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Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You

If you build it, will they come?

How many times can the same thing be written? It seems that the topic of conversation in every publication or blog over the last few months has been about how to reach the youth market. This marketing attempt at a “youth invasion” is nearly always focused on the integration of social media into existing campaigns.

So with all that said, how refreshing is it to see Fast Company’s article, Millennials Don’t Think Like Their Parents. How Do You Design For Them?

The magazine hits this over-hit topic from a new angle by specifically focusing on Chevy’s efforts to reach this demographic through its automotive design aesthetic. Chevy has spent significant dollars and time studying Millennials and has run numerous small and creative campaigns to learn more about them.

So what did they learn?

To sum up Chevy’s “youth guru”, John McFarland, Millennials are more interested in the sum of the whole than their Gen X predecessors. So what does this mean? It means that Millennials aren’t the rebels that Gen Xers were, that the current youth market is content to integrate their own identities with those that came before.

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Research Shows Need to Look Deeper When Targeting U.S. Hispanics

Marketing to Hispanics is an extremely lucrative proposition. Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the past ten years, and are projected to control $1.5 trillion dollars in spending power by 2015. It should be no secret that the Hispanic marketing has the opportunity of a huge payoff for U.S. businesses.

At the same time, advertisers have to better know exactly who in the Hispanic market they are aiming for because a recent report from the Pew Research Center shows Hispanics have very different views of their identity based not only upon country of origin, but also upon acculturation levels.

In fact, even the labels of “Hispanic” and “Latino” that were thrust upon those of Spanish-speaking countries by the U.S. government haven’t been fully embraced. Rather than Hispanic or Latino, 51% say they most often use their family’s country of origin to describe their identity. That includes terms such as “Cuban” and “Mexican.”

Acculturation levels accounted for differences in how Hispanics saw themselves:

• Only 34% of foreign-born Hispanics saw themselves as similiar to other typical Americans, while 66% of U.S. born Hispanics said they were a typical American.

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Who cares?

Using a pointed and, frankly. brilliant social experiment/recruiting gimmick, the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) rolled out a campaign addressing the lack of value that is inherent with social media armchair activism. While clicking the like button or sharing the issue does increase awareness of the issue and give the sharer the warm fuzzies, it does not actually do anything to solve the issue.

The very core of the SAF campaign addresses this passive activism and asks the audience to give up something real, to not just pass the word along. Why is this important? At the very heart of what the SAF is looking for in a recruit is someone who is willing to take real action, not just remain idle from a safe distance. A soldier is someone who is willing to sacrifice their comfort and convenience for the sake of another.

The Experiment:

A small room was built in central Stockholm and a man was seated inside, waiting. The rule was that he could not leave until there was someone there to replace him. Print and digital ads accompanied the campaign, explaining that the liberation of one means the sacrifice of another. A live stream was set up of the one-chair room with nothing for viewers to do but monitor the single volunteer. For a campaign that intentionally left out any social media prompts, it reached 100,000 visitors in only 4 days and sparked a tremendous amount of online conversation.

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Latino Marketing in the Fast Lane

Ka-ching. The branding juggernaut NASCAR “Gets in Full Gear for Latinos”. Looking to broaden the sport’s base of supporters, NASCAR has its eye set on a new demographic with marketing strategies highlighting Latino teams and drivers.

With the potential of reaching more than fifty million Hispanics in the U.S., NASCAR is increasing its advertising and public relations efforts in order to reach this market segment.

Multicultural awareness and interest is not a new marketing push for NASCAR; in 2004 it launched Drive for Diversity, an initiative aimed at attracting minorities and women to ownership, driving and as crew positions in the sport. NASCAR’s investment has had a direct impact on Hispanic consumer interest, which has increased proportionately with the employment of Hispanics in the sport. Further boosting Hispanic interest is the recent transition of Columbia’s Juan Pablo Montoya from Formula 1 to NASCAR.

How many companies could follow NASCAR’s example by increasing a plateaued audience by refocusing marketing dollars on multicultural efforts?

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