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#DMSLDN 2013: How to improve your marketing strategy to Generation Y

Digital Marketing Show London

I recently attended the Digital marketing show at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. There were many speakers and presentations but the standout one for me was ‘Branding and & Communication with Generation Y/ Millennials’ by Joeri Van den Bergh. He gave a quick 30 minute rundown of his book, How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generation Y. The book isn’t necessarily aimed at the SEO professional, but I thought many things that were said can be applied to SEO when targeting Generation Y (aka Millennials’).

During the quick-fire presentation Joeri explained the defining characteristics of Generation Y people born during the 80’s and 90’s. They’ve witnessed the bygone days of dial up internet from slow and intermittent, to superfast 4G being always connected by their smartphones and tablets (it won’t be too long before they’re connected to their Google Glasses).  Joeri’s research into Generation Y is extensive, covering many facets of the behaviour and motivations they hold. Below is what I took away from the presentation and how we in the digital marketing industry can utilise this research.

Are you relevant?

Having a great product that’s a market leader is not enough these days. You have to create an experience that the consumer can interact with, both online and offline. By creating campaigns, websites and info graphics that are interesting and share-worthy. Generation Y has a vast presence and influence online. Creating content that appeals to them will hopefully prompt them to share your awesome content. The potential result is an increase in brand awareness and your conversion ratio.

Interact on their level – sharing is caring

The way in which we should look at the website of your product or service needs to change in line with the psyche of Generation Y.  Back in the day websites could’ve been viewed as the places to display key business information. After all, that is the purpose of the internet…or is it? To appeal to the Generation Y you have to be open to sharing. Share your history and tell them how you were established. If it’s an interesting story, embrace it and explain it. By connecting with them on a deeper level and keeping them engaged and interested will entice them into coming back for more. A great example of this, check out this advert by Adidas (It’s a true story!)

Get them talking

Find out what Generation Y are talking about so you can get them talking more. One way to get them to share your brand is to create a game they’ll want to play and share with friends. A couple of important things to remember in order for the game to generate traffic is to make sure it is related to the product, make sure it abides by the CRUSH schema (Cool, Real, Unique, self-brand identified and happiness), and make it available to share (obviously).

Keep on building the hype

An easy mistake many of us are guilty of is creating great content that causes a buzz, and then sitting back to watch the metrics rise. No! Sooner rather than later those numbers will start to fall because you haven’t kept the buzz alive and people have stopped talking about it. You need to be quick to react to their reactions. This will give the best chances of forming a relationship with your consumer and creating a better understanding of them. So fix up, look sharp!

Be bold

Or as Joeri states in his book, ‘have guts’ be brave and do something different because if you don’t your competitors will.  People from Generation Y are said to be pragmatic, eclectic, bold, and always connected. I myself am a Millennial can resonate with those characteristics. Therefore I know that the best chances of success in marketing to this generation needs to be engineered in this fashion.

joeri van den bergh Generation Y

The things that Joeri talked about during the presentation may seem obvious, after all marketing is all about coming up with new ideas to entice your customer. But what I learned is that certain actions can make or break your attempts to connect with Generation Y. So if you’re main demographic lies within the Millennials’, tailor your efforts towards them. And most of all be brave to be different with your marketing communications.

joeri van den bergh Generation Y

How do you feel about targeting marketing communication to generation Y?

Have a look at this adverting campaign by Coke Zero. It has hit all the boxes when trying to appeal to Generation Y. The video has received over 10M views and had over 40K shares across social networks.

If you would like to learn more about Generation Y by Joeri Van den Bergh. Check out his presentations. Or better yet read the book

Image credits: Joeri Van den Bergh

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