Today I decided to write an article about generations and marketing approaches because this concept is, in my opinion, commonly overlooked when marketing strategies are formed. It is much easier to have a general approach when it comes to corporate communication. But still distinctive outings catered to sub-groups can be very effective.
Every company should at least concentrate some campaigns with a certain generation in mind. The differences between the perceptions of generations are of importance. So the way to present yourself must be adapted. Studies have shown that defined targeting can be very effective.
Generation Marketing can be defined as marketing targeted to a specific generation based on their preferences, values, attitudes and what they define as cool.
Below an overview of what you probably already know, the divisions:
– GI Generation – born between 1901 and 1926
– Silent Generation / Builders – born between 1927 and 1945
– Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
– Generation X – born between 1965 and 1980
– Generation Y / Millennials – born between 1981 and 2000
– Generation Z – born after 2001
How important Generation Marketing is for your products or services depends on your branch and what you offer. Still it’s something everyone in communication should take into account. Markets always keep shifting to new generations as time passes.
MILLENNIALS - what to consider
The tastes, beliefs, values and way of communication of this generation is growing in importance as the group is now between the age of 20 and 40 years. Take into account that this age-group is less impressed by traditional big budget marketing tactics. They have a clear understanding of how influencing works and will make-up their own mind. They will not eat what they are catered, but instead will have a critical stand towards everyone out there trying to sell them something. They will examine what you offer in great detail, read what others say about you, look at what experts think and share their own experiences.
If you are well presented and perceived in Social media that’s a big plus. Like a badge of acceptance. They want to engage with your brand and see how others engage with it. They will post their feelings without hesitation either good or bad. Especially Instagram is popular as their information channel. They will check your likes and followers to see if what you offer is popular or not. Education, entertainment and engagement are big driving forces on Social Media. If you know how to incorporate these elements in your page. You will be shared positively and these days that’s the best promotion a business can get. And it’s free.
Be real! Show what you are about. You can publish stylish, colorful and perfect graphics and pictures about your product or service, but be sure to balance that out with authentic photos from within your company and real videos. Too much photoshop or color correcting is never a good thing. They want to get to know your business online before getting in touch and scheduling meetings. Show the faces of your sales-team and place a personal quote from them beside it. Engage with them via chats, messenger and comments so they feel you’re an open company, welcoming and warm. Openness and transparency is something they uphold, you should too as a company. This way you will build passion and trust. Influencers that come across as real and straight forward are important for them, so it’s crucial to connect via these icons.
User Generated Content (UGC)
Campaigns online can be very effective when people are triggered to post about a certain topic. They get involved because of positive social aspects around your company or because they benefit from it. Win-a-price campaigns and freebees are common methods to reach bigger audiences online. Millennials are not shy from posting and like to be the center of attention online. They like to be involved with brands they identify with. They can even become great ambassadors for you. Word-of-mouth is still the best promotion a company can get. It’s critical to look at how social proof works. Millennials are always on the look out for what’s hot and what’s the next buzz, afraid to miss out on something. It would be wise to tab into that. Sharing sneak previews or new trends attract followers. A revelation to create a buzz around your brand can be very profitable.
Optimize your communication
Because this age-group is easily distracted and has a short attention span online, be sure your content is captivating. Video and animation is the best way to get noticed in the cluttered digital world. The first 2 seconds of your video must grap the attention directly. Millennials will scroll and pass your post if it doesn’t. Short captioned videos with sound are most effective. Also see to it that you rank well on essential keywords. Finding your business online should be a breeze. The next step is to create unique online experiences that are unforgettable. This last one isn’t easily achieved as there are many great creative minds that have already pushed the boundaries.
Be out there, easy to find and accessible
Be sure to be present on all mayor social channels. See to it that you have a website with clear navigation including all basic information. Opening hours, support tabs, contact information and FAQ are an essential part of your content. Millennials get irritated when they can’t find something within a minute. They are very web-savvy and when they can’t find something, your communication needs an upgrade. Also be sure you listen to their preferences, comments and feedback about what you offer. Companies that are labeled as “customer unfriendly” are bashed and banned. In this day and age reviews matter!
Be a game changer
Future oriented, cutting edge products and services from companies with a modern outlook, whom are socially conscious and environmentally involved, will be rewarded by Millennials. The perception that your company is not only money oriented is essential. There must also be a social responsibility at the basis of your mission, a greater mission in life. Connecting, improving, learning, adapting to the future are seen as properties that all entities should have. So if companies support a healthy life style, try to make a difference in peoples lives or stimulate positive change they will be accepted and shared online. Millennials are forward thinking, authentic and conscious about the world, they expect the same from you.
I hope this article has added to your knowledge about marketing and age-groups. Feel free to share the information.
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About the author
Derek Durgaram is an entrepreneur with a background in business consultancy. He is the brains behind Green Media, a media production company based in Curacao. GreenLine Communication is a spin off of his company, a service that offers insights and project management within the digital media domain.