Attracting & Keeping Diverse Customers in Today’s Marketplace…

Attracting and keeping customers from diverse market segments is difficult today and going to be more challenging in the coming years. Why? 70 million Baby-boomers are in the process of leaving the workforce and reducing their spending… while simultaneously, 70 million Millennials are entering the workforce and increasing their spending. The problem is that the Millennial generation market segment has different core values than their predecessors. Consequently, their motivations, drivers and buying habits are also markedly different. So why should this be a big deal? First, consider how the pace of time has been compressed. It took fifty years for television to reach a market penetration of 50 million people. FaceBook reached the same level of penetration in only 2 years. Additionally, the aggregation of change, choice and complexity within the past ten years has resulted in a paradigm shift of US consumer attitudes and behaviors. Most marketing experts and I agree that, “What got you where you are today won’t take you where you want to be in the future.” In other words, many of the strategies, practices and policies used to get our businesses to the point where they are  today, are no longer as effective as they previously may have been, and will be increasingly less so in the future!

Fortunately, we don’t have to feel bad for the McDonalds, Am Ex’s, Wal Mart’s and most other large businesses. With mega investments in enterprise CRM, (Customer Relationship Management) systems, they’re way ahead of the curve understanding and responding to changes in the marketplace. It’s medium, small and entreprenural businesses who have the most to lose by not increasing their value.  You might ask, relative to the Millennial issue, what’s the big deal? Surely there have been other generations that have demonstrated “attitude” problems? Here’s the deal:
  • Generation X’rs (born roughly between 1964-1984) were so small as a group, that even with their differences, their impact was negligible as they assimilated
  • The Millennial generation, (born between 1984-2004) as a group of almost 100 million, make up a “bubble” force to be reckoned with
  • Millennial core values, drivers and buying decisions are markedly different from preceding generations
The following actions are fundamental to attracting and retaining diverse customers in our rapidly changing market environment:
1.     Sharpening your message
2.     Converting to “pull” marketing and sales strategies vs. (traditional) “push”
3.     Providing an outstanding customer experience
4.     Combining the passion of intuition with the rigor of evidence
These actions will prove to be most effective when implemented with the collaboration of fresh eyes. Fresh eyes can be in the form of a consultant, coach or even a mystery shopping organization. With fresh eyes,  senior management can keep their focus on day-to-day business operations, where they need to be. A good set of fresh eyes will help: 1) Prioritize which actions should be taken; 2) Determine the appropriate strategies to use so the greatest benefits result; 3) Design reasonable ways to measure effectiveness; 4) Insure that any major actions to be taken are included in the strategic plan; 5) Pace the implementation any changes and strategies in a way that will be least disruptive.

About Alan

Alan Adler is an executive coach, speaker & author.

08. December 2010 by Alan
Categories: Business leadership, Customer Experience, Human Resources, Marketing, Non-profit, Recruitment & Re, Social Media/Busines, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Attracting & Keeping Diverse Customers in Today’s Marketplace…