The Mad Men of Generation Z

Anthony Padayachi, ace wordsmith and Associate Creative Director, BC Web Wise

Anthony Padayachi, digital maverick and Associate Creative Director, BC Web Wise

Potatoes. And a guest lecture in LR-63 at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Having spent over a year with my favourite creative partner, who is a cusp between Millenials and Generation Z; I knew that I had to finish my 21-slide-ppt lecture with “Thank You” and an image of a sack of Potatoes next to it. A sack of potatoes because it was an SY-TY BMM (Bachelors of Mass Media) combined advertising class.

More the people, the more potatoes one needs to offer – that’s the rule.

Generation Z is different. Rather indifferent… to “gas”. So as an advertising professional, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to sell that sub-12K smartphone, or a no-gas deodorant, you better tread lightly if you don’t know them well. Anyway, since this post is about the Mad Men of Generation Z; here’s a “Listicle” of 5 things about how they’re poised to change advertising.

5 ways how Generation Z will change advertising as we know it!

  1. The Mobile First Revolution

“I don’t watch TV, what are you guys doing to target people like me on mobile?” I hope my answer was convincing enough, but the point is that Generation Z is exposed to ads on mobile more than any other medium. Having spent so much time on their smartphones, they’re all set to revolutionize mobile advertising.

Yes, mobile advertising goes beyond creating a mobile-optimized campaign microsite or even location targeting.

  1. Masters of what Matters (Now)

FOLO (Fear Of Losing Out) may be one of the insights that millennial marketing is using to advertitize to Generation Z. But having gone through the FOLO feeling, Gen Z looks poised to master the use of topical and trending content in advertising.

  1. Adopting newborn technologies #LikeABoss

Still contemplating whether VR is a good investment? A Gen-Z Mad Man pitched a kickass VR idea to me right after the lecture, reinforcing my belief that they will be eager to adopt technologies that are fresh off the oven. Moreover, they’ve witnessed technological obsolescence in their growing years, creating the urge to do the new.

  1. Socially Suaver

According to a popular advertising portal, Generation Z consider their ‘virtual’ pals as important as the friends they meet in person. Most of them also believe that this is where their real social life takes place.

So as and when Gen-Z step into agencies or brand floors, it is very likely that they’ll focus on connecting with their TG on social as if they’re meeting each of them in person.

  1. Making Digital the new Mainline

Gone are the days when a BMM-Advertising student would dream about creating TVCs. Gen-Z wants to create the next cool thing on digital. Be it a cause related campaign site, a potentially-viral video, or a cool game app for the brand; they’re keen to be on the digital side of advertising, cuz that’s where they’re living the most awesome part of their lives.

Sorry for the long blog, here’s a potato for you! ;D

potatoP.S. – Big thanks to Perrie ma’am (Head of Department, BMM – St. Xavier’s College) who invited me for the guest lecture cum nostalgic trip; which turned out the be an insightful session with Gen Z – the Mad Men of tomorrow.

Top Digital Trends to watch out for in 2015

The Indian digital market today has become a cornucopia of exciting action with over 200 million people using social media space and more than 250 million smart phone users. In fact as a nation of consumers who primarily use search engines to frame purchase decisions, we rank 4th in the world! Close to the heels of search engine marketing, is social networking that also accounts for a major chunk of digital marketing trends, and is expected to grow to phenomenal heights in 2015.

In Social Media, Million is just a Number!

By the turn of 2014 last year, India had reached an astonishing figure of 155 million mobile internet users with an impressive 100 Million mark for Facebook alone (http://www.digitalintheround.com/digital-marketing-trend-india-q1-2014/.

Digital marketers have instinctively been drawn towards the inherent potential of social media marketing, where every platform provides an opportunity to channelize information towards a particular target segment. Brand communications and content marketing constitute the key strategy-drivers for providing a high impetus to brands on the social media. Brands are engaging in powerful story-telling and witty ways to create that instant connect with consumers.

What Does 2015 has in store for us in terms of Digital Trends?

