How to Target, Engage and Win Millennial Business
By Cheryl Buono Vice President of Media Activation, JL Media | August 18, 2019
A few years ago, pictures of a feather-and-down pillow, quilted fabric bed, 250-thread-count sheets and a competitive rate on your website may have been enough to convince a traveler to book a night at your hotel. But attracting guests today goes well beyond showcasing luxurious in-room amenities and price point. Guests seek experiences and adventure, and millennials, in particular, are carrying the torch.
The millennial generation (people born between 1981 and 1996 – now ages 23-38) is growing slightly older. Which means its economic influence continues to increase. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by next year, millennials will control $7 trillion in liquid assets. And as the hospitality industry seeks to continue 10 years of growth in bookings, attracting millennial guests to your hotel becomes paramount.
As an advertising and media professional for 20 years, I find the millennial generation to be fascinating. The neat thing about millennials is that you don't have to ask them what they like. They tell you all the time. They send direct messages to your brand. They share comments on your social media feeds. They write reviews on your website, third-party booking sites, Google and anywhere else. All these interactions - and the data they provide - arm us marketers with a treasure trove of knowledge.
So, while the rules of hospitality marketing may be changing, the most sought-after generation of travelers is supplying hotel owners and operators with a roadmap on how to find, target and win it over. There is no magic, one-size-fits-all solution for hospitality marketing, but this guide can help you learn more as you produce your hotel's own strategy to attract more millennial interest.
How Millennials' Spending Habits Differ from Other Generations
As millennials mature, they continue to emphasize experiences and travel. That means their spending habits are far different than those of Baby Boomers and Generation X'ers. Research from Adobe shows that 70 percent of millennials value experiences over material possessions, and 86 percent don't want to miss out on life experiences (Hence the popular hashtag #FOMO – fear of missing out).