Generational Marketing in the Face of Change

We are now moving toward the ninth week of national social distancing. Much has changed. We, as a society, have changed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your work schedule to meet clients or your customers are interspersed with having to work remotely with staff.  Many of us are focused on the millions of Americans who are not working at home.

This article will explore each of the generational demographic cohorts. How they are approaching the use and social media consumption differently. Each of these subsets of our population shares a common factor such as age, income, or education level. Why, where, and whom to communicate is now part of the new business-standard. This effects how your clients or customers will do business with you now and the foreseeable future.

Every generation requires a different set of marketing techniques to capture their attention. Marketing to the Baby Boomers is much different in comparison to tactics applied to Generation Z. The Internet is a vast space, and it is essential knowing how to break through the clutter to reach your targeted audience. There are many ways to target a specific audience, such as print, broadcast, and digital marketing. Grasping your audience’s Internet habits, specifically on social media, is an integral part of online marketing.

The use of social media has adapted over the years to benefit e-commerce. It has become an invaluable marketing tool that can help audiences quickly reach a brand. Each generation uses social media differently, so to connect with them, it is essential to evaluate your own brand image and what service or product you provide that can relate to your target audience. Let’s dive into each generation and what is the best marketing technique for them.

Baby Boomers 

Baby Boomers are individuals who were born in 1946 to 1964, aging from 57-64 years old. 84% of them choose to utilize Facebook as their go-to social media outlet site. Baby Boomers mostly inhabit Facebook, spending eleven or more hours on the site a week. Boomers like to talk with real people, so they may not understand all of the ads on their Facebook feed. Still, according to Mary Lister in her article, “Generational Marketing: How to Target Millennials, Gen X, & Boomers,” she states that Baby Boomers have the highest value as consumers in the market today. This means they spend the most money on each shopping trip. Baby Boomers favor written media, such as newsletters or informative advertisement posters, and are more likely to click on a brand’s website to learn more. Here are some tips on how to market to Baby Boomers:

  1. Take advantage of brand loyalty.
  2. Go for the up-sale.
  3. Tie in Cash Back.
  4. Skip the discounts.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Boomers appear to have switched their media consumption the least out of all the generations. Only an increase of watching broadcast television, according to Katie Jones in her article “How COVID-19 Has Impacted Media Consumption, by Generation”.

Generation X

Generation X, who are individuals that were born from 1965 to 1976, aging from 38-56 years old. They are considered the smallest generation, but they are online more than 80% on things like Facebook and Twitter. This generation works a lot; they are usually at the stage of dealing with children, buying houses, and working. That being said, they are savvy shoppers, they tend to stick to the list and not deter from it. They didn’t grow up with online shopping, so they don’t mind an in-store trip, but have embraced online shopping as well. When marketing to Gen X:

  1. Include those discounts.
  2. Make it convenient.
  3. Try direct mail.
  4. Use organic or ethical products.

During COVID-19, pandemic Gen X has increased TV watching, both broadcast TV and streaming sites, more than any generations. They have expanded on watching online videos too, this could be anything from YouTube to Facebook videos.

Millennials

Millennials are people born between the years 1980 and 1996, aging from 24-37 years old. Millennials are usually talked about in social media and pop culture, they were the generation that started working during an economic crash, so they have high work ethics. Just because they are good workers doesn’t mean they don’t go on social media, though. 41 % of millennials use Facebook every day. They are the most responsive generation to online shopping as well. This generation is mostly influenced by something they saw or recommended by social media, which could be a restaurant someone posted a picture of or a hairstyle they found on Pinterest. To get millennials attention while marketing:

  1. Be innovative, they love the new big things.
  2. Review, review, review.
  3. Use social media incentives.
  4. Loyalty or rewards programs are a win, win.

During the pandemic, Millennials have consumed more content on multiple platforms, including; online video, streaming services, and broadcast TV. Millennials usually utilize all of these and more without a pandemic going on. Still, now that we are quarantined and maybe not working as much, more people have more time to relax and watch a little more TV than average.

