smartWith one third of retail spending in the next five years coming from the Millennial generation (those born in 1977-1995), marketing strategy has to accommodate the needs of a generation that is accustomed to getting what it wants. Whether it is the playlist on his phone, the custom coffee bean in her drink, or our stacked DVR List at home, us Millennials don’t have to experience anything we haven’t explicitly chosen.

A successful marketing strategy should ask the question: What do consumers want? And, how do we get it to them? Today’s consumers want a relationship with brands that deliver a personalized experience and those brands do not understand and respond to these needs will fail.

So how do we get it to them?

What has been the most popular word in technology in the last few years? Smart. Smart phone, Smart TV, Smart house, Smart car. What makes these things smart? A customized, individualistic experience with a device.

Smart brand? Yes. That is next because it’s what Millennials want — a brand that gives consumers a personalized experience. We want to interact with the brand, we want to share with the brand, and we want to share the brand with our community.

I was luckily able to attend a Dodger game recently. As I walked in with a season ticket-holding friend, Ben, his Dodger Stadium app greeted him at our arrival and displayed sports highlights and statistics from past games. Ben felt welcome because the app made an effort to address him personally.

What if we took this idea to the next level? Why stop there? It’s not only possible but it seems like the only next step is that this app will soon not only recognize where Ben is but also what Ben wants. What did he order last time he was here? Is there a deal in the Dodger store that would interest him? That shirt he wanted last game but they didn’t have the right size, is it available in a large now? The answers to these questions are the tailored experiences that consumers will soon demand from their brands.

How do brands access this information? How do brands interact with their consumers? It’s those smart mobile devices. Today’s consumers spend so much time on their mobile devices that it adds up to an astonishing 23 days a year.

What does this mean?

  1. Brands will need to put mobile marketing in the forefront of their strategy.
  2. Brands that do not adapt to this fundamental change in marketing are in trouble.
  3. Consumers will demand a software that seamlessly integrates consumer smart phone data and shares it with the appropriate apps in order to deliver a customized, tailored brand interaction.

People are ready for this type of mobile brand interaction which means brands need to catch up. Millennial consumers are anxious for mobile interactions to be tailored to them leading to powerful cooperation with brands. A smart brand is one that makes a customer feel like the VIP in every room. Brands that take off during this smart mobile revolution will be the smartest brands out there.

Featured guest blogger: Will Adams for AirPatrol