There are about 80 million Millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, and they’re rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60. Today, this age cohort ranges from 15 – 30 years old and makes up about one-third of the U.S. population.
The Millennials spend $170 billion a year. This is a combination of their own money and their parents’, the Baby Boomers. They love brands such as Sony, GAP, Aveda, and Apple. Much of this money goes toward feel-good products: cosmetics, posters, and fast-food with the occasional nose ring thrown in. According to current U.S. Census figures, 67.2 percent of this generation can be expected to become homeowners by their mid 30s, which equates to just over 35.5 million households.
To some companies, they are snot-nosed kids with entitle attitudes and indifferences to authority, but to others, they are the key to the company’s future success. They are a generation of multitaskers with cell phones, music downloads, and instant messaging on the Internet. Millennials are the most over-programmed generation ever and have had the concept of balance drummed into their heads since birth by their Boomer parents.
Rather than having one single career, The Millennials, who are just beginning to enter the workforce as the Baby Boomers retire, believe that they will be able to pursue more than one line of work at the same time. Millennials are used to working in teams of diverse coworkers and want to make friends with people at work. They are resourceful, hard workers; but, have a positive work life balance as most will use their lunch breaks to grab an afternoon yoga class.
Although the Millennials rely on their parents when making major decisions there are some key differences between this generation and that of their parents. They don’t respond to the mainstream marketing of television, radio and newspapers. Their world revolves around what’s on their iPods and the Internet. They live in a world that operates at the speed of their index finger, so they don’t expect to wait or be delayed. If they have a question, they want it answered as instantly as possible – preferably by email or text message. Information about their personal life is accessible through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter; therefore, they don’t wait until they run across a friend to exchange information – they text it right now.
They are a sophisticated generation who is influenced by their peers, so the traditional 30-second commercial isn’t going to work with them. Word-of-mouth marketing or product placement advertising on a reality show such as Jersey Shore is a better marketing strategy. According to Micheal Soloman, author of Consumer Behavior, there are four rules that should apply to messaging when speaking to the Millennials through advertising:
- Don’t talk down to them. Let them feel like they are drawing their own conclusions about products.
- Stay true to your brand image and don’t try to be something you’re not.
- Entertain them by making the message interactive and keep the sell short.
- Show that you know what they’re going through, but keep it light.
In addition to fact-base messaging, all tech-savvy marketing vehicles should be appealing to this group. This includes the company Website and e-mail advertisements. Offer webcasts, set up a blog, and provide audio-visual links so they can watch, listen and learn about the product online. Customer service should be top notch. This group’s priorities are simple: they come first. Replies to inquiries or complaints have to be as immediate as possible or they’ll just e-mail someone else who will respond.
What are some innovative techniques used to market to this generation?
“Jumping into social media without clear business objectives is often ineffective. … The biggest risk lies in not doing anything at all.” – Clara Shih
As consumers become more and more demanding and expect anything but a generic sales pitch, social technologies give marketers every opportunity to come to the table more prepared. Clara Shih, author and CEO of social customer management company Hearsay Labs, asserts that Facebook is the future of CRM. Do you agree or disagree with this notion?
Clara Shih says that social technologies are rewriting all the rules of communication that we have come to learn since the Internet revolution of the 1990s. Social technology is an era of human connectivity on a scale never before seen, and altering every aspect of the customer life cycle. In my opinion, Facebook is definitely a tool for marketers to use in customer relationship management (CRM); however I don’t agree that it can’t stand on its own as the future of CRM.
By its own definition, Facebook says the online social network is about giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. With over 500 million active users, marketers and salespeople need to be where customers are and need to communicate through the channels customers prefer. Facebook is where they are.
And because Facebook is where consumers are, it makes the old CRM systems a thing of the past. Unless they are monitored closely, companies struggle to keep their system updated. Most information seems to be outdated before someone has time to upload it. Without an effective CRM system, companies not only lose money in return postage and extra mailings, the also lose potential business in undelivered e-mail messages and trust due to lack of communication. With Facebook, the client keeps this information updated for you.
Does Twitter have a place at the CRM table? A major difference between Facebook and Twitter emerges in their methods of communication. Twitter is like a giant party where you know no one but wish to make many friends. In contrast, Facebook would be a wedding reception filled with family and friends. In reference to this comparison, the only room for Twitter at the CRM table is the appetizer. Twitter is simply a conversation starter or a place where persons without profiles can merely state their claim. Facebook give marketers a little more meat to work with. If a claim is made about a certain brand on Facebook, the marketer can check their profile information to see if that individual fits the profile of their target consumer. With Twitter, identifying profile information becomes a little more challenging.
Another platform that would be effective in CRM is LinkedIn; however only in one aspect – contact information updates for business networking. In fact, LinkedIn would be a more useful tool in this arena. Over 100 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities. Key word here is professionals. As a general rule for myself, I use LinkedIn for business and Facebook for my personal social life. I keep the two completely separated
First Lady Michelle Obama stated, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” But what if inspiration creates a passion to explore a new brand that ultimately drives sales?
This YouTube sensation by Purple Feather, an online content development company, makes a very powerful statement about how choosing the right words to express meaning can dramatically improve the message. The content marketing in this short film can be viewed as both a clever marketing message and a bittersweet personal story.
