Welcome to the New Millenials1 May, 2008 By: Sarah Littman Response
The generation born between 1982 and 2002 — also known as Generation Y — exerts its spending power and drives marketers to rethink different avenues to gain a direct response to their campaigns.
The Age of Micro-Targeting
The challenge for companies hoping to tap into the lucrative youth market is to find ways to engage kids wherever they are, whether it's on the Internet, on TV, on the radio, their mobile devices or through viral marketing activities. These days, one's advertising approach has to be fragmented just as the media is fragmented. "You can't put all your eggs in one basket and hope for the best," says Carter.
"The first step is picking the right tactics," according to Mr. Youth's Britton. With the abundance of options available to today's youth, they will only consume specific media. "Advertisers need to 'micro-target' the message to make sure it's relevant because kids are only going to consume media that interests them."
Some companies are finding creative ways to engage consumers with that kind of micro-targeting. Recently, Lions Gate Entertainment teamed up with GGL Global Gaming, which provides a social networking environment for video gamers, to create an online community for its martial arts film Forbidden Kingdom with Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
In 2005, Aldo partnered with YouthAIDS to launch the cause markeing campaign Aldo Fights AIDS, which has raised nearly $3 million. The shoe company s sales have increased 40 percent, with the campaign providing a huge marketing boost.
It's a natural fit because, "Every single one of our audience is going to go see that film and putting [content] in front of them is like candy," explains Greg Johnson, GGL's chief marketing officer. For Lions Gate, he adds, "It's a completely different experience than they would get on other sites."
For marketers looking to reach males in the 18-34 demographic, an environment like GGL's makes a lot of sense. "We've got inside access to video gamers who are often big influencers in technology, so for people like tech retailers and technology brands it makes a ton of sense because they're getting access to these guys inner stuff, what they really want to do and pay attention to," Johnson contends. "Better yet, it's not just a two-minute engagement with customers — it's a long engagement."
Fuse Marketing has worked with PepsiCo's Mountain Dew brand since 1998 and Carter views them as another example of a good youth marketer. "They've spread messaging through many different platforms and are willing to roll with changes as they come," he says. "They're willing to be both a traditional advertiser on radio, TV and print but they also do event marketing and have learned to use the Web the way teens use it, not just as a giant billboard."
Is Gen-X Being Left Behind by Marketers?
Whereas some companies will just upload their 30-second TV spot to YouTube and think they've got online content, Carter explains, "Pepsi will ask, 'What can we build on MySpace or Facebook or YouTube that will actually make sense and make us look like we're part of what's going on here?'"