How to… Target the Millennials

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The younger generation are a more savvy and determined crowd than ever before, and encouraging their custom requires engagement and fresh thinking. HotelREZ Hotels and Resorts talks us through targeting this lucrative market effectively.

Who are the Millennials?
The Millennials were born between 1980 and 1999, growing up with the internet, video and computer games. By 2030, this generation of travellers if expected to reach 78 million and outnumber baby boomers by 18 million.

They are…
Technology driven
• 93% are avid internet users, compared with 88% of adults aged between 35-54 and 42% of adults aged 55 and older.
• 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology than older generations.
• 80% sleep directly next to their smartphone.

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Social media savvy
• 75% like, retweet or share content on social media
• 75% have at least on profile on a social networking site
• 48% check Facebook when they wake up

Socially responsible
• 71% believe it is imperative to address causes that are important to them.
• 61% volunteered for a non-profit organisation in the past

When travelling, Millennials…
• Millennial business travellers spend more per business trip than non-millennials.
• 42% spend company money on high-end meals, compared to 26% of non-millennials.
• More likely to extend a business trip into a personal holiday. 62% of millennials claim
to have done so in the past, vs. 51% of 31-45 year olds and only 37% of 46-65 year olds.
• Millennial leisure travellers travel on a budget and prefer to look out for good offers/deals
and discounts.

Seek authenticity
• 78% indicate they prefer to learn something new when travelling.
• 70% expect special places to offer an immersive experience.

Like to be spontaneous
• 2 to 3 times more likely to start planning a trip within just 2 weeks of departure.
• More likely to book at the last minute than older generations.

Crave information
• On average a millennial checks 10.2 sources before booking travel services.
• 65% claim finding missing/hidden information is the largest nuisance for them.

Hospitality trends for Millennials

Automated check-in
• 36% of Millennials prefer automated self-service check in versus 19% of non-Millennials.
• Mobile check-ins continues to become a growing trend
For example…
CitizenM and Yotel have implemented self-service kiosks, allowing guests to check-in instantly upon arrival. Likewise, brands like Starwood’s Aloft or Marriott are already starting to allow hotel guests to check-in and enter the room all via their smartphones.

Social lobbies
• 36% of Millennials compared to 17% of non-Millennials claim they prefer to work in the lobby area of hotel.
• Millennials love to practice ‘isolated togetherness’, i.e., working on their laptops or smartphones while in public locations, such as cafes or hotel lobbies.
For example…
Brands such as Generator Hostels who offer guests well-designed inviting lobbies, with comfortable chairs, colourful sofas, plenty of coffee tables and power sockets, seating pods, and free wireless everywhere.

Smart concierge
• Disappearance of the traditional concierge is triggered by the Millennials use of social media and smartphone apps.
For example…
Hyatt promotes a twitter-based concierge service @Hyattconcierge, which allows guests to communicate directly with hotel staff 24/7.

Social bookings
• Hotels are starting to explore social media as yet another way of assisting Millennial customers when booking a room.
For example…
Loews Hotels allow customers to book a room with a simple tweet.

Pod hotels
• New hotel concept offering a city centre location, high-tech features and plenty of luxury details at budget prices. This is achieved by compromising on room size for price (i.e. pod like rooms).
For example…
Yotel, Qbic Hotels and CitizenM are synonymous with the pod hotel concept.

Poshtels
• A new breed of budget-conscious hostels with an upscale feel,offering well designed functional facilities and lobbies.
For example…
Generator hostels are the main precursors of this type of Millennial-friendly accommodation; offering city-centre locations, stylish rooms, design facilities with free Wi-Fi and a huge variety of room types (multi-bed dorms to singles, twins, triples or quads).

Eco-friendly hotels
• Millennials are the first generation to expect a hotel to have green measures.
For example…
The green trend in hospitality is now being further cemented by the recent development of eco-friendly brands such as Nadler Hotels or TripAdvisor’s green leaders programme, which
helps travellers check a hotel’s green credentials.

How to market your hotel to Millennials…

Don’t sell, engage
• Millennials are much more wary of blunt advertising forms than previous generations, making them harder to impress or convince.
• 67% of millennials reported that they have never clicked on a sponsored story online.
• 95% of millennials say their friends are the most credible source of product information.
• Three-quarters of all millennial travellers post at least once a day while traveling.

Go mobile now
• By 2018, 99.7% of millennials who use a mobile phone are expected to own a smartphone.
• Nearly half of US millennial smartphone users attempt to access the mobile website of a business via smartphone or tablet at least once a day.
• 86% of millennials are disappointed that a lot of websites don’t offer a good mobile functionality.

Less talk more imagery
• Photos are the most common content posted on Facebook, accounting for 75% of posts worldwide.
• Not all pictures posted on social media are created equal. In order to see high response rates, your hotel must share quality photos.

Be unique
• Millennials crave authentic and unique accommodation experiences.
• The big box hotel is monotonous to a millennial, who is hoping to find enough “cool-factor” to make him/her want to Instagram a photo of their stay. This doesn’t necessarily have to happen in every area or single aspect of the hotel, and can be anything from a distinctive local artwork in each room, to a traditional meal served exclusively with locally grown ingredients, or an interesting piece of vintage furniture.

Embrace a cause and shout about it
• Millennials were raised on the idea that recycling minimizes waste and that over-dependency of fossil fuels contributes to global warming.
• 62% of millennials appreciate businesses that try to reduce waste as much as possible.
• 47% like it when companies or brands take consumers behind the scenes, showing them exactly how and where their products are made or come from.

Contact
HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts provides small chains and independent hotels worldwide with representation services including distribution, marketing and sales activities
www.hotelrez.net

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