Generation Z

Generation Z, who was born during the years 1997 to 2010s, aging 16-23 years old. They inhabit almost all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. These individuals were immersed in a digital world, sure still used pen and paper for some things like notes for school, but the technology was the norm, among other things. Millennials and Gen Z may seem similar, but they are different in a couple of ways. Millennials prefer brands that share values, while Gen Z prefers brands that feel authentic. Millennials were raised by baby boomers; Gen Z was most raised by Gen Xers. Here are some tips to market to Gen Z:

  1. Sell experiences, not just the product.
  2. Videos all the way.
  3. Rethink major influencer campaign.
  4. Show you engage with your customers.

While we are all quarantined, over half of Gen Z are consuming way more online video content than before. Along with more time watching streaming services and listening to music, the age of this generation is about 16-23 years old, a small percentage of them could still be an essential worker. For the most part, they are students with part-time jobs, so they have significantly more time on their hands.

Our new normal has shifted no matter what generation you fall into or market to. With new normal, comes new marketing techniques. People are online more than ever before, online shopping, scrolling through social media, and even ordering groceries online. Putting your brand out there and to the right people is important during these unprecedented times. While everything may be changing one thing stays the same, Multimedia Marketing Group is still here to help you. We specialize in media promotion whether that is social media, advertising, videos, graphic design and more, we are here to serve you. If you need to find a new marketing technique or just need to start online marketing we are here, please don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Arco on LinkedIn here: https: /www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

Sources:

https://pwim.com/2018/11/23/marketing-effectively-to-different-generations/

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/08/21/marketing-to-generation-z

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/media-consumption-covid-19/

Joseph Arco

President

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

 

Serena Ahlquist

Multimedia Marketing Administrator

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

First coming into the Multimedia Marketing Group as a college media intern and then establishing herself as a Multimedia Marketer. Serena has found her passion within the Business of Marketing and seeing the invisible and making it visible through compelling storytelling with social media. Her cornerstone working philosophy is that “Action is almost always better than inaction.” This enthusiasm has led her through multiple media platforms for the clients served by MMG. Her excitement to share the final story outcomes of the creative endeavors by the MMG team has led to quantifiable business results for the leaders of the companies in which the Multimedia Marketing Group serves. MMG is a full-service marketing and media production firm servicing the Business-to-Business marketplace in retail, service manufacturer, and the non-profit sectors.

 

Direct to Consumer Marketing

For years, companies have relied on brick and mortar stores to sell their products to consumers. With the creation of online businesses, the digital age has brought changes that allow consumers to buy directly from companies, eliminating the middle man. Companies like HelloFresh market online, sell directly to consumers, and have weekly meal plan services. They are part of a new wave of marketing called direct to consumer (DTC) brands. Direct to consumer refers to promoting a product or service straight from the seller to the consumer without intermediary advertising such as television commercials, radio ads, or public displays. DTC brands narrow in on specific target markets as foot traffic in physical stores continue to decline. Since 2011, HelloFresh has been delivering pre-measured, minimal hassle meals to families all over the United States. Just one year after their launch, HelloFresh went global, taking over Europe, Australia, and part of Canada. Just a few years later, they are now a multimillion billion-dollar company. These meal kits are delivered fresh weekly to subscribers. These subscribers have the option to include the number of people in their family to guarantee the right amount of meals. Meals are tailored to each family’s preferences with over 5,000 options and also provide several vegetarian and gluten-free meal options.

Direct to consumer brands such as HelloFresh look to simplify shopping for consumers with proportioned ingredients and a step-by-step instruction sheet. This meal kit service not only helps busy families gather together for a meal, but HelloFresh also aims to make cooking enjoyable and reduce the costs of eating out.

Today, HelloFresh is fully committed to serving their customers through these challenging times. Protecting the health and well-being of all HelloFresh employees and customers is their top priority, which is to provide fresh, healthy meals through no-contact deliveries. Along with other food suppliers, they have been classified as “critical infrastructure” by the Department of Homeland Security and as an “essential business.” All their facilities are SQF certified, which is the highest level of food safety certification. They also have implemented additional safety measures, including increased sanitation, hand sanitizer stations, and more frequent mandatory handwashing. All employees must now always wear facemasks.

