Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

‘Mobile First’ the surest way to market to millennials


Millennials are the first generation of mobile users and have officially surpassed baby boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. According to MobCo Media, 1 in 5 millennials are, in fact, mobile-only users.

“In the U.S., 83 percent of millennials own a smartphone and 18 percent are mobile-only users, meaning they do all their online activity via mobile devices,” said Guy Fayel, content marketing manager at MobCo Media.

For most of us, the mobile phone is the first thing we pick up in the morning and the last thing we put down at night. In the U.S., nine percent of people are on their mobile phone 4-5 hours each day. However, this time consists of continuous partial attention spans called micro-moments. Micro-moments consist of hundreds of real-time, intent-driven opportunities for brands to shape decisions and preferences and connect with your customers.

Think with Google found that 82 percent of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision while in a store. This information tells us that every business owner should have a strong mobile strategy in place for their online presence. Not only do advertisements and websites have to be engaging to catch a millennial’s attention, both also have to be mobile-optimized to even be considered.

Google ranks sites from ones that work well on mobile devices to sites that don’t, meaning that your site is getting penalized by search engines for not being mobile-optimized.

This is where the term “Mobile First” comes in. Mobile First means marketers and web designers focus on designing for a smaller phone screen before a laptop or desktop screen. Although the Mobile First design strategy has been used for a few years already, it still remains at the top of the list as popular apps like Uber are exclusively on smartphones only. This strategy opens up a lot of room for innovation in mobile marketing.

The biggest opportunity in mobile marketing, especially to millennials, lies in videos and podcasts. Ever wonder why Snapchat has been so successful? “Sixty percent of 13-34-year-old smartphone users are on Snapchat, which has 10 billion video views a day,” Laura Wilson, director of digital engagement & social media at Georgetown University, said.  “Live video will soon be the best way for brands to build trust and transparency on social media.”

In addition to video, consider opportunities to engage your buyers at the right time and place. Guide your customers through a personalized experience with proximity messaging. You can also build targeted messaging to increase conversions. Mindgrub’s viaPlace is a software platform that utilizes innovative, digital technology to optimize physical places and provide extraordinary mobile brand experience. viaPlace allows you to control the message to consumers, create a buzz around an event, or convert easily on mobile with Bluetooth low-energy beacons and Wi-Fi fencing.

When it comes to millennials, designers and marketers have to creatively engage them. Rather than trying to grab their attention, win it. Be a leader in your industry through carefully crafted and targeted messaging at the right time and place. By prioritizing your mobile strategy and committing to mobile optimization best practices, you will be positioned correctly and visible to your customers when they are ready to make a purchasing decision.

Todd Marks is founder and CEO of Mindgrub.

To purchase a reprint of this column, contact [email protected].