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Stephen Blackwell, Chief Strategy Officer with Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group presented on what it takes to reach the ad-nostic generation in the age of technological disruption. How does a modern marketer effectively navigate the sheer volume of content options to ensure their message reaches Millennials?
Millennials are a key growth demographic for most brands and consumption habits have changed with all the technology. This demographic is interested in experiential economics and brands that add value to their lives. They would rather purchase a vacation or music festival pass than save for a down-payment on a car. Nevertheless, they represent 200 billion in buying power.
There is no cookie-cutter approach. Disruptive technology has outpaced previous communication tools – Print, Radio, and TV – in innovation and speed at which new tech hits the market. Between 1993 when the first commercial website was launched and now – we’re inundated with content and methods by which we consume it. Millennials are used to change.
Stephen used the example of the TV show The Bachelor, which aired on TV with 5.7M views. The Snapchat show about The Bachelor had 7.5M views – more than the actual TV show!
Brands will need to reach their audience at every moment of the experience -social, display, all the devices and the experience itself.
Stephen’s team spearheaded the Mazda Studio at SXSW (South by Southwest) music festival in Austin, TX. Mazda owned the entire experience from the building where festival events took place, to the sponsorship of musical acts, to interactive film and other programming. They displayed their cars and did owner appreciation events, but the defining characteristic was the total ownership of all the elements. Artists tweeted and posted, acting as social influencers throughout the events.
Mazda provided value to its brand partners and customers by creating a meaningful on the ground experience. Seventy-five percent of attendees reported understanding the brand better and having interacted with at least three elements of the event marketing mix. Stephen says that to be involved successfully with the experiential economy you’ll need to invest in scale – media, OTG experience, influencers, social and refreshable media that continues long past the event being complete.
Impact customers where they are, whenever they are – branded programming will continue to be the lifeblood of reaching Millennials. Realize that as you create experiences and impressions, you are playing a long game – some Millennials may not be ready to purchase expensive items like a car or household appliances, but they’ll remember your brand having provided value and will consider your brand first, when they are ready.