How would entrepreneurs trying to market their business use the growth of mobile ­marketing when targeting ­millennials as prospective customers?

Alexander Ruggie

911 Restoration


In today's marketplace, we see the intersection of two significant trends: the first being millennials becoming an untapped customer group to target, and the second, their rising use of mobile devices.

So how much do millennials actually use their mobile devices? An eMarketer study in April, which included 13- to 24-year-olds in its definition of millennials, found "45 percent of smartphone- and tablet-using 13- to 18-year-olds in the U.S. spent four hours or more using the mobile Internet each weekday, with 28 percent logging on for more than five hours on average. Nearly half of 19- to 22-year-olds spent at least four hours with the mobile Internet every weekday."

Mobile marketing technology is making it possible to leverage beacon technology to serve relevant and real-time opt-in messages based on customers' physical ­locations. For example, marketers are able to push a message to potential customers near one of their brick and mortar locations, or to those who are headed toward a competitor's ­location. The more expansive opportunity is for marketers to leverage this beacon technology to better understand the buying patterns of the target market. For example, do most customers shop one or two competitors, or is it more like four to five? Which competitors do they visit as part of the sales cycle? This information provides marketers with vital insights to create a holistic integrated marketing approach to not only determine where and when to push digital messages via mobile technology, but also where to use traditional marketing, such as billboards, in a complementary fashion.

There's one catch for marketers: "People from across all demographics are flocking to these emerging devices," says Andrew Eklund, founder of Ciceron, "so getting it right for the millennial generation just means you're going to hit everyone in short order."

About the author

Gino Giovannelli is an adjunct professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.