Everybody wants to market to – and do business with – Gen Y and with good reason. Gen Y is the 2nd largest population in American history (second only to the Baby Boomers) and as they are between the ages of 19 – 33, they are hitting the workforce, earning salaries, starting families and forming brand preferences now that they may have for life.
Much has been written about how lucrative a market segment Gen Y is. They’ll spend their money on anything that pleases them. But it’s also widely understood that Gen Y is elusive and hard to reach. They can be fickle and they’ll change brands in a heartbeat if you’re no longer relevant or meeting their needs.
In order to be relevant, you’ve got to know what people care about. So here are five things that Gen Y cares about in doing business with you:
1) Demonstrated commitment to diversity
Gen Y has never known the Civil Rights movement or segregation. They have grown up with diverse playgrounds and friends and colleagues of every background.
Many marketers are busy developing, enhancing and tracking their company’s presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But it’s critical as we expand these newer marketing frontiers that we not neglect “traditional” online marketing tools like email and search.
A Pew Research Center study from earlier this year shows that, although use of social network sites has grown rapidly, email and search are still the most popular online activities. This is true for men and women, across race and ethnic groups and across all age groups. Ninety-two percent of online adults use search engines to find information online and the same number use email. In fact, through the last decade (when Pew began measuring Internet use), email and search have consistently ranked as the most popular online activities despite new platforms and devices affecting Internet usage.
You may be surprised to know that the youngest online adults (18-29) were most likely to use email. Or that search engine use is most popular among the youngest users (age 18-29). Even among the oldest Internet users (age 65+), 87 percent use search engines and 37 percent use them daily.
OK. I get it. You’ve finally gotten your Facebook strategy in place. The blog is an ongoing time bandit. And you’re behind on your tweets for the week. The last thing you need is another social media platform to tackle.
But in “5 Reasons Marketers Should Pay Attention To Google+” on MediaPost, Lee Vann provides a good rundown on why Google+ could represent a real opportunity for Hispanic marketers. You may have heard that Google’s month-old social networking platform is the fastest-growing site in history (attracting 25 million visitors in the first month). But Vann suggests five reasons Google+ should be of particular interest to Hispanic marketers:
1. Hispanics are active social media users
2. Hispanics are early adopters of technology
3. Unprecedented launch and adoption
4. Facebook has become a viable platform for engaging Hispanics
5. It’s Google
Of course the jury is still out on Google+. Visitors do not necessarily equal regular users and a social media site is only useful if your social circle is actively using it. (A new analysis of the platform says that 48% of Google+ users have never made a single public post.) But if we’ve learned anything in this rapidly changing media environment, it’s the importance of staying up to date. Marketers: keep an eye on Google+.
Many U.S. corporations are ignoring the most obvious path to growth, says Lili Gil at the Huffington Post. With 2012 planning underway, companies are seeking “that one golden nugget that will set them apart”, says Gil. “When it comes to the hard numbers around contribution, growth and key drivers of volume in America’s top markets, we come back to one answer: Latinos are the engine for growth.”
We’ve been sharing this message with clients for years, but the 2010 Census has brought new focus and new hard-to-ignore population numbers. And Gil’s four minute video does a good job of summarizing what she calls “THE market that is driving all the growth”. Take a look:
To many Brand Managers at large, national companies, marketing to U.S. Hispanics is nothing new. And everyone is paying even more attention to their strategy in light of the huge Hispanic population numbers reported in the 2010 U.S. Census. But what if you’re in a regional or local market that may have seen significant Hispanic population growth and you know this market is important but you don’t where or how to begin?
A good place to start is to check out the Census data in your market. The Pew Hispanic Center has organized state and county U.S. Census data for easy download. Grab the spreadsheets for your market and compare 2000 versus 2010 Hispanic population, Hispanic share of total and percent change in Hispanic population.
To learn more about the results of the U.S. Census Hispanic count, go to the Census Bureau’s Hispanic Brief, “The Hispanic Population: 2010”. This map is from the Brief. All the dark blue areas represent counties that have at least doubled their Latino population in the last 10 years. That’s a trend that no marketer can afford to ignore.
