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5 Strategies for Marketing to Millennials

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Top Strategies when Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are the largest demographic by age in the United States.

Businesses simply can’t ignore that kind of spending power if they want to turn good profits.

But that brings companies to a difficult question: “How do we market to millennials?” Businesses have spent millions of dollars on market research to reach millennials.

They’re a complex group, but this article breaks down the top strategies when marketing to millennials:

1. Get on social media

There’s no secret that millennials are the most online generation in human history. They regularly check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat throughout the day. This is typically their source of news, information, and entertainment.

If a millennial wanted to tell her friend about a make-up item, she probably won’t hold up a magazine article. She’s more likely to share a YouTube tutorial or private message a link to an online blog.

Having a social media presence is crucial to building brand awareness, cultivating trust, and even closing sales. And companies are catching on. Two excellent examples are Nike’s Instagram account and DiGiorno’s Twitter account.

2. Inbound marketing > outbound marketing

Millennials distrust traditional marketing strategies, such as billboards, snail-mail, and email marketing.

These tactics feel impersonal, as though the company is only interested in making a sale. That’s why inbound marketing is significantly more attractive to millennials.

With inbound marketing, the focus is on providing relative content and adding value to potential customers before making a sale.

Companies can be tempted to forego this expenditure since it doesn’t necessarily increase immediate sales.

But this strategy is key in establishing a relationship with a generation that distrusts companies. It’s a long-term sales game, so to speak.

Millennials want companies that are genuinely interested in helping them. And they take note of companies producing free, helpful content.

3. Less advertising. More social proof

Millennials are not as impressed with ads as they are with social proof. They’re much more likely to purchase a product or service if their friends recommend it.

Whenever millennials investigate a company, they typically turn to reviews on Yelp or Google. It won’t matter how beautiful your ad is or affordable your product is if your reviews are in the gutter.

The better strategy is to invest time and money into acquiring good reviews, testimonials, and case studies. These should be displayed proudly on your business website.

When millennials see that other customers are satisfied with your company, they’ll be more likely to buy your services. Here are some other suggestions of social proof you can add to your website:

Counters of how many customers you’ve served
Logos of companies that you’ve serviced
Success stories of previous clients

4. Millennials love collaboration

Millennials are not as interested in a final product as they are in helping create the product.

They prefer to be part of the process and deeply value customization. For example, Oreo invited fans to suggest and ultimately create a new flavor of Oreos. The contest was a huge hit.

Millennials don’t want an insurance plan handed to them. They want access to a user-friendly website where they can easily change their policy as they see fit.

They want to be co-creators, whether it’s customizing their own emojis and video game characters or making suggestions on car designs and restaurant menus.

5. Be interested in the millennial, not the sale

Above all, businesses must convince millennials that they are customer first, sale second.

There’s an unspoken rule that companies must prove they have the customer’s best interest at heart before any sale takes place.

When a business produces a lot of great, helpful content, millennials become regular readers and trust the business. Ultimately, they convert to customers and are die-hard fans before their first purchase.

Marketing to millennials is about nurturing long-term leads. Companies should strive to build a trustworthy brand and become an authority in their industry.

This will generate more leads in the long run than trying to close sales early in the customer-company relationship.

The bottom line is millennials need more convincing that your company cares about them.

Conclusion

Companies cannot afford to ignore millennials. It may take time to understand this complex market, but it’s necessary for profits and growth.

The keys to winning millennials are to focus on adding value first, earning their trust, and then making a sale.

This is accomplished primarily through inbound marketing with a strong online presence.

Avoid traditional advertising and focus on social proof.

Implement these strategies today to better market to millennials.

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Market Loses 500 Points, More Pain Could Be In Store For Investors

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Market Losses 500 Points, More Pain Could Be In Store For Investors

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping as much as 900 points yesterday before recovering to close out “only” 500 points lower, many are speculating that there’s even more pain in store for investors over the coming weeks.

One of the big differences with yesterday’s plunge was the stocks that slipped the most. Earlier in September, tech and growth stocks fell the most during the market pullback. Yesterday, it was the cyclical stocks that were heavily tied to economic recovery.

Sam Stovall, the chief market strategist at CFRA, wonders if the possibility of a second lockdown has spooked investors.

“Things had to have changed for investors to be so nervous. With Europe starting to see a sharp increase in Covid cases, does that mean they’re going to reimpose shutdowns?”

He also says that the weak recovery from the early-September pullback indicated more drops before the market would finally march higher.

“Because the recovery from the earlier Sept. 8 low was so anemic, it was an indication that the market needed to go through more backing and filling before it’s ready to advance.”

Technical analysts are now pointing to the 200-day moving average as a potential battle line for the markets. That currently stands at 3,104.

