Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri WINNING WITH GEN – Y
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri A DECADE OF CHANGE John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the way of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” This quote, though valid throughout time, rings especially true today. The reality of the present and possibility of the future blur tighter more than ever before. Without a keen eye and fervent passion to both evolve and drive change, it is easier than ever for both brands and individuals alike to blink and be left behind. CHANGING OF THE GUARD While youth has always introduced ideas that help shape culture, today’s young generation have found themselves at the very epicenter of major societal change. While Millennials may not yet be the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or leaders of the free world, they are possibly the biggest influencers and innovators around today. A 25‐year‐old is the CEO of the most searched brand on the web, a site with a larger population than the United States. We have a Commander in Chief who won his spot in office thanks to a grass roots movement fueled by social media. He youtubes, tweets and cannot be separated from his Blackberry. Clearly president Obama does not fall into the 1977‐1996 age range used most frequently to define Millennials, but he understands the importance of adopting their values and thinking like one. Embracing the Millennial perspective is key for anyone wanting to keep up (and move ahead of the curve). THE NEW LEADERS Change will not slow down as time passes; in fact, most see it accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Social Technologies will further pervade and integrate into our lives in ways that the rest of us ever dreamed of. Successful companies will not focus on “what’s always worked” (Millennial Inc.). Who what will lead successful companies and drive growth in the next decade? New Ideas, creative approaches, innovative products, integrated organizations, open communication, connected communities, responsible ethos, and most important an increased passion for change. With the changing customer landscape, Legacy companies have to overhaul their Brand and Reputation Platform. It is not just about keeping up with the evolving world, but also about setting the pace. So, how do legacy companies reinvent themselves to stay relevant and innovative in the eyes of Gen Y?
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri Strategy: Develop experiences that enable preferential relationships and connections with Gen Y. Who is Gen Y? Gen Y has grown up with the Internet and mobile communications. They are digitally, globally, and constantly connected. They are driving how mobile communication technologies are used, initiating social behaviors that are transmitted to other generations (Generation Y and the Workplace Annual Report 2010). The Numbers Ages: 18‐30 years‐old Size: estimated 50 million Buying power: $889.3 and growing Diverse: 40% identify as non‐Caucasian Educated: Approx. 40% 18‐22 year‐olds enrolled in college,vs. 25% of prior generations Gen Y Lens: Connected Flexible Collaborative Gen Y Lens Control
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri The main reason Millennials matter to marketers is that they indicate future trends to a greater degree than young adults in the past (Millennial Marketing). Here are a few reasons why: Technology proficiency has empowered Millennials to wield a disproportionate influence on the culture and on the buying decisions of other generations. Millennials are the first to put new technologies to use to make the most of their media time. Gen Y’ers are less impulsive shoppers. They place a priority on experiences rather than possessions, and are more likely to make every purchase a considered one. Gen Y’ers also display a distinct generational “personality” when it comes to responding to marketing programs and messages. Consequently, push marketing is on its way out, the new marketing is all about engagement, and much of the shift is due to Millennials. Finally, Gen Y cares more about the company behind the products they buy and the places they work. Corporate branding and brand architecture are more important than they have been in the past. What do Legacy companies need to do to strengthen their affinity with Gen Y? Connect: Reinvent the relationship with this generation using web, social based learning and support tools. Gen Y is here to stay and they want to stay connected! Social media applications should focus on enhancing the customer relationship and provide them an opportunity to share the same customer experiences. Peers Drive Relevance (Millenials Inc): Word of Mouth gives Millennials a method to validate claims, but it also enables them to learn about products and services from peers who can lend perspective and relevance. Whether looking for novels for their book club, parenting information from a young parents message board or a new set of skis from their Facebook Ski Group, Millennials have easily accessible resources to learn about purchases from people who best understand their needs.
