Youth Engagement: where do I start?by Graham Brown
Youth Engagement: where do I start?In this article, I lay out the 3 core steps of the MVentur YouthEngagement plan based on mobileYouth research.The 3 Step M.A.P (Measure Articulate Partner) Plan does the following: • Reduce Waste: Helps clients focus on what matters • Create a System: A cyclical framework to turn data into action • Build Assets: Helps turn marketing and research from being a cost center into an investment Partner Measure Articulate Youth engagement needs to be a cycle of measurement & actionYou’re active on social media, you’ve hired a trendspotter and you’ve satin countless agency presentations. You have more information than youneed but where do you start? How do you turn all this information andinsight into action? What is step one?From our 10+ years of experience working in the field of youthengagement, this is what we know works: get the measurement rightupstream and your results will follow downstream. I’ve seen toomany companies disempowered by having too many metrics, the wrongmetrics or failing to turn metrics into a system.
STEP 1: MEASUREFocus on a Single MetricYour first step in developing an effective youth engagement plan shouldalways be Focus. Focusing on a single metric and turning that metricinto a system should be the goal of any marketing or insights team.You may use more than one metric already. That’s okay but understandthe difference between a primary and a secondary metric.Your primary metric should be:a) predictive (forward looking rather than historical)b) conducive to profitabilityc) simpleI recommend using NPS (net promoter score) as the prime metric foryouth engagement as it is one of the few that fulfill these criteria.Why NPS?65% of youth buy handsets based on what their peers, not what adagencies or social media, says. That means your brand’s engagement isdetermined by what happens in day to day conversations, often offline.NPS needs to become the core measurement of your engagementplans. You can keep other metrics but use them as secondary metrics(see below in Step 2), not the primary goal.The good news is many companies have NPS which means it’s easy toimplement. But few use it effectively by turning Net Promoter Score intoa Net Promoter System.NPS is only a starting point for youth engagement. If you only considerstep 1 and measure the Score, you fail to turn data into action. Thisopens the metric up to abuse: I’ve seen a wide range of self-servingstrategies from gaming the score to using NPS as a vanity metric. UseNPS, but use it to drive profit not more data.Common mistakes in STEP 1: • Seeing Fans where there aren’t: Accept the reality of your Fans and work with it rather than against it. Don’t try to make your Fans like “cooler” youth brands or competitors. • “We don’t have any Fans”: I assure you, every brand has Fans. Chances are, you only know your customers.
STEP 2: ARTICULATEMake the Data MeaningfulOnce you have the score, you need to turn it into a system.Your system should provide you with the rationale for action. Use NPSto find your Fans (the 10% that influences the 90%), then work with yourFans to understand find the why behind their purchase decisions andinfluence.Focus on the promoter and find out the why behind their story. Forgetabout the rest. Too many companies waste valuable resources trying toconvince the naysayers and the passive bystanders into becomingpromoters. Sell to the sold.Work with your existing Fans - they are easier to leverage and alreadywarmed up to your message.The goal of Articulation is to first understand their lives and second,understand how your product and brand fits into their lives (not the otherway round). In working with brands in developing their insights plans, Irecommend 3 criteria that should underpin research:1) Motivations & drivers: What are their pains and passions?2) Social family: Which Interest Economy do they belong to? What aretheir 3H (homes, hangouts, hideouts)?3) Touchpoints: Where is the brand Frontline?The goal of Articulation research is to create the rationale for Step 3 -Partner.Common mistakes in STEP 2 • Putting the cart before the horse: Youth don’t wake up thinking about brands anymore so stop asking them “what do think of windows 8?” • Focusing on the exciting: 90% of youth communication is passive and often very mundane. What makes your brand “exciting” is the everyday things that fail to make most agency pitches.
STEP 3: PARTNERMarketing withGood youth engagement is about moving from viewing youth asdestinations for marketing to treating them as partners in its production.Now you’ve identified who your Fans are, why they love your brand youcan work with them on how to drive further engagement.The goal of Step 3: Partner is to improve the Frontline. Make yourexisting Frontline better. Create more Frontlines. For this generation,branding happens. Your brand happens in those countlessconversations you’re unaware of - both online and offline. Rather thaninterrupt those conversations with your marketing messages, we need tofocus on Partnering with Fans to make those conversations better.Common mistakes in STEP 3 • Starting with the Partner stage. It’s tempting to go with an agency who promises the magic wand but you can’t cheat the system: you’ll end up partnering with the wrong customers and building on an unsustainable brand base. • Failing to follow on from Step 3 and feeding the action back into Step 1
NEXT STEPSwww.MVentur.comMVentur is the world’s only Youth Mobile Think Tank. Backed by 10+years of mobileYouth research and insights, MVentur has hand selecteda global network of consultants able to help clients action these insights.Client work includes: • Broad range consultancy in youth mobile field • Writing and advising on marketing plans • Acting as a sounding board for clients