What is a Millennial and What is Millennial Technology?
Preface – This is a technology blog, thus this post about millennials will have a very heavy technological bent – millennial technology if you will.
What does a Millennial want from me?
We could just finish this post here with one word. That word being Avocado. There’s your answer.
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Except that’s not it. It’s that kind of lazy stereotyping that shows that X’s and Boomers have failed to get a true understanding of what makes a Millennial tick. This has given rise to the oft quoted phrase “OK Boomer”. As a proud member of the Millennial generation myself, I love Avocado’s, so maybe there is some truth in that stereotype.
How do I keep a Millennial entertained?
“He may be small and green, but he does Ava car do”A phrase popularised by fitness celeb Joe Wickes.
The above quote doesn’t really help us much but it does start us on our journey of defining what a Millennial is.
You see, the Millennial likes to travel, not only likes, they love it.
A generation that appreciates freedom, yet also a generation that travels for work more than any previous. In fact, in recent surveys, it is suggested that as much as 38% of the Millennial workforce travel for their job with regularity (just not always by car).
Millennials, and me personally, have learned that travel for work can be a great thing.
A rise in remote working, a move away from presentee-ism, and improvements in technology gave us a whole new sector of traveller. The Blesuire traveller.
This is the idea that business and leisure can be combined. This can be through remote working or just simply tacking some extra days at the end of a business trip.
The green reference rings true as well, with more interest in environmental issues. Much more attention to global warming and a rise in plant-based diets too. Even I have cut back on my beloved Avocados, after learning that intensive farming in Central America is causing mass deforestation.
Millennials Expect Technology
We have a feel for our generic Millennial now, and remember it’s just that. Like each generation before, every Millennial is unique, just exhibiting a few common characteristics.
When it comes to hotel technology our Millennial travelling often wants the same things as other generations. It’s how they use and respond to it that’s different.
Millennials expect technology to be available at every stage of their hotel experience.
From booking via apps, online check-in (in the same app), and digital keys. These are not revolutionary offerings and have been used by multiple generations for some time now.
The difference is the expectation that it will work. Whereas a boomer or generation X will use these features, but be happy to move to a traditional phone or face to face solution when it doesn’t deliver, the Millennial will be disappointed. More than disappointed, frustrated. I know, because this happens to me with regularity.
So the response is key.
Millennials are not fickle, but they will respond both positively or negatively via their preferred outlets very quickly to tell us about an experience.
Often this is various social media channels.
Now, not every Millennial who crosses the threshold of your hotel is an influencer, but they have the potential to be (and indeed any generation of guest).
This is what we must be aware of.
One short video, photo, status, tweet that resonates with followers can be shared around the world in an instant. One person may not seem like they can hurt your brand, but we’ve all seen the impact of a single video, status or comment gone viral.
Remember when David Attenborough said plastic straws were harming our planet?
So, millennial technology has to be:
- An enabler
Millennial technology is Second Nature
Millennials are much more self-sufficient than we give them credit for. They can keep themselves entertained very well.
As a hotelier, we must use the list above to find our answer. Like many of the areas of hospitality, we must be an enabler. Deploy technology to enable the Millennial to entertain itself.
Time and time again we have seen in-room tablets or apps being used to increase revenue from room service and spa/golf bookings.
I know, because this is the only way I order room service. If this function isn’t available, I just order via another food delivery app and have it delivered to the hotel.
Losing revenue from VOD? Of course, Millennials no longer want to pay for movies, but they do value the ability to watch them! You need to have a clear line between what is a revenue generator, and what is a service you provide to your guests. Just look at the roaring success that is CitizenM.
What do I feed a Millennial?
Apologies for the misleading subheading, especially after following on from comments about F&B. It’s not avocado.
The millennial wants to consume content. Knowledge and content. As a generation that has had information at their fingertips for most, if not all of their lives, they crave it.
Remember, as the hotelier you are the enabler. While you need to provide the technology, you only need to provide a way to access the content.
Let’s not forget that our focus is hospitality. Providing services (as opposed to a service) is a big part of that.
Hotels have always provided access to fine dining, stunning shows and a taste of a lifestyle that people feel they could not afford, we are now in a position of using technology to provide that access.
Millennials (and Gen Z shortly after them) have the highest spend of available income on travel of any generation before.
They have the biggest awareness of what is available out there. They are the fastest to praise and criticise (review).
Can you afford NOT to be their enabler?
So What is Millennial Technology?
Millennial technology isn’t actually a thing.
What we have actually talked about is the technology (content actually) that Millennial travellers equip themselves with. As such you must never lose sight of the common theme running through this post:
You, as the Hotelier, are the enabler.
By providing the required access via your hotel technology, you can ensure the business from this tech-savvy generation. It’s just, instead of employing another concierge, or more MICE staff, you need to invest in the correct hotel technology!
Putting Millennial Technology into Practice
Contact HotelTCS now to let us help you understand how you can enable your guests to entertain themselves.
Hotel Technology Services
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About the Author
James Harrison is a technology consultant who’s main focus is how hotels use technology in the Guest room. James has a passion for both technology and the written word, producing regular content on technology in the hospitality industry. Connect with him for more insights – LinkedIn.
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