It seems like the CEOs and CMOs of every consumer-facing industry are trying to figure out the best strategies to market to the 80 million Millennials in the U.S., which is why the topic is getting so much attention at this year's Fast Casual Executive Summit, said Cherryh Butler, senior editor of FastCasual.com and hostess of the event set for Oct. 13-15 in New Orleans.
"Millennials live on their smartphones, often have expendable income, eat out a lot and are all about social media. That makes them a nearly perfect customer," said Butler, who will moderate a panel to help each restaurant operator learn how to go after the segment.
"The Big (Easy) Idea: Reaching Millennials Via Mobile" will also feature Steve Heeley, CEO of Earl of Sandwich, and Joe Sloboda, the Florida franchisee of VooDoo BBQ. They'll share their successes and failures when it comes to engaging the 18-year-old to 30-something population.
"For Millennials, mass marketing doesn't work. Effective marketing starts with knowing who they are, what they like and building relationships with them and their friends," said the panel's final speaker, Jitendra Gupta, founder and CEO of Punchh, a mobile loyalty company. "Mobile is often the only channel to engage them and get their attention."
Marketing to Millenials will also be the focus of one the Summit's keynote presentations. Jeff Fromm, author of "Marketing to Millennials: Reach The Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever," will share his insights from years of research on the behavior of Millenials.