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Chamber Blog

How Millennials are Influencing and Changing Business

To start off, let me introduce myself. My name is Caitlin Hartley and I am the new events coordinator for the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce. I am pretty new to the Treasure Coast, moving here only two years ago. Originally, I am from Sarasota, FL, born and raised actually. The west coast of Florida is definitely different than over here on the east coast, so I had some adjusting to do. Becoming a part of the team at the Chamber has made that transition so easy, and has really opened my eyes to all different aspects of the business world.


As we have all noticed, times are changing, especially when it comes to the way people do business. Whether it is marketing, advertising, or even sales, most aspects of a business need to change and adapt to keep up with current trends and the younger generation's way of life.

As a fairly recent graduate of the University of Florida, I see the changes all of the time. For example, when I started college, traditional campus maps were still around. About half way into my first year, the only way you could get a campus map was either online or by using their app, they didn’t even have paper maps available anymore. While having a digital version of a map can be very convenient, there are still advantages to paper maps. They provide you a look at an entire area, not just a block at a time, not to mention they are great for advertising opportunities! The Chamber distributes about 5,000 maps of Martin County each year.

Growing up with the latest and greatest technologies readily available, millennials understand technology better than anyone. It comes as second nature. They have been given the “lazy” stereotype because they would rather order something online and have it delivered same day than go to the store and pick it up themselves, while in reality, they are just changing the way business is being done.

Not just a website, but a digital experience.

Websites are evolving, and quickly. Not only do websites need to be easy to use and effective, but they also need to reinforce a digital experience that keeps customers coming back. There can be a product that I really like or want, but if the website is outdated and/or hard to use, or the pricing isn't competitive, I will most likely go somewhere else to get it.

Creating a great design that can be implemented across all platforms is key to creating that digital experience, but it is not the only thing. A good design is just one aspect of the experience. There are many moving parts – the web, engaging apps, ease of use, and expedited delivery of goods and services, to mention a few – and they all have to work together to make the whole experience come to life. If you have a great design, but your website is hard to use or your social media is lacking, it will have an effect on your overall brand.

Social media and buying decisions.

Traditional ads also don’t carry the same value they once used to. TV commercials and print ads are becoming less and less popular thanks to social media and streaming apps. More people, not just millennials, are opting for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime TV, just to name a few, over traditional cable. Even people with cable often DVR their favorite shows and watch at a later time so they can fast forward through the commercials. To be honest, about the only time I ever watch commercials anymore is during the Super Bowl.  

The best way to reach the millennial market is through social media – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Being a millennial myself, I can tell you I check each one of my social media profiles at least once a day, if not more. Every day I see brands my friends like and ads pop up on my newsfeed that are new to me, but they seem interesting and catch my attention, as they tend to be based on my recent usage, so I click. Next thing I know, I just found one of my new favorite brands.

Bottom Line.  Don't be afraid of change!  Contrary to popular belief, change can be a good thing, and in today’s business world, change is necessary. Adapting to keep up with new technologies and ways of doing business may just be the key to growing your customer base. Remember, technology is second nature to millennials, and they can easily help grow your business and set you apart from the rest.

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Stuart, FL 34994

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