Millennials constitute a significant part of the population, and they represent an ever-increasing segment of the economy. Historically, most HVAC companies have targeted older homeowners with established families and disposable incomes.
Ignoring millennials typically means ignoring their marketing channels and sticking to traditional advertising forms without developing any presence in other non-traditional formats. While there’s nothing wrong with targeting an older audience using their favored channels, your company could be losing sales by failing to market HVAC to this generation.
Millennials Were the Largest Home-Buying Population in 2015
While most HVAC companies cater to baby boomers and Gen-Xers because of their highly disposable income, 80 million American millennials are just hitting their peak spending years. In the real estate market, millennials accounted for 36 percent of all home purchases in 2015. The second largest group, Gen X (ages 36 to 50), accounted for only 26 percent of home buyers.
In the media, millennials got a bad rap for moving back home after college, but most young people were living with their parents so they could pay off student loans. These recent grads knew they couldn’t pay off a mortgage and student debt at the same time on an entry-level salary, so they quietly built their careers and paid down their debt before setting off into the housing market.
Looking ahead, 38 percent of millennials said they would delay a wedding to buy a house, and most are delaying marriage and kids by a decade to become more financially stable.
How Can HVAC Companies Transition to a Millennial Audience?
Millennial spending habits are much closer to the Depression-era silent generation than their parents or grandparents. While most companies expect them to endlessly rack up credit card debt, millennials actually are more cautious and frugal when it comes to financial investments than economists have seen in the past 80 years.
This is good news for HVAC companies that rely on discounts and rebates for their marketing. Millennials are very value-seeking and deal-focused, and companies that offer the best deal for the same products tend to beat out the competition. Beyond coupons, millennials do their research before buying. If they’re investing in a major purchase, like a replacement AC unit, they’re going to ask their friends, read customer testimonials, and check out the competition. They want to feel confident about their purchases before opening their wallets.
What Changes Can You Make to Target Millennials?
Millennials relate well to branding that resonates with them on an emotional level. This generation is drawn to messaging and creative that emphasizes individuality and creativity. And your approach should be practical — your messaging also needs to emphasize the value of your services in empowering that individuality and creativity.
If your message already appeals to millennials (i.e. great, convenient products and services at a reasonable price), then the next step is to find millennials where they shop. This doesn’t mean you need to be posting on Instagram 20 times a day, but you do need a healthy social media presence on all the major platforms with a focus on video and other visual media.
At the least, you need a well-designed website that works correctly on a mobile device and that can be found easily through search. On top of that, strong Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business pages will create opportunities for generating more customer reviews and feedback. Millennials want to make sure they’re not getting ripped off, and will check multiple sources before engaging in any purchasing behavior.
Millennials Can Become Your Brand’s Strongest Advocates
The good news is that if you can acquire the millennial customer, they will stick with you. Sixty-percent of millennials said they are loyal to the companies they currently purchase from, and care more about the quality of the item than the price. If you can prove that your company provides better service for better results, millennials will overlook their notorious frugality to buy something that will last in the long-run.
Mediagistic understands the changes in marketing and offers holistic marketing and advertising solutions to cater to all groups, including millennials. Through a highly coordinated mix of Internet, media and direct mail options, our goal is to get your brand and your message in front of all major buying demographics.
Ashley Mount Taylor is a Key Account Manager at Mediagistic. By always seeking better outcomes, focusing on change and finding the next big thing, she prides herself on bringing solution-minded professionalism to every project. Connect with her on Linkedin.
Image via Flickr by hanh.elizabeth34