Digital Marketing has altered by leaps and bounds in all these years and if the companies want to stay in the game, they need to up the ante and create a seamless branding experience across all media channels. While customers have the option to access information across various channels, it is also a challenge for the marketers to tweak their campaigns as per the platforms. Here’s what we can expect in terms of digital trends for 2015:-

Content & Customized Marketing Will Lead

Digital marketers will retrace their steps and get back to the basics of evaluating and analyzing their target audience, a trend that has sadly declined in the past few years. Tailor made content and customized marketing campaigns have already reached a tipping point and the way further would be to re-prioritize resource allocation.

Value Added Selling Will Rule

Placing all your eggs in the ‘sales basket’ will no longer work. Selling alone will not make the cut and the consumers will start ignoring the ones that do nothing but sell. Marketers will now have to realign their resources and energies into adding more value to the service – very much digitized – along with the product that they are selling.

End to End Customer Experience

Digital marketing will take a deeper approach by shifting its focus from demand creation to providing an end-to-end solution to the consumer. The idea is to make it a journey and a continuous experience.

Emotional and Intellectual Connect Will Dominate

2015 is the year when digital marketing will face a paradigm shift and will gain acceptance as an ecosystem rather than being a marketing strategy. This ecosystem will integrate process of attracting, engaging and retaining the customers by giving them readily available access to information regarding what they want. Gone are the days when the marketers could get the customers on board by just preaching them. It is now about creating an excitement towards their brand that provides information and connects with the prospects at intellectual and emotional level.

Innovative Interaction Will Win

It is likely to see many large brands usurping media channels to gain a more loyal base of audience as end-user patience runs low, while competition is at an all time high. More human contact is expected through the intensive digital marketing strategies as the dull and boring campaigns stand no chance to sustain the mounting competition. It is the age of innovation and human interaction through video marketing and short, witty messages.

Transparency & Genuine Relationships A Must

Virtual story telling is the name of the game in emerging digital trends. This will not only help the brand stand out but will also help them engage with the target customers at a one-to-one level. Brands will now focus on creating genuine connections online if they want to earn trust and loyalty of their target customers.

Mobile Data Analyitcs Will Evolve

Mobile data will be the crowning glory of 2015 when it comes to digitization. It helps in eliminating barriers between receiving a message and then taking a subsequent action. Smart digital marketers should be able to use the mobile user base as the unifying principle to create effective strategies that can integrate marketing and human centric business models.

Youtube & Facebook

Facebook may continue to be the main tool when it comes to connecting with users, despite becoming a platform that will get more expensive to reach your use base, and will be shoulder to shoulder with Youtube to iwhere the secret to viral hits lies (http://www.digitalintheround.com/digital-marketing-trend-india-q1-2014/).

The Bottom Line

Digital trends will continue to reign supreme when it comes to 2015 and still be the preferred choice for the marketers to reach out to their target audience. However, to retain the loyalties of flippant consumers, it is imperative to keep quality of the marketing initiatives well-curated and thoroughly engage the audience by creating structured campaigns.

 

Micro Targeting Using Paid and Owned Media

Vishal Agrahari, Media Head, BC Web Wise

Vishal Agrahari, Media Head

A much more specific form of market segmentation is possible today, as opposed to the generic profiling of consumers that erstwhile marketers used to conduct. This provides impetus to micro targeting- personalized marketing tactics relevant for a small, well-defined group, in contrast to large-scale campaigns for broad segments.

The need for narrower segmenting, and coming up with well defined groups in order to streamline your marketing efforts, has made micro targeting gain increasing prominence.

The Crux of Micro targeting

With its original roots in the political arena of tracking, segmenting and subsequently influencing individual voting behaviors in major election campaigns, micro targeting has come a long way.

The crux of micro targeting lies in the fundamental concept that the more precise you are in tracking the needs, wants and attitudes of your potential customers, the wider are your chances of reaching out to them exactly when and how they want you to. In line with this requirement, the recent years have witnessed a rise in the micro targeting options provided by social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, that include Reach Blocks, Page Post Links, Promoted Posts, Geo targeting, Sponsored Updates and so on.