Direct to consumer marketing is nothing new; it has been around for a while, just in different ways. For example, mail-order catalogs gave consumers a first look at DTC. People would get a pamphlet of products, and they could purchase directly from the merchant precisely what they wanted for mail delivery. DTC is the new mail order catalog; consumers can instantly buy a product from an online supplier and receive the product in the mail instead of having to go into a store.  Millennials are the leading group that uses DTC; it ticks all the boxes millennials usually go for according to Meredith Wood in her article titled “What Is D2C Marketing and Why Do Millennials Love It So Much?”. The main priorities of millennials shopping; convenience, low cost, authenticity, and a seamless shopping experience. DTC brands do just those things; as a brand online, they offer convenience while shopping. Instead of finding an associate in the store and them finding the product you want, you can type it into the search bar online or add filters to a specific category on their website. Most online stores have sales all the time, or a continuously growing clearance category, making it sometimes low cost to shop online instead of in the stores. Authenticity in online shopping is always there; you can read the brand’s story and how the brand came about on their website, instead of going into the store and not knowing the values the store holds. DTC is more personal than regular marketing; it gives the consumer a look into the company and makes them feel more comfortable.

During this unprecedented time, DTC is the new norm. Stores being closed, and more and more people are shopping online or ordering food to their house. Restaurants are closed, malls are non-essential, and you can now do grocery shopping online and pick it up. The world around us is changing and adapting to the times; DTC marketing is the future. If you have a business that could utilize Direct to Consumer Marketing, now would be the best time to get into it, then continue to use it in the future.

Multimedia Marketing Group has worked with numerous DTC brands. We have assisted them with their social media platforms, brochures, website development, infographics, and videos, to name a few. If your brand needs help with transitioning to a new marketing strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Mr. Arco on LinkedIn here:https: /www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

 

Joseph Arco

President

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

 

Serena Ahlquist

Multimedia Marketing Administrator

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

First coming into the Multimedia Marketing Group as a college media intern and then establishing herself as a Multimedia Marketer. Serena has found her passion within the Business of Marketing and seeing the invisible and making it visible through compelling storytelling with social media. Her cornerstone working philosophy is that “Action is almost always better than inaction.” This enthusiasm has led her through multiple media platforms for the clients served by MMG. Her excitement to share the final story outcomes of the creative endeavors by the MMG team has led to quantifiable business results for the leaders of the companies in which the Multimedia Marketing Group serves. MMG is a full-service marketing and media production firm servicing the Business-to-Business marketplace in retail, service manufacturer, and the non-profit sectors.

 

How to Tell a New Story for Your Business

We’ve learned how to communicate during a crisis and how to adapt your social media platform through one, now we are going to touch base on how to tell a new story for your business. What that means is, you have probably had a business plan and a story within that plan, but in times like this, we need to rethink how we sound to our clients and how you are going to retell your story compassionately. When we say retell your story, we mean in a way that is going to do good for others. Be a good neighbor and do good for the local or national community.

What is a Story? 

Some maybe wondering, “whoa what kind of story are you talking about?” A business’s story is essential, crisis, or not. There are four main pillars of storytelling; people, place, purpose, and plot. To create a basic story, you need these four core pillars. Storytelling is crucial because it allows you to connect with a consumer on an emotional level, and by utilizing the four main principles of Transmedia storytelling, you will be able to create a more successful brand. So how do you make a good story? According to Hubspot, good stories are made up of 5 things:

  1. They have to be entertaining- keeping the reader engaged is essential; you want them to be interested in what is coming next.
  2. Needs to be educational- Spark the reader’s curiosity and add to their knowledge.
  3. They should be universal- meaning that they are relatable to all readers and resonate with their emotions and experiences that most people go through.
  4. Stories have to be organized- They should follow an organization that helps convey the message and helps them remember it.
  5. Lastly, they should be memorable- Whether that is through inspiration, humor, or general interest, it should stick in their mind.

