The generational group called Millennials includes the majority of your prospects with young children. Born between 1981 and 1999, they will differentiate themselves from X-ers in both the enrollment pursuit and in their selection of early care and education provider.
As reported in a recent Exchange EveryDay post, a New York Times article (November 30, 2013), “Millennial Searchers,” observes… “Today’s young adults born after 1980, known as Generation Y or the millennial generation, are the most educated generation in American history and, like the baby boomers, one of the largest.
Distinguishing markers for this generation include an ultra connection to media, including entertainment media, social media, etc. they have grown up with high speed digital technology available 24/7. Many Millennials were raised in positive environments in what they thought were relatively affluent families. Though they have a more generous outlook than the skeptical X-ers, it can be colored with a sense of entitlement. The “nothing less than a Lexus” attitude of some causes them to hold businesses to high standards of service delivery. The economic downturn was a rude awakening for this group, many of whom feel underemployed and strapped with college debt they thought they would be able to pay off easily.
Center directors and early care and education providers in any setting who are attempting to convert inquiries from Millennials into enrollments must be mindful of the perceptions they bring to the table in researching and selecting preschool and child care. While X-ers will be more concerned about functional issues, such as safety and convenience, a typical Millennial will want to be assured that their child will get all the attention they feel he or she deserves. If early education is important to them, they will also have extremely high expectations of the level of kindergarten readiness you can achieve with their preschooler. They will also expect your school age program to be far more than homework and what they see as a few enrichment activities.
“It can seem like Millennials want their children to be in Pre-Calculus by the time they reach Kindergarten,” jokes Robert Wendover, Director of the Center for Generational Studies.
If your prospect is politely listening to your explanation while simultaneously checking the smart phone in his or her lap, you are likely working with a Millennial who is online checking you against the competition while you speak.
Watch future posts to learn effective marketing and conversion techniques to use with these two generational groups of early care and education buyers.
Further Resources – Robert Wendover at firstname.lastname@example.org.