Scott Redler, a technical strategist and partner with T3Live.com, says the S&P 500’s next test could be the psychological level of 3,200 before potentially slipping down to the 200-day moving average. “I would say there’s a high probability we at least test 3,200 if not the 200-day.”

He added that the S&P 500 chart looks to be forming a head and shoulders chart pattern, which is a negative sign for stocks. “That would give us a measured move down to 3,136,” he said.
Redler said the market has been flashing warning signs that a bigger sell-off was in store.

“There are four or five things that are nipping at the heels of the market,” he said. “In the last two weeks there have been many signals that this kind of action could happen.”

Paul LaRosa, the chief market technician at Maxim Group, also thinks a larger market plunge is in store. He said he expects the S&P could dip as low as 3,100, and Nasdaq could drop under 10,000 if it breaks support at 10,639. He said the Dow should see support at 27,450 but could slip down to 26,000.

Stovall added that the markets are in a seasonally negative time. This comes with September the worst month of the year on average. He also warns that with the end of the month coinciding with the end of the quarter, losses could accelerate as big investors rebalance their portfolios before the month-end.

Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group, says we could be seeing investors shifting back to the “work from home” stocks as fears of a second lockdown grow.

“I think some of it is that [cyclicals] had a good month. I think you have the algorithms that say to buy the stay-at-home names after the drubbing that went on in Europe, with the possibility of the U.K. crackdown again, and what that means for growth. To me, this is an allocation shift. Let’s go back to buying Zoom, Walmart and Peloton and selling anything that’s leisure or travel-related. The sell-off in tech that started in early September started a very different tenor in the market. We were on a much more vulnerable footing going into today.”

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Gold Will Climb To $2,200 An Ounce By Year End, Says Industry Insider

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Gold Will Climb To $2,200 An Ounce By Year End, Says Industry Insider

Ronald-Peter Stoeferle, the managing partner of Incrementum, says gold is in a “stealth” bull market. Additionally, he expects prices to climb above $2,200 per ounce by the end of the year.

Speaking with Kitco News, Stoeferle says proof of the stealth bull market in gold is actually silver outperforming gold and junior mining stocks outperforming senior mining stocks.

“It’s pretty obvious, we’re in a stealth bull market in gold. What are the reasons for that? First of all, we’re seeing that gold is rising in every currency. Gold is up 27% in US dollar terms, we’re seeing that silver is outperforming gold, so silver is up almost 50% since the beginning of the year, so the gold/silver ratio is falling is a great confirmation for the strength of gold. Then we are seeing that actually the mining equities are outperforming the price of gold itself, so we are seeing outperformance of the large caps versus gold, we are seeing the juniors outperform the seniors, those are all confirmations.”

A Sign of a Healthy Bull Market?

He says the recent pullback in gold prices is also a positive sign of a healthy bull market. Stoeferle says there was too much optimism as prices climbed and sentiment got too high.

“We saw that when gold went over $2,000 everyone was writing about gold and sentiment felt a bit too positive. Then we came down, but it seems that there’s so much capital waiting on the sidelines at the moment that we just don’t see any deeper correction. Can gold go to $1800, $1850? Of course. But it is just normal and healthy within the course of this bull market to take a breather.”

Institutional demand will take gold to $2,200 an ounce by the end of the year, according to Stoeferle.

“September from a seasonal perspective is one of the very best months for gold and I think we can easily go to $2,200 or even higher by the end of the year. The important message is we are in a stealth bull market, I think this party has only just begun, and we are seeing the most important driver going forward is the institutional demand is coming back and I think that is what is really going to move the price of gold.”

Benefits of Higher Inflation

He says that gold investors, mining stock investors and central bankers make odd bedfellows; all three benefit from one thing: higher inflation.

“Just look at inflation-sensitive assets like TIPS and also gold, silver, the commodity space, they are all rising pretty strongly in the last couple of months, so I think the market is already telling us: be careful, inflation is on the horizon. And that’s actually what the Federal Reserve and central bankers and politicians want. So you could say that gold investors and mining investors are basically sitting in the same boat as central bankers, which feels a bit odd.”

Very few investment managers have lived through a period of strong inflation or even stagflation, and Stoeferle says that means many will be caught under-invested as gold prices rise.

“The average investment manager nowadays is 52-years old so they have never experienced a period of long, strong inflation or even stagflation. So I think this will catch many, many investors on the wrong foot. And at the moment, 0.5% of all assets are invested in gold. So basically there is no allocation at the moment and this will change, and I think really this year marked the beginning of the public participation phase.”

That small allocation to gold will change as people start looking around for the best inflation hedge, says Stoeferle.

“I think with inflation being really what central banks and politicians want to see and want to achieve, many many investors will have to consider “what’s the best inflation hedge out there?” and I think gold made a really solid case not only over the last few decades but over the last couple of centuries.”

