Engaging Millennials

Talking about the future does not mean looking at chaos

One of the fastest growing customer bases in emerging markets is the recently empowered emerging middle class. This group has a distinct identity and a clear vision of who they are and how they want the world to interact with them.

The majority of this this group is made up Millennials, that sector of society that the older generation jokingly bemoan as a group that will never understand their struggle.

A new struggle

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What people don’t realise is that Millennials have a struggle of their own. Their levels of self-actualisation are extremely high, and they will be quick to tell you that they feel that they are more important than many other people in the world.

How then do we deal with this growing customer base? How can they be effectively engaged?

A recent report on bizjournals.com provides some solutions to these questions. The report says that understanding their aptitude will go a long way in determining the best path to take when engaging this generation.

Go beyond

Understanding a Millennial goes beyond tuning into their aptitude, it’s about knowing what makes them tick as a human being.

The report shows that nearly 21% of Millennials left a position in pursuit of opportunities in another industry. So they are willing to switch jobs more frequently than past generations as opportunity presents itself. Many of these customers are also starting their own businesses as opposed to being employed by corporate giants.

The report adds that companies who want to maintain the loyalty of Millennials will need to focus on issues such as advancement, pay, and challenges to expand knowledge.

The double edged sword

The above issue extends far beyond Millennials who are looking to advance their careers, it is also applicable to their interactions with brokers, advisers and intermediaries. Advancement speaks to security, Millennials want to know that the product that is being promoted to them will not only benefit them now, but will benefit their company in the future.

Pay speaks to cost. Millennials want the above solution at the best price. Gone are the days where Millennials would be expected to pay a premium for stuff they don’t want. They want tailored products with tailored prices.

Lastly, Millennials want to be informed. Benjamin Franklin once said tell me something and I will forget, teach me something and I may remember, involve me and I will learn; Millennials no longer want a sales person who talks to them or at them, they want to be engaged in the decision making process of purchasing a product.

And fair warning is given, this is the most connected generation in human history, don’t be surprised if they have done their research on the product that you are trying to sell to them before you even meet with them.

Opportunities in challenges

Being the most connected generation in history can also be an advantage. Gartner Research shows by the end of 2016, there were more than 6.4 billion connected devices; that is a 30% increase over 2015. This type of channelling allows Millennials to influence each other and influence purchasing decisions while also giving businesses an opportunity to be influencers as well.

Because of this, having strong company social media channels is a must. This is because most Millennials conduct research and review company media, employee surveys, people working for the company, and online reviews.

We do not need to be frightened about anything stated in this article. In fact, engaging with Millennials, if done the right way, can provide you with insight into your business that you never knew you had. It will allow you to achieve the professional growth that Millennials desperately seek. It also allows you to make the difference that Millennials so desperately want to make in the world.

Moving to simplicity

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd recently said that the movement to cloud computing is driven by business realities as much — if not more — than technology.

Reading a report on zdnet.com, I saw that Hurd noted that CEOs, which have an 18 quarter average tenure, have to cut costs, innovate, and improve customer experience. Most of those things take more than 18 quarters to pay off.

“Forty percent of CEOs don’t make it 18 months. The job gets ahead of them;” said Hurd, who also quipped that “investors are not empathetic to basically anything.”

“I have to take share. When GDP is not growing I have to get someone else’s customers,” said Hurd, who noted that his job is to help CEOs gain market share.

The challenge for IT

The report went on to add that to get those customers, IT will need to change to what Hurd called a generational shift to the cloud. The cloud is the only way that IT budgets will be freed up when most of the spending goes to maintenance, compliance, and regulatory requirements.

Hurd said 80% of enterprise apps will move to the cloud. And then came the inevitable hard sell. “Two suite providers will own 80% of the SaaS market,” said Hurd. “You can’t have all of these disparate apps and run your business.”

Growth of SaaS

Despite the fact that the SaaS market could be cornered by two providers, it does not mean that the value proposition of SaaS wont grow.

A recent article by techannouncer.com shows that the SaaS market is growing tremendously owing to factors such as wide adoption of on-demand software in various industries and increase in number of startup companies in various domains around the world.

SaaS is a delivery model which helps the user to utilize all the available feature of any program over cloud. This model also eliminates the licensing any software as companies provides the remote access to their clients over the internet. Fast and reliable, easy customization and low cost are some of the factors which is helping the SaaS Market growth whereas factors such as believe in traditional software model and security loopholes are some of the drawbacks which is expected to restraint the market growth.

Many people look at the future and become very wary about the prospects that it could offer. However, if we look at the growth of SaaS, combined with the fact that Millennials are becoming more empowered through their actions and new business opportunities, I feel that one can only thrive when they look at what the future can offer.

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