Millennials are a brave bunch. How many “doomsdays” have we lived through? Now we have learnt to live for the now. When techno gadgets abound, Millennials are looking for experiences to remember, even though our Snapchat posts about them will be gone in a, well, snap.
Eco conscious, needing just the right amount of community time and yet exclusivity, we seek connections with our brands.
Snap up social media opps
Snapchat has changed the face of social media communication. Sponsored Snapchat lenses by brands are a digitised, virtual reality way to put your brand out there and be on the pulse. Snapchat is über popular with Millennials, and geofilters and lenses are a great way to create hype around an event.
Snapchat is capitalising on the trend of providing condensed information for an attention-challenged target audience. Social media is so powerful that sharing tourism experiences via social media apps has blurred the line between travel advisor and tourist.
Millennials love photo opps for social media. So it’s best you make marketing ventures as well as daily activities an aesthetically pleasing experience. For example boutique gyms are doing well for their stylish take on what would be a daily grind. Brands are also seizing opportunities to be part of our daily routines in other ways, with pop-ups appearing in commuter spaces.
Millennials are considered an anxious generation, so we seek escape and adventure. Experience-driven moments and social interaction take us away from a digital focus. Allow us to feel young and carefree again and we will reward you with great reviews and returning support for your brand.
Brands that offer milestone exhibitions worthy of an art gallery are an escape into a dazzling world of visual illusions and a photo opp fest. They make the viewer feel youthfully engaged. Offline publicity stunts have an ironic counter-effect of increasing online customer traffic.
Offline connectivity fuels online engagement
Takeovers are a key marketing trend. With a sense of urgency due to their time-sensitive nature, takeovers provide touch-points with the consumer. They are brand celebrations and memorable, experience driven opportunities.
Flagship stores are another opportunity to touch base with the consumer. They set themselves apart by offering the unexpected, like customisation booths.
Customisation allows an extension of yourself through the brand, and a feeling of connection to something in the material sense and the esoteric sense through what the brand represents. Customised health solutions lend themselves to this ideally.
In-store entertainment makes shopping an experience. A sense of community is fostered through communal shopping experiences which help the consumer learn more about the products and encourage personal growth.
Think group artisanal “how-to” experiences in stores. On the other end of the spectrum, members-only exclusivity is a climbing trend. High quality and one on one service lends a sense of intimacy in a globalised, expansive climate.
Brands releasing documentaries on their areas of expertise and knowledge likewise works with the trend of self-advancement and building on what you’re good at. Training and recruitment is approached by way of game set-ups, in a more lighthearted and less intimidating way. Brands are offering niche training and sponsored apprenticeships.
Brands are also asking consumers to prove themselves and thereby claim status in some way. Be it a yoga fest or triathlon, this striving for more and digging deep together cultivates community and collaboration. It is again an experience to write home about that generates plenty of hype.
Emotional, sentimental, behind the scenes ad campaigns show the work that goes into achievements, as with ads featuring the Olympians.
Wellness and Well-being
While keeping track of personal routines can be done digitally, wellness extends to extreme excursions like glacial picnics, and adrenaline holidays. The trend is to highlight wellness in extreme ways.
Futuristic food experiences like 3D printed food and human tear cocktails take the culinary arts to the next level. Workshops to gain artisanal knowledge show the self-development trend goes beyond your traditional cheese and wine evening. “Foody” cocktails to nourish, rejuvenate and offset the harmful effects of alcohol are becoming highly popular.
Brands with a conscience
We see the integration of nature into the urban and interior for tranquility and connection to the environment for well-being.
Billboards that double as community gardens serve an eco-purpose as well as being unusual and forward thinking marketing tools. Zero waste grocery stores are popping up, as the trend towards eco-consciousness and sustainability grows.
Outspoken fashion and play wins the day. We see toys aimed at equality and diversity. Gender neutral children’s products are allowing the youth to grow up naturally without being groomed into predetermined gender roles.
Teens are taking a stand against stereotypes and choosing brands that allow them to show their support for a cause.
