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Are marketers forgetting younger generations act differently?

Today’s marketers are missing a trick if they are not specifically targeting their youth audiences. It’s no secret that millennials like to stay connected.

Goddesses chatting, Hermes Holding a dog



This post was first published on Voxburner, in the run up to their YMS event in London. YMS is the BIGGEST festival of youth marketing in Europe. With over 1500 attendees expected in 2017, the event brings together thought leaders, top brands and innovative agencies that are pioneering movements within the youth sector.

We'll be talking to the YMS17 crowd on the Digital Stream. Before we do, let’s take a look at how the youth of today want to be reached by the brands they interact with. 

Are marketers forgetting younger generations act differently?

Today’s marketers are missing a trick if they are not specifically targeting their youth audiences. It’s no secret that millennials and centennials like to stay connected. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the millennial generation acts in the same way. Our advice? Tread with caution and avoid stereotypes by listening to your data.

Last year, we conducted a piece of research that highlighted where brands are missing the mark with the targeting of their customer communications. The main issue found in our research was a lack of relevance and personalisation in emails - brands need to target generations differently to appeal to their audiences effectively.

Let’s discover where marketers need to take their communication strategy to appeal to their youth audiences.

A mobile first generation

Brands need to ensure their content is relevant and responsive to the design needs of a younger, more mobile generation. 34% of consumers under the age of 30 are most likely to open their emails on a mobile device, and nearly 1 in 5 will convert on a mobile. If you’re not offering a mobile responsive experience for your customers, then it might be that your youth audiences are converting elsewhere. Marketers must consider how their communications appear on different devices when looking at increasing their conversion metrics.

However, it’s not the only aspect: youth consumers are persuaded by personalisation and design.

Personalisation plays a part, but design is key

Offering a personalised experience remains key to youth audiences, with 39% saying it has the biggest impact on whether they convert with a brand or not. However, email design has the greatest impact, with 43% of consumers under the age of 30 saying it evokes the strongest reason to click. Marketers need to focus on creating well-designed emails, so they can engage their audience and persuade them to convert.

Before tempting customers to convert, brands need to capture the consumer’s attention. How do you do this? Our consumer research indicated that youth audiences find design, personalisation, and the timeliness of emails most persuasive when brands are trying to capture their attention.

Marketers need to reach their younger audiences when they are in the moment, so bring on real-time marketing!

Growing demand for real-time communication

60% of Brits under the age of 30 admit to blurring the lines of business and pleasure by checking personal emails during the working day. When asked to put a figure on the number of times they look through their personal emails a day, 1 in 7 admitted to checking at least 20 times or more. And, 92% allow for real-time notifications across their portable devices to alert them when brands have reached out via email.

A need for real-time communications is vitally important when targeting consumers under the age of 30, as 58% actually look for real-time notifications after interacting with a brand. Brands not offering a real-time approach to email could be missing a valuable opportunity. Younger consumers look to convert in the moment, so the timing an email is received becomes the most influential factor when making a purchase.

Channels no longer stand alone

Youth consumers still take the most notice of brands through email. Brands need to take their email approach to younger generations seriously, making it an experience that engages and captures the attention of younger minds. However, a large percentage of consumers under the age of 30 are receptive to brand communications and offers delivered through the likes of Instagram (20%), Twitter (21%) and Facebook (39%), indicating why social media channels should not be ignored. Marketers need to consider the overall customer experience and ensure that channels are no longer a standalone experience; email and social channels need to complement each other.

Brands need to ensure they understand the nuances of their youth markets by making use of creativity and personalisation data. By doing this, brands will be able to deliver campaigns that hit the mark. The days of spray and pray are gone: email marketing must be created to appeal to the individual, whether that means utilising real-time insights, compelling email design or new communication channels.

We’ve looked at some of the strategies marketers need to implement into their brand communications so they’re appealing to youth audiences. Here’s a quick checklist of five actionable takeaways summarising what we’ve covered, to help make your emails relevant.

  • Opt for a mobile first approach: youth consumers are going mobile first, so you should be too.

  • Be personal to engage younger audiences.

  • Design engaging emails that entice readers to click through to your brand.

  • Reach your customers when they are in the moment, when you have their full attention.

  • Create a seamless experience: your channels are not silos, let them support each other to help your brand thrive. 

Overwhelmed by what all this might mean for your company? Fear not! Technology is to the rescue, and we’ll have a look at how to seamlessly integrate it all into your strategy during the session.

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