Millennials: Convergence of Influence (aka “Helicopter Friends”)

Millennials: Convergence of Influence (aka “Helicopter Friends”)

AdvertisingAge, on April 11, 2011, mentioned the idea, “convergence of influence.”  You’ve heard about “helicopter parents”, right?  Well, Advertising Age suggested millennials frequently function as “helicopter friends” in the much the same way as individuals influence each others’ purchases, friends, world view. 

That concept is what makes today’s social networking (and, more importantly, social marketing) so critical, “I made a mistake, I didn’t like this product so…I’m going to share that experience with you because I don’t want you to make the same mistake.”

And, “helicoptering” applies to their positive purchasing experiences, as well.  Millennials, says AdvertisingAge, aren’t impulse shoppers. They like to spend a lot of time and effort researching.  And, they like to share what they’re seeing and buying (complete with images).

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Today’s marketing strategies need to take that “shop/share/buy” process into account.  To some extent, it’s no longer marketing to an individual … but marketing to that individual and everyone within their social network.

That’s what is exciting about the use of technology from a sales perspective: this audience will shop and when they see something in line with their spending priorities, they’ll share it with friends… as well as buy.  It may not be the cheapest choice but…because technology has played a role in what they look for and actually see, they have become “expert” consumers. 

The web has helped make this “expert” consumer possible; now, it’s time to incorporate a similar experience at “point of sale.”  Interactive touchscreens encourage the same “shop” experience as they, too, engage, inform and create an “expert.”  Adding the ability to “share” the experience is the next, critical step for interactive touchscreen design.

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