Co-branding means you are buying into a lifestyle, not just buying a car, and budget brands under the umbrella of a trusted bigger brand bring a sense of a reliable and established reputation.
Collaborations bring the benefit of more than one perspective and a greater outreach.
Schedule an adult play date style takeover for your brand serving health food infused cocktails, with lush, eco-conscious decor. Include some sort of extreme challenge in the experience.
Be sure to offer a workshop that helps the consumer gain insight into the background and motivations of your brand and/or production process of your product, and give them the opportunity to customise something to take home with them. Sound good? If not, turn your tears into cocktails and serve chilled.
Ask These 3 Questions To Determine Where To Spend Your Marketing Budget
Stretching your marketing budget is imperative, especially when there aren’t that many marketing rands to stretch.
As you grow your business, it’s important to be creative and efficient with your money. When it comes to marketing, there are a number of cost-effective ways to spend and save your money. So, if you’re worried about marketing on a limited budget, here’s some helpful info to know.
First, great marketing is about highlighting wants and needs and attaching them to desired outcomes. It’s possible to do that regardless of budget — and every company’s strategy will be different.
For example, when my consultancy worked with Dollar Shave Club to grow its platform beyond viral videos, we focused on establishing a unique voice, which led to creating an editorial component. When we worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger on his fitness and nutrition products, we focused on creating a core mission and understanding why he was involved in the product. And when we worked with Four Sigmatic to market its coffees and teas, we focused on customer acquisition and retention.
3 Questions that Cut Through the Clutter
Those projects all started with the same three questions: What is the value and purpose of your product or service? Who is your target audience? And what is the best platform on which to reach them? That’s where you’ll want to invest most of your attention before you determine where to spend your money. (Notice my word choice: Your planning is an investment; where you spend is a cost.)
1. In general, we prefer to use digital campaigns
It’s easier to track what works and what doesn’t. Plus, digital creates multiple opportunities to engage. Think of it this way: 10% of your audience will buy, 10% won’t and 80% will be on the fence. Would you rather have one shot to convince that 80%, or multiple? By retargeting through something like Facebook ads or Google, or even creating a distribution channel like an email list, you can communicate repeatedly.
2. If you don’t have an audience, spend money fishing in small ponds where you know you can get a bite, and then set yourself up to communicate repeatedly
(This is where creating content as a form of acquisition or building an email list can be incredibly valuable.) Depending on your product or service, this could mean a very targeted ad to a small audience on Facebook — rather than attempting to reach millions — or setting up a pop-up shop, or getting a spot at a local farmers’ market.
3. If you already have an audience, turn them into super-fans who will bring their peers into your universe
Identify previous buyers and give them direct access to you through focus groups or calls. Reward them for their time with product or a gift certificate. When you show your consumer that you care about and appreciate them, it not only increases the likelihood of repurchase but also helps them personally invest in the soul of the business. Not to mention, their insights will help you understand why they bought and how to replicate that process.
Whatever you do — and no matter how big or small your budget — keep finding better answers to the core marketing questions and your success won’t hinge on any one platform.
Gen Z Is Coming! Are You Ready?
How do you market your company to this generation?
According to the CNBC, about 61 000 Gen Zers are on the verge of entering the workforce and consumer market in the US alone.
They are digital natives; they have grown up in a world of vines, txts (yes, we know) and internet. Their attention span is shorter than ever, they are more connected than any other generation, and they are brilliant multitaskers. Gen Z is a more tolerant generation but also more cautious; studies have found less risk-taking amongst this group and an increase in thoughtfulness and questioning authority.
So, on the one side of this coin, how do you market your company to this generation?
1. By being transparent
Be upfront about your business, what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They have lost faith in corporations. Thus, you must stop relying on and hiding behind small print. Yes, you need terms and conditions to protect your company, but when it looks like a miracle weight-loss advert of the 80s (“Eat anything you want just take this pill. Ts&Cs apply.”), you’ll lose customers.
