Millennials and Baby Boomers certainly differ with regards to their aspirations, expectations, and general ways of thinking. They also prefer to communicate using different platforms and methods.
Technology has progressed seamlessly over the last five decades, leaving communication channels and options available that seemed like science fiction when most of today's Boomers were growing up. Both millennials and boomers have their own preferences when it comes to communication, and this is important to consider when businesses outline their communication strategies and business continuity plans.
As technology adapts, so must businesses as they decide the best ways to efficiently market themselves and communicate with their staff, stakeholders, and customers.
What is a Baby Boomer?
A baby boomer is somebody that was born post World War 2. This was a period when birth rates went up as troops returned home to their partners and spouses following years of fighting on foreign shores. Boomers are hard workers and fought hard for equal rights as society was picking itself back up after years of instability and uncertainty during the first and second world wars.
What is a Millennial?
A millennial is somebody who came of age after the year 2000 in the new millennium. Millennials are often considered and refereed to as 'entitled' and sometimes 'ungrateful'. They are of a generation that were told that they could have and achieve anything. They haven't had to live through any serious world wars and have enjoyed a steady advancement of technology throughout their lifetimes.
Such technological advances have made life easier, as tech has made almost everything in the world quicker, simpler, smaller, and more affordable. They are living through a very lucky period in terms of the history of the world. They are used to instant gratification, and this is noticeable as we consider their communication preferences.
How Millennials Prefer to Communicate
It's crucial for businesses to research and take note of millennials communication preferences, as this is essentially the backbone for the future of communication. As businesses consider utilizing mass communication software, they must adhere to the modern methods of communication preferred by millennials in order to penetrate the marketplace, and also keep up with their competitors. Millennials are the most prominently represented group of individuals in today's modern workforce with roughly 53.5 million people.
Millennials don't like talking on the phone. They see it as an interruption to their working day. Why take time out to actually talk on the phone when most messages can be communicated via an email, an SMS, or a social media message?
They have been spoiled with technology that offers instant messaging. There is evidence showing that telephone-based smartphone apps are only the fifth most used app amongst the general public, with instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and Messenger far surpassing in terms of downloads and usage.
68% of millennials admit that they send a lot of text messages on a daily basis. The advantages of text messaging are the speed of which SMS's can be send and received, and also the fact that a text can be read over and thought about before sending, as opposed to phone calls where reactions are instantaneous and there is little time to think before you speak.
Another advantage of the text message is the ability to mass message and send the same message to large groups of people. This saves time and energy and is an efficient way to mass communicate instantaneously and at any time of day.
The medium of email is also very popular amongst millennials, although they don't have the same urgency as a text message, we send out 205 billion every day, and they offer more depth and length then a text message. They are also useful because you can attach video, sound, and documentation to an email. Another beautiful feature of an email is the ability to see when it has been received and read by the recipient. This is a very useful modern communication tool for people both in the work place and at home.
How Baby Boomers Like to Communicate
Put simply, baby boomers prefer to communicate face-to-face. They place emphasis on face to face meetings, phone calls, and team work. They come from a generation before email communications, a time when Skype didn't exist, and the technology that we often take for granted today was literally the stuff of sci-fi legend when they were growing up.
Although many baby boomers are tech savvy, they will often still prefer to meet face to face as they find that this is a genuine way of communicating and getting to know the personality of whoever they are doing business with. They use email, SMS, and internet messaging, but when it comes to doing business the majority of them would prefer to talk over the phone with their prospects or partners.
How Businesses Need to Adapt Their Communications Strategy
Today's businesses need to cater for both millennials and baby boomers when they outline their communications strategy and market their business. When developing a communications strategy or business continuity plan, all businesses must have technology and software in place to reach all parties via their preferred method of communication. Businesses can conduct surveys in order to find out exactly how their partners, staff and customers like to communicate.
Using the data that they have acquired, they can then develop a communications strategy that makes all of their customers and staff feel comfortable when receiving or sending messages back and forth. There is no alternative, businesses need to equip themselves with the technology and data to fully understand how their audiences communicate and utilize this to communicate effectively and efficiently.
The fundamental rules of communication don't change between generations. Listening, remaining impartial, and including all the important details are as important as they have always been. The only difference now is finding and harnessing the correct modes of communication to apply for your business and everybody involved with it.