Millennials? WHO CARES?

I just read a bunch of articles about why marketers are wasting time and money on Millennials.   Here’s a quote from an article (I’ll source it later) that perfectly sums up my last job  “..it’s not uncommon occurrence to find a digital agency packed with young Millennials and managed by Gen Xers serving a client roster of Baby Boomer-owned companies trying to cater to Millennials and/or Boomers.”

What they are really saying:

Marketers are courting Millennials but Boomers have all the money.

As someone with an extensive sales background and a journalism degree, I can tell you both professions have the same rule.  The number one rule is “Follow the money.”  It’s also true for police detectives.  Why aren’t marketers playing by the same rule?

Ageism

Millennial hipster

It’s true.  We have a youth addiction.  I can’t remember a time when we weren’t marketing to young people.  In recent history, we marketed to Boomers because they were huge.  So many boomers!  Then we marketed youth to the Boomers.  Then we marketed to the Millennials.  Rarely do you see older people in advertising for products that all generations use.  Cars, furniture, technology, food.   All have good looking under 40 year olds in the  bulk of their advertising.

Forrester’s study “The Future of Shopping” says we should be doing just the opposite.  Not only do the Boomers out number the Millennials, they have the better jobs, equity in their homes, and more money to spend.  Gen Y is often financially strapped.  (April 2015)

Technology

Millennials are the first generation brought up on 100% technology.  And technology rules all of our lives, regardless of what generation.  However, marketers are making a mistake courting the Millennials.  They will buy technology anyway.  All generations use technology, to some degree and with smarter phones and ease of use tablets, the numbers for the Boomers is increasing.  And they are using their devices to buy…everything.

Not Millennials, A Boomer

eMarketer statistic from 2013:  49% of Boomer/Senior tablet users and 40% of smartphone users made at least one purchase within the last year after gathering information on their mobile device.

The numbers continue to increase every year.

 

Stock

Stock market?  Millenials?  Uh, no.  Again being financially strapped, they aren’t investing.    Following the money, Boomers are the ones putting money in and making transactions in the stock market.  But that’s not the only reason they rule the stock market.

Products being purchased by Boomers are increasing their stock prices.   Specifically healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and the like.

All Inclusive – Millennials too

The best article I read was about forgetting the Millenials, and even Boomers and Gen Xers.  Instead market to all people who would use your product.  “I’ve got a new target for you and it’s not millennials,” he said. “It’s human beings. They are going to be big.” Will Clarke, executive creative director at the Integer Group.

The best person to see your marketing and advertising, is the one most likely to buy.  And, they just might be a Boomer.

If you found this article interesting, please share it!

Millenials, Boomers, Gen Xers

Suggested articles to make you think:

Forget Millennials, Market to Human Beings

Hey Retailers – Forget Millennials, Follow The Money

Forget Millennials, Boomers are Driving the Stock Market

Digital Marketers – Don’t Forget the Boomers

 

 

How Good is that Content Service?

Automated Content is Trite.

Did you learn a few years back that a blog on your site helps move you through the ranks on Google?  So you purchased a service for $400 a month and they add content to your blog and post a little on social media for you.

Ever wonder why that content is  not making you rise to the top?

cookie cutter contentGoogle knows.  It’s scary, but they KNOW!   Google can tell if your content is a cookie cutter blog that has been sold many times over to several others in your industry.  Maybe they offered you some sort of exclusivity in your market.  Maybe the didn’t.  Doesn’t matter.  Google can tell if it has “read” the same content before.  And especially if it’s over and over and over.

Most people have fired their content companies, if they are still practicing under this plan because Google wants fresh content.  Not duplication.  The new buzz word is Unique Content.

So.  What is Unique Content?

Unique.

It’s content created for your site,  that can’t be found anywhere else.  This doesn’t mean that the ideas you are writing about haven’t been expressed before.  For example a brand new plastic surgeon is probably going to want a blog about what it’s like to get a face lift.  That’s been done before.  But the content written for this doctor is not plagiarized.  It was created for that blog, for that doctor at that time.

Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitten
Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitten

You don’t have to be as unique as a rainbow butterfly unicorn kitten.  If you are, you might win the internet, but you don’t have to be, to win at Google.

Value.