Related: Investing in Young Entrepreneurs
Gen Z consumers want to see you are real; they don’t want models or celebrities but regular people who can assist them in a manner that speaks to them. And they will hold your business is socially accountable. Instead of producing millions of T-shirts at the cheapest possible price, they want local, equality and free-trade, and they want to know what businesses are doing for the environment and society.
Gen Z won’t accept your claims at your word; they want to see evidence in your company culture.
2. By offering options
A jewellery purchasing study has found that most Gen Zers don’t have a preferred shopping platform. What this means is your messaging, availability and culture need to be spread evenly across all contact points – sales, call centres, website and digital advertising. In fact, many Gen Z consumers rely on mixing their contact points.
That being said, they want immediate action. If they see something they want online, they will go to the shop just to have the item right now. More than immediacy, they also want custom-made or made-to-order products and services. They shy away from traditional made-to-stock methods, which creates plenty of room in the production industry.
3. By being forward thinking
We have to always remember what was mind-blowing inventions to other generations are the norm for Gen Zers. They hold brands and businesses to high expectations, and instead of being loyal to brands, expect brands to be loyal to them. As Gen Z is more focused on individuality, they are also proving to be a generation with a high entrepreneurial output. All this shows that they don’t want the norm; they don’t crave what’s new today, they want tomorrow, sustainability and innovation, and they want it now.
On the other side of the coin, how do you attract this generation to work at your company? In much the same way.
1. By being transparent
As much as you are hiring them based on what they bring to the table, so too are they looking at what you can afford them. But, they don’t just want to hear you tell them about the benefits, they want to see it – and they are not after just money. Gen Zers want to be financially secure, but also one that is fulfilling; one where they find purpose in their jobs and company.
2. By offering options
Gen Z employees don’t want to work eight to five, they don’t want to be chained to a desk, and they don’t want to be micro-managed. Give them flexibility on how they want to conduct their work and how they can communicate with their colleagues. Create an understanding workspace for their needs and help them improve their skills – for instance, it’s been reported that a stumbling block for Gen Zers is communication. Growing up with emojis and text messages make face-to-face conversations, business calls and writing emails difficult for them.
Gen Z employees want to work hard and grow their skills. Even though they’re growing up in a super-paced society, they want to climb the corporate ranks at the given speed. What they crave, with urgency, is gaining value from their jobs.
Related: The Z Generation
3. By being forward thinking
They are lateral thinkers, and their creativity is not just outside the box but has broken the box completely. Gen Z is incredibly tech-savvy, and they will challenge the systems and procedures you have in place if these are not providing the needed speed and data required. Thus, they crave to work in an environment where they can push boundaries and ultimately help the company move forward. Hiring from the Gen Z pool can provide you with innovative insights into your business that can grow it towards tomorrow’s giants.
The only way to be sure you are future-proofing your business is by guaranteeing it caters for future customers and employees, by relying on forward-thinking enterprise resource planning software, for instance. Epicor ERP software ensures that their clients stay agile and innovative through trusting top minds to build and develop intelligent systems that open doors for Gen Zers. It’s Epicor’s innate tech-savviness that allows them to visualise the landscape of tomorrow and develop the software to support it today.
Free Sample Marketing Plan Template
You don’t need an MBA to write a marketing plan for your business. While no two businesses are alike, all solid marketing plans need to provide specific information. Use this sample marketing plan template to get you started on the right foot and cover all the essential information.
Your marketing plan should provide a comprehensive blueprint of the business, its market and associated market activity, its position in the market, target and expected customers, offerings, competition, solutions and contingency plans.
Using a sample Marketing Plan Template can save you a lot of time in creating your own marketing plan.
Download a Sample Marketing Plan Template
Use the free templates below to help make sure you’ve covered all the important bits:
Recommended Marketing Reads:
- Smart Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
- Mega Guide to Online Marketing
- Marketing Toolbox for the Entrepreneur
- The Ultimate Marketing Tool Library for Entrepreneurs
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