There are so many possibilities to connect with Generation Y, but the challenge lies in managing and integrating all these touch points. The shop in your favourite city is linked to Facebook, where you can find the latest collection you can buy online & share with your friends and wear afterwards on the event the brand organizes: integration is everything! So reaching out to millennials and communicating with them requires good touch point management.
The touch point mix is the second step in our 5 step plan for marketers to improve your marketing to the demanding Gen Y customers (based on interviews with 21 global marketing executives, such as Converse, Heineken, Abercrombie & Fitch, BBC, Reckitt & Benckiser and many more).
Point of sale
Look at your (web)shop as if it’s your own home: if you invite people to your home you want everything to be in order. You want people to have a nice impression of you and you want to make them feel comfortable. Hopefully they will spread the word and will be eager to come back. Don’t forget about social shopping either: it’s an important trend that will emerge more in the future. Offline and online go hand in hand: GenY’ers have the tendency to ask feedback from a friend when shopping offline or online. The faster, the better!
One of the new services we are testing now with eBay is all about this instant gratification. It is called “help me find”. For instance, if you see a bag you like, you can immediately take a picture, tag your friends and ask them to help you find out which brand it is and where you can buy it. It is this type of instant services allowing you to connect with your friends that are endorsing the social shopping trend among Gen Y. Clelia Morales, Head of Social Media & PR eBay EU
Media & Advertising
What about good old fashioned above-the-line campaigns? Of course they’re not dead. It’s just necessary to know that you won’t make it with a single TV spot. Actually, campaigns are great to create global awareness. But it’s not enough to just leave it at that. Integration with social media is a must. The campaign should trigger some kind of interaction with your consumer.
Gen Y understands very well what marketing and advertising is about and that marketing people paid big sums of money to put their logo on TV. If the content is not entertaining or relevant it’s useless. Of course TV commercials are still important but it’s all the digital marketing around it, the extra content like in films or behind the scenes, the challenges and little games make the commercial more talkeable and interesting. So it’s all about understanding the context of a touch point. Mark Van Iterson, Head of Global Brand Design Heineken
A website is more than just an information stall about your product. It is what you are: you can share your past, your present and your future and get feedback from your consumers. You can engage and connect on a deeper level than for instance on your Facebook page (which is obviously linked to your website and vice versa). Contests, games or advertising often refer to the website. Make sure you keep your new visitors by making them more curious: hide a riddle, reveal a secret or show exclusive footage! Don’t make it overcomplicated though: your website should be a portal where everything your consumer needs to know is presented in an intuitive and engaging way.
Of course, social media are a must. Facebook for example should be integrated in all communication actions. Don’t think of it as a one-way communication platform though: the most valuable feature of Facebook is the fact that it enables interaction and inspiration (by brands, celebrities and friends). Not only with the brand, but also with their peers. It is a great platform to try new things and to innovate. Playing with trending topics, asking them about the latest news and using humour are successful ways to connect with your GenY audience. Visual (image, video footage) posts on your Facebook page will work 6 times better than text based status updates.
Brands have to be more social today and that doesn’t just mean adding a Facebook tab and Twitter account. It’s about investing in community management and establish a strong social voice. It means that you have to respond and syndicate conversations about your brand and payments and create real two-way dialogues. It takes serious commitment and engagement to get people to talk about your brand or service – you should ask yourself: why should they care, why should they share? Peter Jung, Senior Business Leader MasterCard
Use mobile efforts to connect with your consumers and connect them with each other. Don’t create just another app: make it relevant.
- Take location-based marketing to the next level: it’s not about knowing where your customer is, but about customizing your communication in the right context. If you know you customer is in the gym working out, you might as well communicate about your energy drink.
- When are your customers the most active? Maybe during lunch? Maybe just before or after school? Link certain actions to these timings!
- It’s not about culture, but about services: where are the good restaurants, where are the other people around here who have the same product as me? How can I connect with them as fast as possible?
- Don’t make a rip-off of your website, but do something unique. An app is a perfect platform for branded utility.
Being relevant is defined on three levels: product level, company level and experience level. Events are the way to go when you want to create an ultimate customer experience. Not only can you connect with your consumers, but consumers can also connect with each other. This results in WOM, sharing stories online and long-lasting memories.
When it comes to touch points, although we have the right product in the right shops and successful social media networks, we believe connecting with consumers in real life, physically, is still very important. So skateboarding events like Coastal Carnage at Huntington beach are important because we bring 10,000s of people together to interact socially with each other and it’s an exceptional experience that they will discuss with their friends both on- and offline. Geoff Cottrill, CMO Converse
Managing touch points nowadays means having a well-balanced mix of online and offline channels.