Stories also need three components: Characters, conflict, and resolution. The characters can be only one person or multiple people, just something or, in this case, someone that the reader can maybe relate to. The conflict can be about something the character overcame, or it can be about emotions or experience. Resolution can be the good part of the story, the part where your story is wrapped up, and provides the call of action you’re trying to get across.

Transmedia Storytelling 

So what is Transmedia Storytelling? It is the art of designing, sharing, and experiencing across multiple platforms, usually used for entertainment, marketing, or social changes. Stories define social influence, social perception, and social interaction; they influence individual and group behavior and can provide a sense of self. Transmedia storytelling is in many different things like video games, books, toys, comics, theme parks, and in virtual reality, it offers a wide range of coverage to a broad range audience. Using transmedia storytelling to combat a crisis going on engages your viewers in a new way, and this is what you want, light, and fun ways to tell your customers your story and plan. Many people might look at this type of storytelling as “entertainment” well in some way it is, but you can be informational as well as entertain someone. People are stuck inside and could use a little bit of entertainment as well as facts. Transmedia storytelling can do both.

Change Your Storytelling

Marketing in a crisis can seem like a lose-lose situation. When telling your brand’s story during a crisis, you need to approach it with empathy before you try and sell anything. Relating to the world around you can how your clients are feeling can make for a great new story if you take the right tone. People are going to be more price-sensitive than brand loyal in times like this, appeal to that. Your story should show that you are offering resources and support to not only your customers but as well as your employees. Next, you should share your plan with the community, be open with your viewers about what you are going to do and what you are not going to do.

Sooner Than Later

When telling your story, whatever it is about or whatever you intend, in a crisis it’s better to do it sooner than later. Storytelling is an art, stories can bring people together and inspire them to do something. Tell your customers why they should indorse you, not what they are indorsing.  In a time of crisis and confusion storytelling can be a compelling tool for your business, at Multimedia Marketing Group we can help with that. We are experts in storytelling and making the invisible, visible. If you need help changing your story or just beginning it, we are still here to serve. Find Mr. Joe Arco on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

This article is in collaboration with Mr. Arco and Ms. Serena Ahlquist. We have put this information together for your insight and hope you find it valuable and content rich.

Joseph Arco

President

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

 

Serena Ahlquist

Multimedia Marketing Administrator

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

First coming into the Multimedia Marketing Group as a college media intern and then establishing herself as a Multimedia Marketer. Serena has found her passion within the Business of Marketing and seeing the invisible and making it visible through compelling storytelling with social media. Her cornerstone working philosophy is that “Action is almost always better than inaction.” This enthusiasm has led her through multiple media platforms for the clients served by MMG. Her excitement to share the final story outcomes of the creative endeavors by the MMG team has led to quantifiable business results for the leaders of the companies in which the Multimedia Marketing Group serves. MMG is a full-service marketing and media production firm servicing the Business-to-Business marketplace in retail, service manufacturer, and the non-profit sectors.

Adapting Your Social Media Presence in a Time of Crisis

Your social media platform is important in moments like these, people often go to social media for questions, answers and concerns. Whether it is to take their mind off something bothering them or to know what is happening in the world, especially if someone is a patron of your business, they will look to you for some answers. The way your brand answers these questions is important during a crisis like this. You may want to stay optimistic or you may want to let them know you hear their concerns and fear. Whatever the tone of the post it has to correlate with what is going on in the world. Some followers may want to take all the negative out of their timeline and only see positive things, while other may want to just know straight up what is happening and what the solution is without anything distracting them. You need to know how to appeal to both of these followers.

