Decoding Technology Marketing

The Art of Marketing Technology to Millennials

Melissa Galloway wrote this on Dec 7 / 0 comments

An avid tech-enthusiast, puzzle-lover, coder, and gamer, Melissa Galloway is currently a Research Assistant at BuzzBee and a University of Washington student with prospective majors in Computer Science and/or Biology. She loves to analyze current trends in science and technology and predict what will become the newest and biggest thing in the market next.

Recently I participated in my first ‘hackathon’, DubHacks 2015, and it was exhilarating. There were hundreds of student hackers and dozens of tech companies in attendance – and many of the companies gave away swag related to their offerings (I can’t wait to tinker with my new Raspberry Pi 2.0). Even more exciting, some companies offered prizes to the teams that used their technology the best, compelling hackers to use their technology to solve real-world problems. 

Today, a huge percentage of the world’s consumer base includes young people like those at the hackathon – or “millennials” – people born sometime between 1985 and the early 2000s. These consumers are also the future of our global workforce (up to 75% of it by 2020). And since millennials are the most tech-savvy generation to date, with many raised experiencing the rapid evolution of personal computers and smart devices, it’s essential to understand how millennials think in order to attract them.

This got me thinking about how mutual relationships are being fostered between tech companies and millennial customers. How do you get millennials to try your tech offering? Then, how do you convert them into customers? I spoke with some of my fellow engineering students and compiled a list of questions we ask ourselves when confronted by new technologies.

  • Is it an improvement to a tool I already know? If not, how easy is it to learn?

Learning new things can be difficult, and finding the time to learn them is even more difficult. Selling a product with a steep learning curve has never been a bigger challenge. At DubHacks, it was evident which technologies were most enticing. For instance, a machine-learning API that can enable photo recognition attracted a big crowd because it was new, easy to learn, and produced fast results people could see. How can you do the same with your technology?

  • Why do I need another app or device?

We have so much technology at our fingertips, often empowering us to be more productive, efficient, and interactive. But one can only commit to so much. What makes your app or device uniquely meaningful to millennials? What makes it worth incorporating into a daily routine or wearing on a wrist? 

Most millennials like to have the most popular mobile apps and devices as the interdependence with social networks on these grow (Can you name the last app you used that doesn’t have a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest extension?). For millennials, deciding to purchase and adopt new technology rarely happens in a vacuum. Take advantage of this, and integrate ways for people to interact with and expand their social network. 

  • How can I use technology to build something new?

Watching innovation evolve so quickly drives millennials to solve challenges at a record pace. When there are several competing brands selling the same type of technology, millennials are often drawn to the brands that feature relevance in the modern world and the potential to integrate other technologies. After all, what would the iPhone be without all of the apps?

My experience at DubHacks proved that there is value in offering free tools to showcase why they’re worthwhile. After getting my first real experience working with API’s, I now love to find ways to integrate different ones to make some useful application. 

  • Is it really worth my time and money?

Coming of age during the Great Recession and having the highest rates of student debt than any previous generation, most millennials are accustomed to being frugal and selective in their buying choices. Marketing your solution in a way that quickly catches attention and clearly shows how it can improve one’s lifestyle is essential. 

At the end of the day, to truly be a millennial-savvy technology marketer, always consider how you’re fostering the mutual relationship between your company and millennials. Whether you get them to explore your product through a creative and witty marketing campaign, leveraging the power of social media, or by investing some time and resources to introduce your technology at a hackathon, one thing is certain: you never know what scrappy young innovators may come up with under pressure and fueled by entrepreneurial aspirations and liquid courage (Red Bull and Monster Energy, FTW).

Melissa Galloway wrote this on Dec 7 / There are 0 comments

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