Saturday, June 3, 2017

Millennial Marketing - The Generation Gap

The generational marketing landscape has changed;  unanimous in conversations of marketers at digital summits and recent agency meetings.  All conversations and data lead back to this: Millennials matter.  Many questions remain unanswered. Who are they? How are they communicating? 

If your business is not reaching millennials, you are likely looking at data with annual declining stats.  We spent the last few weeks at digital summits and agency meetings holding client discussions on the topic.  Local businesses, enterprise marketers and agencies are struggling to reach this new demographic of consumers.
Some Numbers on Millennials
Millennial encompass those aged 20-36 in 2017. In fact, Pew Research states that the youngest millennial was born in 1997 and the oldest was born in 1981.
Millennials now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million baby boomers (ages 53-71). They are communicating on mobile devices, active on the newest social media platforms and not responding to emails.  If you are building marketing budgets for 2017, read on.
Who are they?
Most research shows that millennials have a strong sense of community both locally and globally. Millennials care about sharing local information; this transpires in the number of reviews and photos they post and the rankings they allot using maps, apps or their mobile devices in that capacity.
Businesses are affected by the content that is ranking online and those engaging customers through review marketing are outranking their competitors in online and mobile search.
Other research has defined these individuals as the influential “me generation” with a sense of entitlement and narcissism.  A 2016 study goes as far as finding that millennials exhibited 18% more narcissism than older adults, with males scoring higher on average than females.  This study defines two types of narcissism: extraverts, characterized by attention seeking and power dominance, and introverts, characterized by an acute sense of self-entitlement and defensiveness.  Call it narcissism perhaps but be mindful that this new group of consumers is flocking to social media and they are more likely to take advice from friends and contacts than they are from any marketing messages they see on television.  

Memo to Marketers
Millennials are holding conversations on social media about your products and services.  You can join the conversation or sit back and watch sales decline.  Social conversations are impacting sales.  Consumers are finding information ranking on Google, maps, apps and within car navigation systems and in turn their buying decisions are made from data originating from social media posts. Why? Because this seemingly entitled group of narcissists have money to buy.  
Millennials have a strong purchasing power and a high desire to make more money than their parents. Snapchat “that”.
The University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future" study of high school seniors (conducted continuously since 1975) and the American Freshman survey, conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute of new college students since 1966, showed an increase in the proportion of students who consider wealth a very important attribute, from 45% for Baby Boomers (surveyed between 1967 and 1985) to 70% for Gen Xers, and 75% for Millennials.
According to authors from the Florida International University, original research performed by Howe and Strauss as well as Yu & Miller suggests that baby boomers resonate primarily with loyalty, work ethic, steady career path, and compensation when it comes to their professional lives. Generation X on the other hand, started shifting preferences towards an improved work-life balance with a heightened focus on individualistic advancement, stability, and job satisfaction.
How are Millennials Communicating?
Since their emphasis is on collaboration, most Millennials consider email inefficient and prefer not to receive emails at all.  New collaboration platforms integrated with mobile apps, lower email consumption by over 30%.
The Millennial Generation gravitates to collaboration tools like Google Docs, #Slack, and ZenDesk to enable new goals for work life balance. Gen X coined the phrase. Gen Y realized how to accomplish it in less time.  New collaboration tools provide creative outlets for communication with benefits of immediate feedback.  Augmentation of social media enables the remote worker to collaborate with a team.  
How Do We reach this New Generation of Buyers
A generation gap remains in effect with subpar marketing standards in place perhaps due to a lack of understanding and experience with new technologies, and unrealized trends in consumer behavior.
Consider these stats: Each office worker receives an average of 120 emails daily.  Over 800,000,000 emails are sent every hour in the US.  We might want to rethink marketing strategies that include email marketing to reach millennials, who do not like to use email.
75% of Gmail’s 900M users access their accounts on mobile devices. According to TechCrunch, we need to consider the fact that email marketing campaigns should be optimized for mobile.
Marketers, stop linking to websites with anchor text that reads “Click Here.”  Please stop. No one is clicking. You are 64 times more likely to climb Mount Everest than click on a banner ad.  If we know and understand this reality, why are we still running banner advertising campaigns without defining consumer interests via targeted local interests?
So What is Working?
2017 Marketing plans for Millennial Marketing should include video; that is video online, not necessarily television.
Millennials are responding to video.  Video marketing on YouTube reaches demographics of 18-34 year olds and 18-49 year olds who watch more video online each day than they do on any cable television in the US.
To keep this audience engaged, use humor and stay relevant.  Video is effective in targeting both B2B and B2C markets.  Case and point - Cisco demonstrates creative use of humor in video for B2B Comedy in Content Marketing: The Perfect Gift for Valentine's Day, from Cisco.
Keep up with the times.  Did you know Snapchat passed Twitter in consumer use?  Are you using Snapchat for marketing?  B2B and B2C consumer markets are using the platform.  Bloomberg and Forbes are reporting 150 Snapchat / 136 Twitter active users.  Why?  Because it matters to businesses.  Social media matters to Millennials and in order to keep in front of them, brands must keep up with the times.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year Resolutions of an Entrepreneur