Inappropriate (or “oops!”) Tweets have become the stuff of social media legend. A post on Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert blog reminds us of three types of Tweets to avoid and how to respond if the horse is already out of the barn. (Complete with examples that are destined for the “Oops! Hall of Fame”.)
In “Train Wreck! The 3 Types of Self-Destructive Corporate Tweets”, we’re cautioned not to accidentally send a tweet from the company, instead of our personal Twitter handle. Other mistakes result from poor listening and/or inappropriate communication – tweets that are “Tone Deaf” or that cross the “TMI” line. Training and company guidelines are critical to help employees understand what is appropriate and what should be filtered.
Of course, accidents or errors in judgment will happen and Jay shares great examples of how to respond with humor and grace. The description of each destructive type is followed by solid, real-world examples of how to manage the fallout from cringe-worthy Tweets.
The buzz over QR Codes continues to build. It seems like everyone is trying to get up to speed on this fast-growing marketing tool. A recent post by Matthias Galica at mashable.com highlights “5 Big Mistakes To Avoid in Your QR Code Marketing Campaign”. Matthias makes some great points, some obvious, others less-so.
Obvious and important are things like making sure you’ve tested your code. Matthias cautions us not let creative get too carried away with a code that is visually interesting, but isn’t readily scanable. I’m reminded of an old-tech example: a mailing label for our company (years ago) that was cleverly designed, but didn’t meet post office requirements. The result was a great-looking label and packages that were consistently delivered to the “return address” – our firm.
Matthias goes on to list some more technically involved mistakes to avoid. Things like assuring that the page served up is mobile-device friendly. Or assuring that your QR Codes appear where there’s an available data signal. He uses a recent Red Bull campaign as an example – the QR code was in a New York City subway, an environment not known for its signal friendliness.
I got a call yesterday from a colleague who is in the television production business. They shoot, edit and produce a lot of TV commercials for car dealers. He was calling me because the spot they’re creating for their auto dealer client was in Spanish and prominently featured the dealership’s website at the end. His question for me was, “They have nothing on their website in Spanish. So if the call to action is to go to their website and there is nothing there for a Spanish-speaker, isn’t that a really bad thing?”
The answer, of course, is yes, it’s a bad thing. In fact, one could go a step further and say it’s a stupid thing. But I have to admit, sadly, that I wasn’t surprised. We see this all the time: marketing efforts in Spanish designed to entice the Spanish-speaking consumer, coupled with a lack of infrastructure support to actually serve that potential customer.
We recommend to all of our clients that they prepare their business for the Spanish-speaking consumer before a dime is ever spent on Hispanic marketing. Too many advertisers are eager to jump into the Hispanic marketing arena without adequately anticipating and preparing for what the consumer will want and need before, during and after the sales process.
We call this Hispanic Operational Readiness and it’s a cornerstone of our client marketing plans. What operational readiness means is examining every aspect of your business through the “lens” of the Hispanic consumer and identifying those areas or processes that need to be modified to best serve them.
You’ve heard the expression “the cobbler’s children have no shoes?” It references the old fable about the cobbler who was so busy making shoes for his customers that his own children went barefoot.
That’s how I have felt about launching our blog. I preach it to my clients and I fully understand how important blogging is, but I never found time to actually write the posts for our own blog. How embarrassing. And ironic.
Well, welcome to the “How to Market to People Not Like You” blog. This is a place where you’ll find useful tips, trends and commentary on diversity and diversity marketing. By diversity, I don’t just mean racial or ethnic diversity. My definition of diversity is any way in which you are different from me. Or any way in which we are different from each other.
When you think of diversity in this way, you realize that it can take many forms: gender, political beliefs, religious views, whether you reside in a rural or urban area, age and generational differences, sexuality, hobbies or special interests, whether you’re in the military or civilian life, whether you’re foreign born or native born – you get the idea.
About the Book
If you could grow your business simply by marketing to your existing customers, making money would be a cakewalk. But to generate new revenue, you have to win over the customers you’re not getting. Who are these mystery customers? How are they different from your current clientele? Most importantly, how do you forge a bond with them across these differences?
Communication is so vital, especially in the face of an innovative idea. Finding opportunities is a constant challenge, but making connections is the key to seeing those opportunities come to life. I continue to be impressed by the information you provide, Kelly - thanks for sharing!
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