selling on Amazon. It sounds complex, but it is quite easy and inexpensive to set up.”
Millennial lawyer and Rosenbaum Famularo associate Rob Segall warns that “retailers catering to millennials on Amazon need to create near-perfect customer experiences. Anything that the customer wants must be addressed with a consumer-centric mentality. It is what Amazon demands and millennials expect.”
Eco-friendly products are a smart strategic focus because they are also a touch point for Gen Z.
Samantha Rosenbaum, public speaker and Gen Z founder of consulting firm EcoFriendlySales.com, advises retailers to “focus on eco-friendly aspects. If you cannot make the product eco-friendly, make sure the packaging and accessories are eco-friendly. That is what my friends and I look for: eco-friendly, reusable and recycled goods.”
Marketing to Millennial Business Travelers -> read the entire article BY SARA ECCLESINE here.