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri Building a fan base on Facebook can increase the strength of your brand, but it wont necessarily increase sales immediately. Small businesses should focus first on using a custom Facebook page to manage its reputation, support customers, engage fans and convert fans into advocates for your company. In the above example, Baking for Good combines sweet treats with a sweet policy. A percentage of all sales goes to a charity of the customer’s choice. The concept alone increases fan loyalty – instead of feeling guilty for purchasing a high‐calorie item, you can feel good knowing your purchase is helping others. Baking for Good has designed a custom Welcome page that mirrors the lovely design of its website. The Welcome tab is also a “reveal tab,” which displays certain content only to fans. After “Liking” the Facebook page, new fane receive a discount code to use with their first Baking for Good purchase. This Facebook page is increasing
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri the company’s fan base through a great design, while attracting new customers with a special offer. Summary of my Interview with Ms.Pallavi Raj [small business owner] According to Ms.Raj’s perspective, this trend is not coming soon but is already here. It is powerful, personal and it can touch in ways that many traditional broad marketing techniques cannot. Social Media Marketing is cost effective and it has broken barriers that used to prevent businesses from taking off. For Ms. Raj personally, it has proven cost effective for her small business. This used to be a barrier and this does not exist anymore. Bigger companies & corporations that primarily invested in traditional marketing are fast embracing this concept and putting resources on digital media. But they are still invested in traditional marketing techniques like Direct Mail, Banner Ads, Television Ads etc. Traditional Marketing Techniques are both resource and financially expensive. But Social Media in contrast is a cost effective tool for B2C Marketing. Traditional Marketing requires intensive segmenting and analytics performed to achieve the perfect target selection. Inspite of these analytical efforts to improve target selection criterias, large companies still find it a challenge to break even in these methods. The second channel which is web based Marketing includes touches such as tailored ads on Google which are again expensive. Fraud behavior on these Google Ads makes it hard for small business companies to make money at the end of the day. The third channel which is social media is hence an evolution because it reaches out to consumers and speaks to their heart. Businesses refer to it as ‘Inbound Marketing’. It attracts people and makes consumers reach out to the company. Social Media is making the dream of a marketer come true in a cost effective way. Ms.Raj’s small business company – Tax Munshi is targeted for Gen Y who are not afraid of the web. Their customers are usually males between the ages of 25 and 35. They do not hesitate giving their credit card and are comfortable with online transactions. Though the younger and internet savvy folks will be mainstream, according to Ms. Raj she had to creatively come up with ways to supplement her business for older generation folks and the Gen Y outliers who are not comfortable with online transactions. They also offer another a premium product which is not a ‘self‐service’ product and this could help the older generation folks who need more hands on help. So companies would have to come up with creative solutions for their customers. This trend will have a stronger impact on industries that are consumer facing than B2B because of the volume of consumers in the B2C space. B2B companies have their own ways of validation as the denomination of prices is higher for B2B. Companies that have completion of transaction
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri online will benefit more from this trend. Geographical factors also play a role in this trend. In countries where new products come up faster and grow faster, the laws of the country could make adoption different and challenging to consumers. Although the Gen Y and the social media trend is a potential that is waiting to be tapped, she believes consumers will never use Facebook to tell friends and family on Facebook on what they bought on a regular basis. That is the nature of people and its more about friendship. They will most probably become a fan or ‘like’ certain products from a company. Active promotions will not happen on Facebook because when things gets confidential, they don’t want it to be public. Right now, she sees social media as a referral forum and the company needs to give a consumer the right reason to refer the product to a friend. And a small business in her mind needs to provide suitable incentives for the consumer to refer a friend by giving a better pricing on their products for their next purchase. Ms. Raj in her conversation spoke to me about a company called ‘Sunrise Signs’. Its an example of a small business using Facebook to promote their business(Hubspot.com) Sunrise Signs is a maker of custom signs, wraps, and graphics. They created a default landing page for their Facebook fan page using the HubSpot Welcome Facebook application. Upon the visitor liking the page, this welcome message disappears and is replaced by a page including a conversion form. This allows Sunrise Signs to capture leads directly from their Facebook page! Heres what this post‐like page looks like:
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri In conclusion, connecting and collaborating with Gen Y is a necessity rather than a nice to have feature in business because Gen Y is a “linchpin customer” for the future Gen Y is a strong influence on other segments with huge future buying power High lifetime value and spend growth potential Bio of Ms.Pallavi Raj: Pallavi Raj is an entrepreneur who has launched two startups that help simplify lives of their customers. With a mix of Fortune 500 & start‐up experience, Pallavi brings unique leadership capabilities in managing technology products, low‐cost marketing programs and community creation. Pallavi is the Chief Operating Officer for Agavey Incorporated (www.Agavey.com) and the Chief Customer Officer for TaxMunshi (www.TaxMunshi.com). Agavey Inc. simplifies the lives of homeowners by enabling them to purchase home improvement and maintenance services from local qualified service providers online. TaxMunshi is an India based venture that helps Indian taxpayers file their Income Tax Return online in a few easy steps, eliminating frustrations of the manual tax filing preparation. Pallavi has a Bachelors Degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, India and a Masters in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh. Pallavi had joined the MBA program with an intent of graduating with a concentration in Operations Management but was drawn toward Entrepreneurship and Marketing while at CMU ‐ there has been no turning back after that. She has worked with a Venture Capital firm in CA, an Incubator at Pittsburgh, been associated with startups at various capacities and with marketing of Fortune 500 companies including FedEx. Pallavi enjoys spending time with her family. She is an avid reader, loves yoga and hiking and stays involved in local PTA organizations.
Trend Assessment – MKTG 7546 Gayatri Seshadri References: 1) Millenials Inc ‐ What your company will look like when Millennials call the shots ‐ Mr Youth and Intrepid 2) Generation Y and the Workplace Annual Report 2010 http://www.haworth.it/mwg‐internal/de5fs23hu73ds/progress?id=pRl/T1534g&dl 3) Millennial Marketing ‐ Millennials Are Trend Bellwethers 4) Marketwire – Communications 5) http://www.bazaarvoice.com/blog/2011/07/11/cmos‐how‐to‐become‐the‐lynchpin‐of‐ your‐entire‐organization/ 6) http://personalbranding.com/2012/01/millennial‐branding‐gen‐y‐facebook‐study/ 7) http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/248589/14_creative_ways_to_use_fac ebook_business_pages.html 8) http://learning.hubspot.com/examples/customerexamples/Default.aspx?&Tag=Faceboo k+Fan+Pages