For instance, if you are an e-commerce store selling anti-ageing products for women above the age of 40 years, creating a micro targeted Facebook ad would be a powerful way of reaching out to your target audience. Apart from specifying the location ( a cluster of cities, 10-50 miles in the vicinity of each other can be chosen for one ad), age (40 and above), gender (female), general interests (Health and Well Being) and precise interests (Beauty Products/Cosmetics/Beauty Tips/Anti Ageing), you also have advanced targeting (http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/4127-How-to-Target-Facebook-Ads-to-your-Audience ) options like custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

In 2013, Twitter introduced TV Targeting which is yet another powerful way of targeting specific groups, by channelizing real time content and ads to target the increasing number of consumers who watch TV on their smartphones or tabs. Aptly categorized into TV Ad Targeting and TV Conversation Targeting, a number of brands like Adidas, Jaguar and Holiday Inn reaping its benefits. (https://business.twitter.com/tv-targeting )

Owned Media: Micro Targeting for Long-Term Relationships

There is often a very thin line that demarcates micro targeting and intrusive marketing, and this can be understood better by clearly defining your short-term and long-term marketing objectives, validating your data, and paying genuine attention towards what your customers really want. The basic principle is to understand when and where the potential customer is actually looking for information, and reaching out to them only then.

Marketers tend to cross the line and become intrusive when they try to force their offerings upon customers when they are not looking for it. So no matter how alluring an offer on a random, unwarranted pop-up ad might be, it will in all probability be found to be intrusive (and annoying) by a potential customer. On the other hand, putting your best foot forward where the end-user is actually looking for a good offer, is the way to go in micro targeting. For instance, the behaviorally targeted ads of Amazon and EBay, based upon the search history and browsing patterns of users have enabled thousands of e-commerce stores to reach out to the right consumers, at the right time and right place.

As far as cost effectiveness, control, versatility and establishing a long-term rapport with a nice audience is concerned, your owned media channels will always provide you with an upper hand. In fact, the right use of owned media micro targeting techniques can work wonders for your marketing campaign. And with all the clutter that customers finds around themselves today, it is equally important to create high-impact, engaging and personalized content to stand out in the sea of mediocrity.

Stepping out of the realm of social media, even online communities offer vast potential for micro-targeting. The Geo-Educator Community formed by National Geographic has been pivotal in increasing the brand’s engagement levels with the teaching community across the world. Even the simplest of features in your owned media channels can be harnessed for targeting specific groups. For example, you can customize your Facebook pages with different custom banners or cover photos for different groups, rather than having a standardized banner for all. So if you are selling a product for pre-teens and teens, and you want to drive a message across to parents as well, your customized banners will enable you to micro target these groups separately, and in the most effective manner.

Paid Media Micro Targeting: Broadening Your Horizons

Very often, well-charted and high-budget marketing campaigns fail to bring in results, because it failed to reach the right audience at the right time. For reaching out to the group that is most relevant to your organization, opting for paid media micro targeting options, such as display ads, paid search sponsorship, or even outsourcing your requirements to an established digital marketing company, is necessary.

While owned media has its own significant role to play in projecting your brand, its scope will always remain limited. Take for instance, the significant role of micro targeting in movie promotions, as opposed to the kind of promotional activities that were conducted a decade earlier. With teasers and trailers going viral on YouTube, and content being directed towards key audiences groups on Twitter and Facebook, digital micro targeting has been instrumental in the success of many movies today. Who would have thought that a limited release, $5-million budget movie like Spring Breakers, would gross $31 million purely on account of its social media campaign, intensively targeting teenagers and youngsters on Twitter and Facebook.

The magic of micro targeting is also evident in the realm of book promotions. In the words of renowned Author Amish Tripathi, who is accredited with the fastest selling book series in the history of Indian publishing, it was the digital media that came to his rescue, when the mainstream media ignored his books. By providing the first chapter of ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ for free on his Facebook page generating instant word-of-mouth, and targeting YouTube users by creating a short, high-impact YouTube trailer based on his book (the first of its kind in the history of Indian Publishing), he was successful in selling 1.7 million copies of the book, and has paved the way for other Indian writers to follow similar digital marketing techniques today.

The Way Ahead

The key to success in micro targeting lies in focusing on the relevance of the parameters that you use for categorizing your target groups. Once you get the basis of your categorization or profiling right, it becomes easier to focus on your audience, thoroughly understand their needs and sensibilities. Leveraging multichannel campaigns with a combination of owned and paid media channels, is what comes next. For all the digital marketing professionals who haven’t started their journey in micro targeting, the time is ripe to commence now!