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The reputation of a generation is, unfortunately for them, often written by their predecessors. For example, “lazy” comes up as a top three autocomplete when you type “Millennials are” into Google. A common criticism is that members of this generation, born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, are easily bored and fickle. While this image is not altogether flattering, it is also misleading, and leads to confusion where marketing is concerned. This large, diverse generation makes up the largest part of the work force, and like every generation that came before, they come with their own set of characteristics that make them unique. At Concept Software Systems, we believe no enterprise – including those in the hospitality industry – can afford to ignore, nor misunderstand, their enormous spending power.
Millennials, also known as generation Y, are unlike other generations in that they are not a simple demographic. They are the most diverse generation to have ever existed, consisting of everyone from single mothers to middle class professionals. They are, therefore, of interest to every industry from fashion to dining. Making up about a fourth of the entire population, and with $200 billion in annual budget power, we must first discover who they really are in order to better engage them.
Misconception is one of the first hurdles to overcome. Contrary to their reputation, David Arabov, CEO Co-founder of Elite Day, refers to their Millennial Consumer Study 2015, when he states that they “are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and – despite popular belief – do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands”. The idea that Millennials are disloyal demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding: it is simply that marketers must actively win loyalty and hold it. They may be harder to sway to your cause, but when they do become loyal they tend to be the most loyal consumers around. They are, after all, forever connected.
To understand this loyalty and how to engage it we must consider that the millennial generation was the first to grow up with technology at their fingertips. They are always connected, often to multiple tech devices, without which they begin to feel somewhat helpless. Successful millennial brands reflect this by maintaining constant communication with them, providing support whenever they may want it…the 9-5 lifestyle is dead after all. From the earliest stages of their life, millennials develop a close relationship with technology, internet and social media, integrating an entire digital world into their daily lives.
Their increased savvy with communications, media and digital technology, makes them adept at adjusting to new programs, operating systems and devices much quicker than older generations. The Millennial Consumer Study 2015 found that 87% of millennials use between two or three tech devices on at least a daily basis – with 39% very or completely likely to purchase a tablet in the next five years.
Here is where Concept has looked to develop better Millennial interactivity for the hospitality industry. If we want to win them as loyal customers, engaged in our brand, we must be aware of their high expectations in discovery, payment and mobile experience prior to and during the use of our services. According to Dinah Eng in her “The New York Times” article, hotels are concluding that Millennial travelers seek three things: customized experiences, digital convenience and relevant information on social media. These were crucial considerations as we developed our planning service innovations.
So, if we know what Millennials want, how can Concept help to tailor your approach to their custom? Oddly, given the frequent use their phones, Millennials don’t often make a lot of phone calls. The OpenMarket 2016 research found that 75% prefer texting over calling, with 76% preferring to receive texts due to convenience. Despite this preference for text reminders of appointments, deliveries, payments and promotions only 30% were receiving them regularly. We see this as a massive opportunity, one which Concept Software Solutions products – Concept Spa & Leisure, Concept Golf and Concept Membership – can explore with marketing tools for text reminders, booking confirmations or even surveys.
Let’s apply this to the Spa industry as an example. Research from ISPA’s Consumer Snapshot Volume VII, Millennial Perceptions and Preferences shows that they are, in fact, spa goers and that 43% of them booked spa treatments through online mobile technology. In that sense, if a Spa doesn’t invest in an online booking platform, it risks losing fast-moving Millennial loyalty which will avoid booking in person or through a phone call. At Concept, we help you talk to the Millennial market as they prefer to be – with Online Spa Booking customized to your needs and budget.
Millennials are not only a powerful market, but also a unique one. Companies need to adapt to what they respond to and what matters to them…it could well be the breakthrough a business needs to move forward into the future. At Concept, we have worked not only to understand their needs, but also how to reach out to them effectively. They are technologically connected, from youth expecting information at their fingertips, and at Concept we can make sure that you have the right tools to engage an enormous market that many of your competitors are currently overlooking.
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