In 2016, marketing will become age-agnostic. Great brands will start engaging consumers with content focused on their passions and values, according to the latest Communications Trends Report Hotwire PR released last month.
Age is just a number
Age may have played a central role in the marketing campaigns of old. This required a lot of targeting with demographics. But age no longer defines today’s consumers. 50-year-olds can be as knowledgeable and savvy as 20-somethings when it comes to the latest technologies. And likewise, a 20-something may be as big of a vinyl junkie as 50-year-old vinyl collectors.
It’s these interests (personal passions, values and hobbies) that pique their emotional engagement and attention that your marketing efforts need to focus on.
If you’re one of the many brand marketers who are struggling to reach the millennial generation, it’s not because millennials are more cynical or adept at filtering out marketing messages than any other generations, it’s because lumping all millennials into one giant age bucket is problematic and simply ineffective.
Millennials apply to any individuals born between 1980 and 2000. This means some people are currently still in high school, while others may have over a decade of professional experience under their belt already. In other words, the individuals we call millennials are in different stages in their lives, with very different concerns, interests and responsibilities. So how can one assume that a one-size-fits-all campaign can effectively reach all these different groups of people?
Personal content that works
When creating content and campaigns today, brand marketers need to understand what really motivates their specific customer groups based on their mindset and values. This involves defining what topics your target audience is most interested in, what content types or formats they prefer and the channels they use frequently, for each stage of the buyer journey.
Creating personal content that your target audience actually wants and needs, which truly adds value to their daily lives, is how you can connect with consumers. Building buyer personas is not the silver bullet to all your content marketing problems. In fact, personas actually suck when they fail to inform marketers of the topics that are important to their target audience, to actually help reach them.
As Hotwire PR’s report suggests, effective marketing needs to focus on what really motivates and matters to your target audience based on their values and passions.
Samsung Safety Truck: Smart age-agnostic marketing
With the rise of ad blocking and increased competition in content marketing, your ability to cut through the noise and get heard is to be relevant and useful. Brands need to figure out how to creatively turn their content marketing efforts into useful, relevant experiences for consumers and the society at large.
Samsung’s recent campaign for its high-quality screens is a great example of this. People who drive, regardless of their age, know how painful it is to be driving behind a truck on a narrow or single-lane road. Large trucks and trailers are slow (and sometimes smelly) and difficult to overtake due to their size.
So Samsung built the Safety Truck. The truck consists of a front-mounted, wireless camera that broadcasts road conditions live on four large Samsung screens located at the back of the vehicle, showing drivers behind the truck when it is safe to overtake.
Samsung explained the motivation behind the Safety Truck campaign was to save lives through innovation. Argentina has one of the world’s highest number of traffic accidents, and most accidents were a result of overtaking situations. With this in mind, Samsung has been working with the government of Argentina and safe driving NGOs to test out the Safety Truck prototypes, with hopes to roll out this technology one day.
Samsung has cleverly turned its marketing campaign into a value-add experience for its consumers. Not only did it change a negative experience into a positive one which would resonate with most consumers who drive, the campaign also demonstrated Samsung’s values and passions for making the world a better place through its products.
The Hotwire finds that great marketing is no longer just about selling a product for its sole use. Successful brands need to build their campaigns on the idea of “useful brands,” which requires empathy and a great understanding of their products and the “wider world” consumers live in today. When a company’s campaigns are seen as useful, its products will be viewed as useful as well. The Safety Truck campaign has successfully established Samsung as such.
Hotwire also reports that consumers are increasingly making their buying decisions based on a company’s values and engagement with the topics they care about, which may impact their communities or the wider world. Brands who identify and share similar values and interests with their target consumers, and demonstrating them through both words and actions, will see a healthy growth in their sales and revenue.
Samsung’s Safety Truck campaign does just that. Its commitment and effort to improve the world effectively speaks to consumers who share similar values. This not only allow Samsung to capture their attention, but also ensures a positive brand affinity between its target audience and products, which is key to winning consumer eyeballs and dollars.
Great brands create continuous, customer-driven content their target audience wants and needs, which appeals to their values, interests and passions. And how do you do this? You need to start thinking and acting like a publisher and less like an advertiser.
What do you think? Are you creating age-agnostic content already or will you be trying it out in 2016?
For more insight to boost your marketing success in 2016, see Top 10 Left-Brain Skills Marketers Need In 2016.
Photo Source: Steven Leonti, flickrComments