Tips for Marketing to the Millennial Generation

Millennials are a popular topic of conversation. Whether discussing how much you hate or love them, the internet is abuzz with talk of Generation Y. But despite the negativity surrounding this generation, there are currently 80 million Millennials in the U.S. with an annual buying power of over $600 billion.

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Therefore, every marketer should be making this generation a priority.  As a millennial myself, born in 1990, I can attest to understanding our habits, likes, and dislikes. We may be particular and at time unconventional but we are still loyal to brands we love.

According to a Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and–despite popular belief–do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands.”

With millennials as a driving force in the marketing place, here are a few key tactics geared towards engaging with this super power generation.

1. Authenticity is Essential

According to AdAge, “Millennials are spending an average of 25 hours per week online – and they’re craving content-driven media.” Between searching blogs, websites, YouTube channels and other social media platforms, we are also sharing, liking, tweeting, snapping, forwarding, pinning and commenting our findings, resulting in a huge online community. The content that strongly resounds with millennials is based on what we see value in and trust.

Millennials connect best with people over logos.

For example, blogs. 33% of millennials rely on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to the fewer than 3% who use TV news, magazines, and books. While the older generations rely on traditional media,  millennials look to social media for an authentic look at what’s going on in the world, especially content written by their peers. Despite the fact that blogs are usually run by an individual rather than corporations, millennials trust the blogger’s opinions. We use bloggers as a kind of adviser to help us make a purchasing decision.

Same with social media platforms like YouTube. I know for myself if I am interested in buying any new product or experimenting with a new brand, I first seek out reviews on YouTube. I have access to these reviews anywhere I go on my smartphone and I like the casualness of hearing someone speak candidly about something they do or do not like. Just like you would seek advice from a friend or family member, I can do that with strangers who share my interests on my social networks.

84 percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy, and 73 percent say it’s important to read others’ opinions before purchasing.

Advertisers, therefore, need to find a way to incorporate this information into their campaigns. For brands that want to successfully reach Gen Y-ers, they need to speak our language. Meaning, they need to create content that we will proudly share, like, pin, tweet, snap, and forward to others. That way the can build a real, authentic brand-customer relationship.

2. We Want an Experience

We millennials prefer experiences over possessions. We are more interested in brands that can show us how to improve our lives, rather than brands that are pushy with selling to us.  In an age of growing minimalist and the environmentally conscience, this is particularly important. To us, possessions come and go, but experiences can resonate forever. Advertisers need to ask themselves how their brand can contribute to an overall experience for millennials.

This is where inbound marketing strategies come into play. Millennials want e-books, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information. This is your company’s chance to provide content that ranks high in Google and shows us you know what you are talking about. Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts. But they are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

Home Depot is an example of a company who is currently killing it with this marketing strategy. Here is their YouTube channel.

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As you can see, there are a number of how-to videos and home improvement DIYs. Not only can you buy all that you need at Home Depot, but you can learn how to install, build and be inspired all the while they are marketing themselves. Their brand and videos will continuously pop up in web searches. With over 100,000 subscribers, Home Depot’s YouTube channel is clearly ranking on Google searches with inquiries about home and garden projects.

By utilizing millennials favorite social media platforms, you can create shareable content and keep up your authenticity and trust.

 

3. Stay Relevant

Trends come and go. We all know that. However, staying on top of what is trending can help your brand, significantly, especially with hashtags and ranking in Google.

Another great brand that is reaching out perfectly to Millennials is Netflix. “While Netflix has a lot of different customers spanning different generations, Millennials are vital to this company. One way that Netflix reaches out to this generation is by having great social media campaigns and linking up Netflix accounts with Facebook. Netflix is constantly on the watch when it comes to this generation because they want to make sure they keep reaching out perfectly. Studies show 75% of millennials with connected televisions are using them to watch Netflix.”

Here is an example of on of their past advertisements.

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They took a popular hashtag about their company, used for more comedic purposes and meme creation, to target their younger generation audience. Now they are part of the trending conversation and staying relevant.

4. Collaboration

Along with wanting an experience, millennials are interested in having a say.  In fact, 42 percent said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. They want to be more involved with how products get created. According to aforementioned Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “companies that enable them to be part of the product development process will be more successful. Marketers need to focus on building relationships with consumers by fueling their self-expression and helping them establish their own personal brand.”

Here is an example provided by Hub Spot writer Meaghan Moras: “Coca-Cola used online co-creation to gather expressions of its brand promise “Energizing refreshment.” They prompted their audience to unleash their creativity by interpreting Coca-Cola as an energizing refreshment in whatever style or format they wished. Coca-Cola gathered these videos, animations, illustrations, and photographs to use in its marketing campaigns worldwide. This method was mutually beneficially in that Millennials all over the world got to pour a bit of themselves into a product made for them while helping Coca-Cola bring fresh authenticity to the market.”

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5. Communication and Connection

Staying engaged with the millennial generation is very important. This includes commenting on social media posts, posting consistently, and giving us the impression that each customer is important. A great example of how to do this is through giveaways, special discounts, contests, and loyalty programs. A platform we haven’t discussed much yet is Instagram. According to the Huffington Post, “The visual platform has been rapidly growing and now boasts 300 million monthly active users, with 41% being aged 16-24 and at 35% are in their 24-34s.” These numbers show that your brand needs to be engaging with us through this app. The most successful of brands that use Instagram feature photos regularly (have I mentioned how important consistency is?)and dedicate hashtags. They post pictures on their page that their followers have tagged them in. They invite popular Instagrammers to take over their page to keep their brand fresh and new. We millennials are definitely flattered when a brand we love acknowledges us. I know for myself, I have tagged brands in some of my personal Instagram posts and even a “like” back makes me feel special.

Finding ways to boost engagement will do nothing but improve your chances as being noticed by the trendsetting generation.

Wrap Up

Find the authenticity of your brand and run with it.

Stop screaming “buy!” and start yelling” We have an experience for you!”

Stay up to date on trends and use them to your advantage.

Get us involved in your products.

Consistency. Engagement. Connection.

5 Tips for Advertising on Local Radio

In a time where podcasts and ad-free music apps are quickly taking over consumer preferences, chances are local radio is not on your advertising radar.

radioHowever, there are still millions of people out there who find this free resource invaluable. