Did that catch your attention? You made it this far, so it must have. But now you are starting to see this isn’t a life or death situation, and that I may have used that title to trick you into reading this blog. Your interesting is fleeting, and you are considering pressing the back button. Odds are by now you already have.
That’s the problem many marketers face today in attempts to reach younger consumers. As more of our culture converges onto smaller devices, so do people’s attentions. When life is reduced to but tweets and snaps, we face the challenge of competing for micro-moments. We have to tell a story in a shorter amount of time, to more media literate group, who actively sees through mass messages, stock photos, and puffery. All companies have the goal of being the needle in a haystack with their marketing. They want to break through the noise with a home run campaign. But the rub of it is, once you break through the noise, it lasts but a moment before you become another needle in a stack needles.
To reach me, you need to have provide me with something. Whether it be quick entertainment, the information I am seeking, (a mix of both) or just being at the right place at the right time. My generation we crave need to have and see the newest things, and we want to feel like we are a part of an experience. But not only be part of it, but we want that experience to be tailored to us, whether it is the beta version of a new app/ game, a contest to show we are up for whatever, a personalized video, or simply to get a public reply on Twitter. We need to feel like our voice is being heard, and we love to show/tell others that it was. This is not just a theory or my simple point of view, you can see this in practice every day. Two easy examples would be to look at the fast food and beer industries. Titans such as McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch, are rapidly losing ground to smaller “craft” shops like Chipotle, Five Guys, and (in Indiana at least) the plethora of craft breweries. The power of custom is something that can’t be ignored. You can’t tell us (in our minds at least) what we need or where we should go. We want to figure that out ourselves. For companies, this means give us a new point of view, even if it is our own, though new eyes.
But there is another side of the coin. While we want to see and have the newest things, we also grew up with media. (Bane Voice) While many generations merely adapted the media, we were born into it. Molded by it. We did not realize its power over us until we were already adults and by then it was too late (End Bane voice). We have what some may refer to as “early onset nostalgia”. We were the 90’s generation and some companies are having great success tapping into that trend. For example reviving older commercials or bringing back a classic blast from the past. Even allowing us to relive childhood with the return old TV shows can cause the homecoming of long gone eyes. Oh let’s not forget the reunion of old friends or the power of actually giving us what we ask for.
We are a hard group to read, we want new, but we love old. There is no one platform that will reach us all, but you will get the most bang for your buck putting money into social media. While there is no key formula or algorithm that will dial in success with us, we respect creativity. Be imaginative, don’t be afraid to try something edgy. We love following controversy, so take a stab at a competitor or offer an olive branch. Companies their media spend, companies need to stop thinking in terms of newspaper, radio and TV. Your customers have evolved, their eyes are no longer there. My generation took all of those medias and combined them to create digital. But again the rub is, as soon as companies begin to figure out one digital platform, the next one already has our attention.
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