More often than not the term “millennial” is quite misused. People often slap it onto individuals who spend too much time on their phones, toddlers who play games on tablets, and teenagers who need to be constantly entertained in fear of boredom. And, although, some of these labels may hold some truth in relation to the word, they do not comprise the true definition of a millennial. In fact, many Americans never realize the true meaning of a millennial, and, with such a misunderstanding, fail to tailor their businesses to the growing customer base of individuals that fall into that category. A missed opportunity for many industries, ignoring the demands of the millennial consumer segment is especially detrimental to independent travel agents, professionals who offer what millennials want most - experiences.
Who are Millennials?
Millennials, or Generation Y, are individuals born approximately between the 1980s and the early 2000s. They follow Generation X (people born between the 1960s and 1970s) and precede the youngest generation currently alive, or Generation Z. Born in a time of significant political and social change, many millennials are identified by their skepticism of old traditions and constructs, as well as their termination of habits that have been instilled throughout America for decades. For example, compared to their older relatives, millennials are less likely to smoke or indulge in eating at fast food restaurants. Rather, they prefer a more holistic lifestyle, one centered on prolonging both physical and mental health through an adequate diet, various exercises, and frequent practice of personally enjoyable activities.
Consequently, with a change in lifestyle centered on dedication to self, millennials are quite different from previous generations in their prioritization of monetary expenses. Fewer millennials invest money in extravagant weddings or thirty-year mortgages, and those who do usually do so at a much later age, allotting more time for individual growth and activities that are better done with fewer personal obligations (e.g. a family, mortgage, etc.).
Why are Millennials the perfect customers for the Travel Industry?
The investment in individual growth made by many millennials consists of career advancement, development of hobbies, and, of course, arguably the best way to expand one’s horizons - travel. Thus, marketing to this generation as an independent travel agent is the optimal choice; after all, these consumers are guaranteed to want your product.
What do I market to a millennial?
Marketing can first be segmented by type of trip. For example, a flight deal to Bali would interest a more adventurous and activity-seeking group of millennials, while a resort deal to Cabo would attract a group of college students who simply want to hang out by the beach for a week. Another way to break down the generation into differentiated consumer fragments is by economic status. A vacation in a less expensive city like Phuket, for example, should be aimed towards recent graduates who have just begun receiving an annual income, while a trip to Iceland, a more expensive location, should target consumers in their late twenties and thirties who could afford such a trip.
Most (if not all) American millennials use at least one social media platform (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat). By using such platforms to market to millennials, you are making your product more accessible. Perhaps the best way to reach customers of this generation is through Instagram. Creating and keeping an Instagram account is effortless; simply create a profile with a relevant username, write a professional bio (mentioning your affiliation with BNT Travel Group for credibility), and start posting. Your posts should be travel-related and must stand out; don’t upload an unattractive or meaningless photo just to reach the week’s photo quota. Try to make your account personalized. You could, for example, create a series of photos that feature your customers on their vacations (with their permission, of course), interesting other your followers in the destinations you offer.
Ask your friends and family members to follow your page in order to attract an initial flow of customers. Have all of your customers follow the account as well, as this will keep them updated on your deals, as well as remind them to purchase their next vacation. Create lotteries that raffle off a coupon or free car rental with the purchase of a flight, requiring entrants to follow your account. This will not only increase the number of followers you have, but also your followers’ attention to future lotteries.
Providing extensive training and continuous agent support, BNT Travel Group believes in assisting agents with marketing endeavors, especially those targeted at the generation of today. Thus, through just a quick call or email, BNT can help you sell any flight, package, or cruise deal to the right type of millennial.
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