Why Your Brand Needs A Mobile Strategy

In the age of texting, Instagramming, FaceTiming, and Snapchatting, it’s no secret that Millennials are obsessed with their cellphones. Mobile devices aren’t just a tool to keep in touch, they’re a way to always feel connected. It’s hard for many Millennials to remember a time when they couldn’t get their friends’ opinions or approval with the tap of a screen. Cellphones are a portal to their peers, as well as a source of endless information and entertainment. Many sleep with their cellphone, check it as soon as they wake up, and can’t even count how many times a day they glance at their phone. As a result, Millennials often consider their cellphone an extension of themselves.

To put this digital dependency into perspective, we recently surveyed 990 13-34-year-olds about how much they value their cellphone. Two-thirds said they’d be lost without their phone and more than half (54%) feel that their cellphone is a lifeline to the world around them. Millennials want to know what their network of “friends” is doing at any hour and to always have information on hand – literally. They’ve grown up using Google as a verb and are accustomed to instantaneous communication anytime and anywhere.

Their cellphones contain so much of their lives from their photos and texts to their apps and social networks. It’s no surprise then that their phones are so personal to them. According to research from JWT Intelligence, half of 18-34-year-olds say  “my phone has so much of 'me' in it that I feel like it’s a mini-me." They’re also focused on customizing their phones with cases and covers that match their fashion preferences and personality. Cellphones are a key into Millennials’ lives and because of this, they want their phones to best reflect who they are.Target

So what does this mean for marketers?…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream' I think…A loaded term that is meaningless these days. At this point, I'd be happy if I can manage to live a mostly comfortable, independent life. Is that The American Dream? I don't know.” –Male, 25, PA

When it comes to kids using tablets and smartphones, most of the attention is given to the dangers of it all: what will it do to their attention spans, their minds, or their health? But there are potential positives to their mobile use as well. One (Millennial) mom’s reasons for continuing to give her kids handheld devices include the importance of encouraging their technology and problem solving skills, expectations that they will know how to use them in school, and a hope that her girls will be involved in tech in their futures. (Hip Mombrarian)

This might be the year that vending machines became a full blown marketing trend, and Nike has put their own athletic spin on the tactic. Their recent “secret” vending machine in NYC, the Nike+ FuelBox, dispensed products like hats, shirts, and socks that visitors could only pay for with daily points from their Nike+ FuelBands, encouraging exercise in exchange for goods. (Engadget)

We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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