Understanding people and their behaviour is an essential part of successful marketing; without this, no matter how big the budget or how creative it is, a campaign can seriously miss the mark.

Understanding people and their behaviour is an essential part of successful marketing In recent years, marketing teams have spent a great deal of time looking at ways to engage with Generation Y, in particular, as this is the first generation to suffer from information overload and thus be immune to generic ‘scattergun’ marketing approaches. Holiday season campaigns can often suffer most, with all forms of marketing campaigns getting a boost, only increasing the ‘white noise’.

Fortunately, there is a better way for marketers to connect with this demographic. The data that the industry collates on these individuals offers valuable insight into the wants and preferences of this generation and has highlighted that disposable income is being diverted towards experiences and leisure, over and above products and goods. As such, businesses are able to analyse this data and assess what it means for their next seasonal campaign.

Having this information is one thing, but how can marketing teams act on it? It is a timely question, as many businesses are currently in the process of promoting their Christmas loyalty rewards. So how can businesses acknowledge these preferences and ensure that this holiday season’s marketing campaigns hit the sweet spot with millennials? 

Out With The Old

Businesses seem to have an obsession with trying to attract millennials, with many creating loyalty schemes to try and entice this group to remain faithful to a brand. However, with so many now taking this approach, it has diluted the loyalty factor and has instead become something of an expectation.

In an attempt to address this, some brands have adopted a scattergun approach to discount deals to encourage shoppers into the store and increase seasonal footfall, frequently offering unrelated and often irrelevant purchase offers such as ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘three for two’. Not only does this focus on products alone and risk devaluing the brand itself, but it also forces the consumer to spend in order to reap any benefit – a technique which doesn’t naturally encourage loyalty, particularly at a time when many are already financially stretched.

Consumer attitudes toward this style of discount deal have shifted significantly. As a result, the combination of millennials’ desire to ‘do’ more, rather than ‘have more’, could leave brands with a disengaged target market if they’re not careful.

Instead, brands must create loyalty strategies that clearly demonstrate an understanding of their millennial audience , by offering something that will be meaningful and remembered. This, in turn, will naturally increase consumer retention.

What’s Memorable To Consumers?

Instilling a sense of brand loyalty by creating a positive, memorable experience is a deeper, more anthropological approach to changing a consumer’s behaviour. It is important that marketing campaigns give consideration to those businesses that offer what millennials want and where they are spending, to tap into this desired market. Offering a free trip or other experience, whether large or small, is far more attractive to millennials than a discount; not only will it save them money, but it will also leave them with a feeling that they have ‘won’ something.

Packaging Up Holiday Season Rewarding

Christmas loyalty rewards offer a tool for brands to engage with their customer base and use this time of year to reinforce brand affiliation. The best loyalty rewards shouldn’t involve a heavy cost to the consumer , but should instead provide them with an experience to remember, whether that means a free pumpkin spiced coffee at a train or service station or a cinema ticket to use over the holidays. Larger rewards could range from weekend trips away or even an overseas holiday.

Again, personalisation is everything here, so it is important for businesses to know and understand their audience. By selecting a reward that millennials will truly value, a Christmas loyalty scheme can deliver clear benefits for both the business and its customers that last well into the New Year.