Ignore the Millennials at your peril

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While speaking with a local businessman last week, I heard something that is a common refrain from my clients. He said, “Getting new business for your company used to be as simple as picking a location with good foot traffic and buying an ad in the local yellow pages… .”

Needless to say, it isn’t like that anymore. I am here to tell you that if you want your business to thrive over the next few years, now is the time to start investing in digital marketing strategies. There are plenty of reasons why my team and I recommend this, but here are a few statistics to help illustrate our point:

1. Digital marketing is much cheaper. A recent study found that on average social media advertising costs $2.25 to reach a thousand people versus TV, which costs an average of $28 to reach a thousand people. This means that by investing in digital advertising, you are likely to both save money and increase your advertising results.

2. An estimated 97 percent of all customers research and find products online before they purchase. This number may seem high, but it has actually been steadily increasing over the last 10 years, especially for any product that is not a spur-of-the-moment purchase. This trend is likely to continue.

3. Leads acquired through organic search, meaning those who have found your product/service via online research, are 750 percent more likely to close a deal or buy a product than those you reach through any traditional advertising. In our minds, this alone is reason enough to begin investing in organic SEO ranking and social media engagement.

Companies in every industry are realizing how important a robust digital marketing strategy is and those aware of this trend are adjusting their business models or marketing strategies accordingly. A great example of a company doing this is the Pueblo Chieftain. Over the last several years they have introduced multiple ways to interact with the news they produce including their online articles and their heavy engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

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Outside of short-term statistics, the long-term trends our economy is facing make it very clear that having a effective digital marketing strategy is essential. According to Goldman Sachs, Millennials are going to be one of the largest generational groups in history and they are now entering their prime spending years at 20-36 years old. There are a number of statistics available for the market size and potential of Millennials, but suffice it to say that they are a larger group than the Baby Boomers and they typically attain a higher degree of education. The last thing to consider is this: How many Millennials do you know that even know how to use a yellow-pages book?

Timothy A. Zercher is the president and CEO of Pueblo-based EasySocial. The EasySocial team manages more than 30 companies’ online marketing and advertising efforts across the U.S. Zercher can be reached at easysocial.solutions.