24th Nov 2016

Everything You Need To Know About Marketing To The Next Generation

In 2016 we’ve seen a huge focus on how brands and retailers should market to young audiences, particularly the 18-25 demographic, also known as ‘millennials.’ However with the next generation of consumers now growing up and looking to make their own buying decisions, it’s time for businesses and marketers to begin thinking about new ways to target this new audience. 

With so much having changed in the last 20 years, including huge advances in technology, the rise of social media and the arrival of online shopping, there’s plenty to consider if you’re wanting to target this new complex group of shoppers.  

Social Media Is Key 

Unlike older generations who have had to eventually adapt to social media, this new generation of internet users have grown up around and involved in a social media focused world. With social media everywhere, including on mobile and tablet devices, it means that social media has also become an important way in which people buy. 

Instead of using social media to keep in touch with family and friends, nowadays there’s a huge audience who look to connect with and follow both social influencers and brands on social media in order to find out more information about a product, ask questions or deal with a problem. 

Businesses optimising their social media channels à la Missguided or ASOS, means they can reach out to younger audiences who might look to social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram and even Tumblr as a form of inspiration. 

By focusing on establishing a young, fun, on trend social media personality, you can become more than a business, making you brand seem more like a fun activity or entertaining news source, rather than becoming just another businesses trying to reach out to people.  

Bloggers And Influencers 

2016 has been the year of the influencer and despite many retailers still believing that social influencers aren’t important, they’re definitely something brands should be looking at working with if they’re looking to reach out to teenage and young adult audiences. 

Younger shoppers are more than likely going to look for inspiration or reviews online before they even consider buying your products. While impulse buying still exists and always will, it’s becoming more and more popular for people to look for blog posts, social influencer opinion and even to Pinterest first, before making a buying decision. 

Encouraging audiences to submit their own images of them wearing, using or generally interacting with one of your products generates influential and inspiring content that can help those unsure of purchasing from your business to consider doing so. 

Adding social proof is no longer something that should just be considered, it’s something that every business needs to be thinking about implementing in the upcoming year, in order to engage with a brand new, more savvy type of shoppers. 

Openness and Mutual Understanding 

These days young shoppers know themselves and what they want and they expect to be understood by brands also. With younger generations knowing their own self worth it means that they have a new outlook on how they should be and expect to be treated by businesses.  

Add this to the confidence these shoppers have on social media platforms and websites and it means that you business needs to be ready to step up and go the extra mile for your customers, don’t just treat them like any customer, always personalise your interactions in order to engage more. 

It’s important to also remember that young doesn’t mean stupid, in fact younger generations are a lot more switched on when it comes to businesses and marketing then they’d have you believe. 

It can be very obvious when a brand is trying to sell, be it through an influencer, a paid ad or through your social media content, don’t fool people, be authentic disclose sales information and don’t try too hard to continuously sell, it doesn’t look good and it can turn many away from your brand. 

Whilst the above are all important tips in appealing to teenage and young adult audiences, there’s no reason they can’t apply to your marketing strategies for many audiences, the days of putting your audience into boxes are gone and now it’s about finding out what works for your business and your target audience. 

With an open mind, a great plan and an insight into the world you’re looking to market to, your brand can be delivering an optimised, relevant and unique experience that customers, of any age, can continue to enjoy.

Article By
Sarah Seymour,
Published: 24th November, 2016
Categories: Marketing

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