This also means if it adds value to your blog, you can take a video, or a quote from an author, or even a snippet from Wikipedia, and add it to your blog.  The trick to this is to ensure that you’re not just posting a piece of someone else’s work, but using it to enhance your work or enhance the reader’s experience / knowledge.

Adding value is the nuance to Google’s algorithms.  For example you’ll see that I will be adding some sample blogs to my site.  Instead of just copying it word for word from the client’s site, or just linking to it, what I’ve done is make a case study out of it.   So while the blog I wrote for the client, brings value to their customers, my customers might not see any value.  But to see why it was written the way it was written is of value to those that follow my marketing advice.

Trust.

Don’t feel that you can’t share your blog either.  Putting it on twitter or Facebook isn’t going to devalue the content in Google.  And in some cases it can help.  Linking out to other’s content that you have used, giving the sources for the information you read and digested to write the blog, also help.   The more people who link to your content, the more you link out, the more Google has trust in your site.  Trust that you know what you are talking about, that you are giving props where due, and people are finding it useful.

So you don’t have to sweat your blog content.  You don’t need to get bogged down in the do’s and don’ts.  What you need to express in your content, is the same thing that your customers want from you.  Information on why you are unique, why you can be trusted, and that you give good value.

Hire me.

If you feel that it’s still all too much, hire me.   I’ll write your blog / content, keeping in mind the office culture in your business, your “voice”, and all that Google wants to have it succeed.

Multiple Devices Have Changed Marketing

 marketing on multiple devices

Marketing and Advertising has been forever changed from products to people.

The 4 P’s of Advertising and Marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion, no longer cut it.  Product. With the internet every product on earth has been aptly described.  Price no longer matters because those shopping on price will buy low.  But those wanting service will buy high.  Place used to refer to the placement of the product on the shelves.  Eye level or end cap got the best buys.  Promotion – Advertising, advertising, advertising.

So instead, what should you be doing?

Customization.  It’s all about choices today.  People want a product that fits their specific needs, not one that is close enough.  The more people can customize their product the more they will buy, and buy at a level that might be a little higher than they want, but they will consider the value worth it.

Example:  eInsurance has done a great job of explaining that “sorta like you” isn’t you in their marketing messages.

Convenience.  People will pay more to have something when they want it.  You can search all day for widgets that are just pennies apart on cost, but people will buy the widget that can be sent to their work instead of their home, and sent on the date the widget is required.  And often they will buy at a higher price to get what they want.

A good example of convenience can be found on most any website.  FREE STANDARD SHIPPING, or pay slightly more to have it shipped overnight.

Service.  Likewise with customer service.  People will pay more having good service.  Little things, like a confirmation email when something is shipped with a tracking number.  Or a thank you not inside the package when it arrives.  Free gifts that weren’t expected.   Service can really change the shape of the marketplace.

For example, I recently purchased a gift for myself on Mother’s Day as a remembrance to the women in my family who have gone before me.  The Etsy jeweler I purchased it from, not only sent a handwritten note in the package but in that not referenced the reason I purchased the item.

Message delivery.  And the most important thing that has changed in marketing is cross-device messages.  This is more than just making sure your email or ad can be seen on a mobile phone.  It’s knowing how people use each device, when they use it,  and what part of your product story needs to be told on that device.  The phone is immediate but also all day long.  A tablet might be used at work, or at home after hours only.  Laptops might be work only.  When is your customer watching television?  Is it delayed viewing?  What device do they have with them while viewing?

marketing message from zulilyI adore the marketing at Zulily.  I see it everywhere, with different messages to me.  On Pinterest, I see “My Closet” reminding me of the items I’ve purchased.  On Facebook, I’ll se an item that maybe I put in my cart but didn’t purchase.  Also on Facebook and in email, I get notices when my card has been run for an item, and when that item has shipped.  I even got an email message that and item had not arrived by the shipping date with the chance to cancel my order at no charge.  The cancellation notice appeared in email and Facebook messaging!  In my emails, I see clothing not only that I would like but is specifically available in my size. And on the phone or on the tablet and laptop, I see advertising on my favorite websites.  Zulily is a company that knows where their customers are, how they shop, and what message to send to which place.

Take away.  The best advice a marketer can give their client is knowing what messages to deliver, when to deliver them, and how they will be consumed by the various devices on hand.  And the best products will be those that offer customization, convenience and service, keeping their customer’s habits in mind when offering up something for purchase.