Respect the Y: How Generational Marketing Could Save Your Business

By on January 20, 2013

Respect the Y: How Generational Marketing Could Save Your BusinessThe Y generation is now at the forefront of consumerism. They are a prime target for any business marketing campaign. Although social media is a strong influence in their lives, there are other marketing methods to utilize that are beneficial to retaining and acquiring customers. You just have to tap into the minds of the Millennials. And, they are growing up.

Who are they and what makes them so influential?

Recognize Your Core Target

The first consideration of any generational change — you don’t think like them. That’s why a shift happens. We see shifts during times of war and times of peace. Most recently, society can look to the unprecedented speed at which technological advancements travel as clarification for the changing times.

Gone are the days when children are taught to read an analog clock. With digital in their faces from the day they are born, why would they want to waste their time on something so ancient, so elementary?

EDELMAN 8095, a global initiative to assist brands in order to engage online users, conducted a study which was released on Dec. 4. It found that not only do those born between 1980 and 1995 have strength over brand engagement and recognition, but they are influencing those around them, especially their Baby Boomer parents.

Implementing Their Style of Learning

The median global age is 28, according to searchenginejournal.com, so 28-year-olds are the audience to target if you are not already trying. The great thing about this generation is that they learn through various ways, most notably — visually and socially. When reaching out the this very large group of potential customers, whether through JangoSMTP, social media, broadcast advertising or mobile marketing (probably not the best group to reach out to with direct mail), tap into the use of color, layout and perspective. Try incorporating infographics and take advantage of crowdsourcing in your Y generation marketing campaign.

Big, Influential and Unique

The study shows that Y is a larger generation and can immediately be reached if approached correctly. Their digital skills are second nature to them, in most cases; so ongoing dialogue is a successful marketing strategy to explore. Once deemed “trophy kids,” Ys feel the effects of the Great Recession and have taken to focusing on the economy, in lieu of allowing their parent to hand them everything. They’re growing up and as they look to job market recovery and financial stability, the 8095 initiative shows they are truly open to being entertained by brands. In fact, 70 percent of them will share their advocacy on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The Approach

Because the number one personal online identifier for the Y generation is brand preference and their goal is to make some sort of positive impact on the world, it’s important for a business marketer to:

  • Add a new level of value to products that enable experience and offer entertainment.
  • Create a new approach to gender marketing, considering the number of women in the workforce and stay-at-home dads increases as the Millenials get older.
  • Know that seven in 10 feel responsible for giving feedback to a company no matter the experience.
  • Take advantage of crowdsourcing because social media is their main brand purchase decision influencer.

8095 encourages business owners to consider the Millennials as their core target audience. It’s important to engage them in conversation online and off. Also, uniqueness and transparency is appreciated. They ask you to keep it real through authenticity and they crave surprise and delight. Capture them, and you could be looking toward a fresh, new future of opportunity.

Sue Corrie keeps up with what is trending in social media and tech. She promotes open source forms of web design and believes that going low budget is not always the way to go if you want to reach your audience. You do get what you pay for, after all.

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.