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Helen Goss
Helen Goss,
PARTNER
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Millennial - ‘The future of NextGen commerce’
20 May 2016

‘Millennial’ is a term being increasingly used and with good reason. The millennials (people in the 18-35 age bracket) have rapidly rising spending power and by 2020 are due to form over half of the global working population[1]. They are certainly a force not to be ignored.

We would like to share some thoughts on three of the most important millennial related themes for the leisure and hospitality industry - data, content and technology.

Data

“Data is king”

Businesses are increasingly using new technologies to help them to make more sense of the vast amounts of personal data they hold and turn it into ‘smart data’. The aim is to use this detailed information on customer behavior and preferences to design increasingly personalised products and services and sell these using highly focused marketing and advertising campaigns. For businesses, this is particularly significant as millennials rank individualisation and personalisation very highly.

What could or should businesses be thinking about?

Data protection is clearly an issue that is likely to be at the top of the agenda for many organisations – particularly with the media increasingly reporting slip-ups such as the recent leaking of personal data by the NHS[2].

Also, with further regulation including the General Data Protection Regulation “GDPR” (please see our article here) being imposed - businesses will benefit from being increasingly aware of their data practices. These include consent to processing of personal data which must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. It must be demonstrated either by a statement or clear affirmative action of consent to the processing. Pre-ticked consent boxes and silence will no longer be sufficient.

The fines for non-compliance are due to increase significantly under the GDPR. For businesses that hold personal data or outsource parts of their services to third parties to process personal data - policies, internal systems and procedures should be regularly reviewed and audited and third party arrangements sufficiently documented and audited to protect that data.

Content and brand loyalty

Informative, original digital content (videos, pictures etc.) is extremely important for millennials. On average they watch over 20 hours of video on their portable tech each week[3]. Many businesses have seized on this and use digital marketing as one of their main ways of reaching 18-35 year olds.

Businesses that create content which is perceived by millennials to be honest and authentic are reporting the most success[4]. Having a well thought out brand strategy is key and the most successful businesses have highly focused and clearly articulated brand values which are delivered consistently across digital, social as well as other media channels.

For businesses, protecting their digital assets as well as their brands is likely to be a continuing focus. As part of this advertising rules and regulations should monitored in all relevant jurisdictions and complied with and brands properly secured using trademark registration.

The use of a brand monitoring service should also be considered and is a useful way to identify potential infringements. Social listening services can also be helpful with identifying opportunities through finding out exactly what customers and people that influence their buying decisions think and feel about products and services.

Technology

Millennials have grown up with technology and it is a normal part of their lives. Social media often adds to any experience by sharing pictures and videos with their social networks, especially when it comes to food and drink.

The use of digital and mobile technology is a major factor in how millennials spend their money. For example, it would be unusual for a millennial not to visit a peer review website or use a price comparison tool when booking or buying any of the above, in fact this now applies to most consumers. If the purchase can then be made a few clicks later on their portable technology then so much the better. In fact mobile bookings for hotels are predicted to make up 25% of all online bookings by 2017[5].

This trend is likely to see businesses investing in increasingly sophisticated IT systems and recruiting larger and more technology savvy teams. There are also likely to be knock on effects as far as both property and flexible employment are concerned.

If you would like to talk about how millennials are affecting your business please contact our Leisure and Hospitality team.

Resources

The free ‘Social Media Toolkit’ - hosted by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) can be downloaded here and includes:

  • A guide for managers
  • A guide for employees who use social media as part of their role
  • The do’s and the don’ts for employees

For more information about the issues in this article or to find out more about how the Leisure and Hospitality sector can help you please contact The team on 0118 952 7711.


[1] PwC, Millennials at work ‘Reshaping the Workplace’. Available online: https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/services/consulting/documents/millennials-at-work.pdf

[2] BBC, NHS-approved apps found ‘leaking’ ID data. Available online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34346806

[3] TNS, Millennials spend one day every week on their phones – how can brands deal with the digital divide?. Available online: http://www.tnsglobal.com/press-release/millennials-spend-one-day-a-week-on-their-phones

[4] Lambie-Nairn, Authenticity builds more meaningful relationships with millennials. Available online: http://www.lambie-nairn.com/opinion/authenticity-builds-more-meaningful-relationships-with-millennials/

[5] EHotelier, Five ways hotels can use technology for a better guest experience. Available online: https://ehotelier.com/insights/2015/07/20/5-ways-hotels-can-use-technology-for-a-better-guest-experience/

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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