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As a communicator and marketer for your utility, you likely hear the common phrases of target market, demographics etc. If you aren’t hearing and considering these terms, you should be. The only ‘thing’ your customers have in common, is that they are, ‘your customers’. Therefore, how you communicate to them, what will grab their attention and resonate with them is all based on demographics and psychographics of each individual. There is a reason that knowing who you aim to reach with an outreach message is so important.

Digging into generational differences can also help you reach certain customers therefore getting more sign up for programs, greater response to or greater understanding of changes with their service, bills etc. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here; let’s consider what experts in the area are saying about Millennials; a huge portion of your current customers. Then, we can apply it to your outreach programs.

So, let’s consider what we know. Who are millennials and why are they important?

–Range in age from 21-39 (Born between 1977 and 1995)

–Fastest Growing Generation and Largest (80 Million)

–Greatest lifetime value of any customer

–Very loyal once they choose a brand, service or company

–Most likely to refer a friend

–Socially Conscientious (like to have purchases go to greater good)

–They have impact on other generations; Generation X and Baby Boomers are starting to shop and buy similarly to millennials

This generation is unique because they are actually split with two distinct chosen paths. One group follows the tradition of getting a job, getting married, having kids etc. The other path lacks the ability to connect and is more ‘entitled’. The two paths lack empathy for each other and are strong believers in the path they choose. They end up choosing this path around age 30. No matter the path, they communicate the ‘same’. They are Tech dependent, which is different from tech savvy, because they depend on technology versus being savvy to figure it out. They respond to online market surveys, not phone surveys. In general, a phone survey will not generate results from this large demographic group.

From these basic facts about this generation, we, as utility communicators need to reach out to these customers. Here are some factors to keep in mind when developing outreach intended for this age group. Focusing on communication preferences will provide a wider and more successful reach into this market.

  1. Text: Their number 1 form of preferred communication is via text, so make sure to have an outage update system available via text for any water or electric issues
  2. Email: The less words the better and when we say less, we mean it! Only the subject line of an email is what they want in order to get the main message
  3. Communicate through social Media: Have you heard of snackable content? Well it’s hot in social media outlets from LinkedIn and Instagram to Twitter and Facebook. Engaging and fun graphics with simple messaging allow viewers to see the communication quickly and immediately engage with the content.
  4. They prefer phone over in person communication, but they are lower on the preference list below text, emails and social media.
  5. Keep it simple: When I say simple, I mean simple. It doesn’t mean a graphic and paragraph of text. It means the graphic tells the entire story or there are 3 words of text. Billboard style, text, FB, twitter style. Short and sweet. If it is in print, needs to follow these rules as well.

Each generation is sophisticated in its characteristics and differences from each other. Millennials are no exception. Hopefully these tips and info help you reach Millennials if that is your intended market and to better understand why knowing your intended target is so important to outreach success.

NOTE: Much of our data and information written come from The Center For Generational Kinetics;


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