Allocation for Gold

Finally, he says a rule of thumb he has come up with is for 8% of your investment portfolio to be allocated towards gold. However, he acknowledges that there are many variables for each investor.

“We crunched the numbers and we came to a rule of thumb of 8-10%. But I think it doesn’t make any sense to stick to those numbers because it depends on the rest of your portfolio, it depends on your time preference, it depends on your risk preference and so on, but if you believe that inflation will become a concern, if you think that real rates will stay very low, if you believe at some point we will have to deal with our debt, then I think you should have a pretty high allocation to gold and also the mining space.”

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The Pandemic Is Transforming to Digital Economy

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Digital Economy-ss-featured

Even before coronavirus, paper money and coins are generally considered dirty. With a full-blown pandemic, people are less willing to go outside and buy items. And even when they did, they avoided carrying cash to use it to pay for everything. By September, the pandemic has changed the way people look at cashless transactions. And the companies handling this digital economy? They’re laughing their way to the bank.

RELATED: We Underestimate How Strong The Economy Will Be In 2021

Cashless is King

Last February, mobile payment company Square reported that 5.4% of its stores are cashless. By April, the number of stores jumped to 23.2%. The number went down to 13.4% in August when the government eased restrictions.

For the same Square vendors, 37% of transactions were cash. Once Covid-19 went full-blown, it dropped to 33% by August. Compared to the year before, it stood at 40%. Under normal circumstances, a 7% drop usually takes three years to happen. 

Only 13.2% of Square outlets accepted online payments last February. By August, that number rose to 40%. Meanwhile, contactless payments increased 6.6% from February to August, settling at 70%.

Square economist Felipe Chacon thinks the new normal has included methods of payment. He said: “These new findings show a significant and stabilizing increase in cashless adoption rates compared to pre-pandemic, with business owners reliant upon contactless and online payments and consumers utilizing those alternatives. This signals that COVID-19 has already had what will likely be a lasting impact on consumer behavior.”

Fintech Outperforming Traditional Banks

As cashless/online payment gained ground, financial tech owners began growing too. CNBC reports that the total worth of Square, Visa, PayPal, and MasterCard is $1.07 trillion. This amount eclipsed the market value of America’s big six banks. Together, the value of  JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs is below $900 billion.

Investors have rewarded these companies, pushing their stock prices to new highs. Visa has grown from $180.82 in August 2019 and is now $215.71 a year later. Mastercard shares now cost $366.12 last August 28, but it was $281.37 a year before. Paypal increased from $109.05 in August 2019 to $204.48 after a year. Square rose from $61.84 to $155.93 in the same period.

These companies are now pushing forward to make their brands provide more. Square announced last Tuesday that Cash-App users can now get their wages ahead of payday. This encourages cardholders to connect their app with their direct deposit payroll. Venmo, a PayPal subsidiary, also lets users access earned wages. Meanwhile, banks need to deal with increasing loan defaults and low-interest rates. 

The March of the Apps

With the pandemic, people have now ditched passbooks and purses and switched to apps. It’s not only bank apps, but also an investment and financial planning apps. People will likely stick with the apps even after the crisis blows over. 

In a CNN interview, Plaid CEO Zach Perret noted the increase in users. He said: “What we’ve seen is that consumers during this period have increased their reliance on digital financial services built by banks but also, built by non-banks.”

Plaid is the digital infrastructure provider that links bank accounts to the apps. From March to May 2020, Plaid’s partner firms recorded a 44% increase in new users compared to last year. Despite the pandemic, Plaid had to hire an extra 20% of workers to keep up with demand. “I think the pandemic has made it incredibly clear that digital financial services are here to stay,” Perret said. Visa and Plaid have earlier announced that the former will buy the latter for $5.3 billion.

PayPal expects 70 million users new accounts this year, double the rate from 2019. Even the traditional banks saw its users shift to its digital persona. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan reported an influx of a million mobile account users. 22% of them were senior citizens who used to resist the bank’s digital versions. Merill Lynch’s digital log-ins spiked more than 100% from 2019. Even Robinhood, the popular stock trading app, outpaced gambling apps. With American millennials stuck at home, they used the time to bet on stocks. Robinhood traders were instrumental in fueling a Wall Street rally earlier this year. Last May, the app reported adding 3 million new users.

Watch this as CNBC’s Closing Bell talks about how fintech demand has been affected by the pandemic:

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Digital transactions are fast becoming part of the new normal. Not only are they designed for the pandemic, but they will also offer convenience after the outbreaks have passed. Do you have digital accounts in place at present? If not, what is holding you back? Share with us your opinions on how you plan to participate in the digital economy.

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