As a marketing piece, it displays the talents of Purple Feather. As a personal story, the message from the video reminds marketers at best that it’s our job to make certain the content is delivered in a clever way that resonates with the audience. Does inspiring millions of people around the world to change their words equal a marketing success story? Through the power of social media, this video campaign reached more than 15 million viewers and ultimately raised brand awareness for Purple Feather; which, was the strategic goal of the campaign.
The success for Purple Feather’s brand awareness would not have been possible without the YouTube’s social media power. Pinterest and Tumblr are other examples of how inspiration marketing supports the growth of new business. Both are brand-building tools that drive traffic to sites of participating brands.
Sharing images is nothing new to the Internet, but the key to success for Pinterest has been social. And, Because it provides both a picture and the ability to link it off site, the uses for eCommerce are exciting. To get people on board, the company took a grassroots marketing approach that encouraged meetings at local boutiques, and took fun pictures of people who attended them, and engaged with bloggers to do invitation campaigns like “Pin It Forward,” where bloggers got more invites to the site by spreading the word.
Tumblr, pulls together the best features of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogging to create a social media site that’s easy to use and up and coming. It also allows users to have more control over the timing of their posts with the Queue System. Users can upload seven types of media – text, photos, quotes, links, dialogue, audio, video. The social network that emerges out of Tumblr is interesting because it’s driven by content, not by the social graph; therefore, the content spreads quickly.
I recently met up for drinks with some old colleagues after work. After a round of personal update from each of us, the conversation turned to shop talk. I asked if the advertising campaign that I left in concept stage over a year ago ever took off. They all looked at each other and with laughter said they weren’t advertising anymore. Advertisements in the weekly business journal were eliminated because their consumer base said they simply didn’t look at the ads anymore. Nice research. Bold response. Instant budget booster. Maybe for print, but what about everywhere else?
Print advertising slowly faded in popularity over the years to display advertising. Display advertising is the most common and longest standing formats in online advertising. However, among the most recent predictions for social media trends, those in display advertising should be sweating bullets. The death of the 468×60 banner ad is upon us as it only accounts for 3% of web impressions. As we enter into Q4 of 2012 the next months are critical in the history of the social web. It is predicted that display advertising will increasingly be diverted to social media in a variety of ways that will continue to keep the consumer on their toes.
The key to engaging consumers is now simplicity. The idea of being interrupted while viewing content is a thing of the past. “You’re dealing with an entirely new breed of customer. You can no longer market to them. You must market with them,” says Matt Goodard of R 2 Integrated. As a result, the market will see an explosion in mobile and social web advertising. Mobile ad impressions grew a whopping 250% between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, providing yet more evidence that mobile is really here in a very big way.
As Facebook ups its efforts to make money on mobile advertising, it’s likely that other social networks will follow its lead. Brands that have invested in mobile advertising with Facebook were able to reach a broader audience and saw a 50 percent higher click-through rate compared with other mobile channels.
What are some possible downfalls to advertising on the social web and through mobile?
You can call my daily Facebook reading a social habit, but I’m among the 58 million Americans who just can’t stop the scrolling. Long gone are the days that I used to have to wait to get to a computer to find out the the daily news or to check my e-mail to get the latest gossip from a friend. Now, with mobile technology, I’m able to catch up on just about everything from my Facebook newsfeed, including trends and incredible savings from my favorite brands.
The presence of online communities allows consumers to exchange information about products or services, and to compare prices among competitors. This has also meant that marketers have lost control over how and where their products are presented to potential customers. Marketers are having to push the web boundaries a little and engage consumers on an entirely new level at an extremely rapid pace. Pushing those boundaries still include the good ole’ practice of delivering supreme customer service in a way that is personal and of course without lots of effort or much entertainment for the consumer.
So what innovative techniques are marketers doing to cause consumers to slow their scroll? Below are three innovative social media marketing techniques that have been implemented by various companies.
Martell Home Builders takes advantage of geolocation technology by mounting GPS tracking devices on their contractors’ vehicles, making it easy for their customers to always know where their contractor is when on the job. By providing real-time, socially connected customer service, you’re able to create even more trust with your clients.This eases the customer’s mind and allows Martell to extend even greater customer service.
Make your fans stars.
Zappos has a “Fan of the Week” contest where they encourage fans to send in their photos with the Zappos box and other fans get to vote on the best photo of the week. Brainstorm ways you can use social media to make your fans the stars. The more you spotlight your fans and followers on your social media channels, the more often they’ll engage with you and come back for more.
Create an experience.
Cranium, a game by Hasbro, takes board games to the next level by including fun activities like drawing, singing, acting and trivia questions.To make their experience more social, Cranium does a great job of using content from the game to engage with their fans. Create experiences on your social channels. Think of ways to spread your message by getting people to interact with you in fun and interesting ways.
What are ways you’ve been able to get consumers to slow their scroll?
Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Bridgett Rose, a graduate student at WVU studying Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). This blog will be used to support topics about emerging media for the next nine weeks. Topics will be about how modern industry uses emerging media, such as blogs and virtual worlds, to enhance the IMC process. It will also address the creative and ethical issues unique to digital media.
I look forward to your feedback!