New Crisis, New Plan

The marketing plan you have used with confidence every day, may come off as detached today. In your new marketing plan, you have to be considerate of the people viewing your content. During crisis’s, no matter what they are, it is more about trying to be helpful rather than trying to make a sale. With restaurants currently closed down, carryout and delivery is a huge thing to keep their revenue up. While many stores already had these options, now more than ever it appeals to the clients, so instead of being shut down completely restaurants have made many special accommodations for their customers. That may be; special prices, delivering out of their normal range, and providing curbside pickup, if delivery is not an option for them. These examples can make people more inclined to choose their store over the other. In these times you have to use the old saying “Think smarter, not harder.” A perfect example is Jimmy Johns, known for their “freaky fast delivery”, this new wave of delivery for many places is their norm. This week they announced that if you are a reward member you get a free bag of chips, and then another free bag of chips when you order any 8” sub, an incentive that anyone who is a reward member would love to hear. In all community’s local restaurants are challenged like never before, in our Rockford community local Franchesco’s Restaurant is an example of how to change your marketing plan for the consumer. They are providing special prices on not only carry out menu items, but on wine and beer as well. Including the specials, they have offered free delivery and are giving a roll of toilet paper to each carryout order. They have rethought how their carryout menu should serve the needs and wants of customers during this time. This is an excellent example on how to respond during a crisis.

How to Respond

This epidemic that the world is going through is making an impact on how people communicate and consume media and marketers need a well thought out way to communicate with people through social media marketing. What you personally may believe right now is maybe not what your costumer believes, and it is crucial to remember that. Everyone lives a different life and has different struggles, how you connect to them means everything and will stick with them when this is over. Benish Shah, from Blog.usejournal.com states: “In fact, if your behavior + brand message does not match, people will remember.” She talks about Reaction Marketing, basically copying what others are doing. Don’t do that. It is like panic buying just because, other people are, is it the right call? No, but since others are doing it makes you want to do it. Respond in a way you know your customers and followers will appreciate and don’t overdo it.

Next Steps

As you contemplate your next steps in rethinking your marketing content, which can become a powerful strategic planning tool for your business. This plan should be simple. Accurately, answer who you are now, what do need to do right now, who needs what you do as you move into the future, and how you plan to attract their attention with relevant content. It’s a combination of a planning process and a completed action plan.

1: Narrow your market focus. Think about the customers you have served in the past. Now describe your ideal customer in the narrowest and most detailed terms possible, as though you’re describing him or her to your best friend. What are their concerns? What are their fears? How can you be responsive to their needs?

2: Position your business. Figure out now what you can do best and what your target market wants and needs. Maybe it’s how you serve a new niche or how to repackage your products. If you don’t know what it is, think about reaching out call up three or four of your customers and ask them why they have done business with you and what do they need now. Craft and wordsmith core content marketing messages that allow you to differentiate your company in this time of crisis quickly.

3: Create knowledge and educational empowered-based marketing materials. Recreate all your marketing materials if need be, including your website, to focus on this concept of educational empowerment. Make sure every word in your marketing materials speaks of your new core messages, and to your target market’s needs.

4:  Provide value. To provide value to a target market needs, you will need to learn how you now can provide a new need value in a way that makes them want to reach for your services or products based on their needs. Ascertain all the ways you can get your educational empowered-based messages in front of your narrowly defined target market.

5: Earn media attention. Think about ways your company can become a reliable resource of up to date information during this time.

6: New marketing mindset. It will be up to you to instill a new marketing mindset into your business’s culture and with your team. Today is a new, day and with it is a new way of doing business.

7: Live by your content marketing calendar. Figure out what you need to do daily and to put them into action. Look at this content as an absolute necessity to move your content marketing plan forward.

 

This new social media plan will assist you in developing and delivering your organization’s social media content. During these times, businesses reach out to media professionals to find answers. We at Multimedia Marketing Group are here to help your business. If you need help finding your new business voice and how to respond to a new way of doing business we are here for you, contact Mr. Arco here for any questions: LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

This article is in collaboration with Mr. Arco and Ms. Serena Ahlquist. We have put this information together for your insight and hope you find it valuable and content rich.

 

 

Joseph Arco

President

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP

President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, an expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-arco-2353b414/

 

Serena Ahlquist

Multimedia Marketing Administrator

MULTIMEDIA MARKETING GROUP