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Three Reasons Brands Can't Afford to Ignore Millennial Women

Many marketers have the 75.5-million-person-strong millennial age range — born between 1982 and 2000 top of mind. And rightly so. Millennials now hold more purchasing power than any other segment. But, when you consider the fact that women control or influence as much as 85 percent of overall US spending power, the female segment has certainly earned some extra attention. Here are three tips that will help you better understand and engage this highly valuable cohort.

1. Her spending style has earned her special attention

In Merkle’s recent study, we found that millennial women have some exceptional might when it comes to spending power, meaning they spend more frequently and in higher amounts than the rest of the population. So, what fuels this exceptional spending? A life stage in which they have graduated college, are purchasing their first homes, and are entering a stage of higher earnings. This makes the millennial women audience appealing to financial institutions for more than just student loans; they are appealing for home loans and home owner’s insurance as well. These women are purchasing higher-end vehicles to reflect their earning power, and with that comes another loan and auto insurance. And, those big, life-stage purchases are fueling their smaller purchases. After all, with a new home comes the need to decorate it. Getting a new car can lead to the desire to take a road trip.

Millennial women are also traveling and eating out at higher rates. In our study, they told us they value spending their money on experiences. There are few industries that can afford to ignore the aspirations of this audience.

2. She is savvy and scrutinizing

The millennial woman is well researched. She compares pricing, reviews customer ratings, and scrutinizes a brand’s values. Our “Why Millennial Women Buy” report discovered that 83 percent of millennial women say a brand’s sustainability practices influence their purchase decisions. How are you helping to tell consumers about your brand’s values and your backstory? Of course, not all brands have an inspiring story of starting with a cause or a David vs. Goliath beginning. And not all brands have a sustainability story to share. But in today’s world, there’s proof that brand values matter. Blackrock’s CEO’s recent push for ‘social responsibility’ highlights this major shift. If this isn’t currently part of your strategy, it’s time to take another look. Keep in mind, authenticity is very important to this cohort, so a one-time statement that supports the environment is not enough to put you in their good graces. The millennial woman shows her support of a cause and a brand with her wallet.

3. Give her the experience she deserves

With the widespread purchasing power this segment demands, her savviness cannot go unnoticed, and if you want to win, you cannot ignore her considerations. Remember how we said she values experiences? That is not just the experience she gets eating at a little cafe she discovered far from the tourist scene. It‘s in the interactions she has with your brand. Are you treating her like the unique individual she is? Are you inspiring her on Instagram with your brand story and then connecting that to an informed experience when she is on your website? Authenticity comes through in the nuances of these interactions.

If you were wondering, the answer is “yes,” the millennial woman is a social media superstar. Seventy-one percent told us they interact most with brands on Instagram. While this cohort doesn’t want to be identified as a social media junkie, the stats don’t lie. Social influencers are a great way to reach this audience and any plan to reach this cohort needs to include social media. But, as any millennial woman will tell you, there is a lot more to it. Social media is an excellent place to reinforce your brands values, create awareness, and provide customer service. What really sets the brands apart is taking the data from those interactions and tying it back to the site, email, and offline experience to create a truly personal and consistently authentic connection.

To read more about millennial women, and to dive into more of the stats found in this post, get the ‘Why Millennial Women Buy’ report.