New year resolutions traditions fit the entrepreneurial mold because focus determines reality.  Working on various projects simultaneously - this entrepreneur begins each day making lists and completes a day checking them off.  The list of 2017 Top 10 Resolutions began early this year with a question which remains in effect:  Should this year’s resolutions list include your top 10, a summary of just a few or any number of your choice?  
Why Make New Year Resolutions?
We make promises to ourselves and others with great intentions.  This year, we are making a commitment. This year let’s hold ourselves accountable.  This is not just a slight promise over a glass of champagne- although those can stem from good intentions as well.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest neuroscience research suggests that spreading resolutions out over time is the best approach. However, most entrepreneurs would contend that this is 2009 research and that we can get more done these days. After all, we are multitaskers, high achievers; we can press on!
Reflecting on The Past is GoodIn 2016 I celebrated my 50th birthday surrounded by family and friends in New York. I met 75 people from 37 countries. I traveled to review and showcase top hotels, restaurants and destinations of cities visited by US Travelers. I also launched 3 companies, brought on new clients and partners.  I helped bury my father and reunited with family members who impacted my life. I gave back and helped others.  I failed, succeeded, and learned more than I ever have before.
Entrepreneurs: Your Focus Determines Your RealityEvery year, we evaluate a list of financials, utilization rates on staff involvement and costs involved against potential and current upside.  This year we have many options and directions - too many to choose from.  In this case, 2017 resolutions will include a decision to focus - to bring a few very high potential projects to fruition.  
Last year, I resolved to give back, be happier and spend more time with family.  I spoke at my alma mater - spending a few days with over 800 students, went on more family trips and commissioned artwork… all of which make me very happy.  
Failure? Too many projects.  The business took on too much too quickly, spreading my time and focus too thin.  I found myself waking up every day at 4 AM naturally without an alarm clock.  Some would find that commendable, although most found it to be crazy.  I would have to agree with the latter and cannot buy into the fact that the older you get, the earlier you awake.  
2017 New Year Resolutions of This Entrepreneur
Top 10 - In no related order.
  • Spend time with family: immediate family, and extended family reunited.
  • Make a difference in a new person’s life each month.
  • Meet 100 people from 30 countries.
  • Grow company margin : more employees does not equal more margin.
  • Invest in best interests.  Gain interest from work.
  • Create new artwork every week : new works, no molds of past projects.
  • Travel to new places.
  • Showcase local businesses.
  • Go to Barre Class every week.  No exceptions!
Be happy with the here and now.  Laugh more.
The Summary
Mind - Focus.  Create something every day.
Body - Bring health goals to fruition.
Stay Spirited.  Laugh More.

Focus on HappinessTo summarize the top list 2017 resolutions, mind, body and spirit should prevail.  Happiness should matter most.  What makes me happy improves the mind, body and serves spirit.  2016 brought many truths to this equation.  2017 has great potential to reach new heights, with focus.
The Origins of New Year’s Resolutions:  The Odds Matter.At the end of the Great Depression, about a quarter of American adults formed New Year's resolutions. At the start of the 21st century, about 40% did.[1] In fact, according to the American Medical Association [(AMA)], approximately 40% to 50% of Americans participate in the New Year's resolution tradition from the 1995 Epcot and 1985 Gallop Polls [2] It should also be noted that 46% of those who endeavor to make common resolutions (e.g. weight loss, exercise programs, quitting smoking) were over 10-times more likely to have a rate of success as compared to only 4% who chose not to make resolutions. [3]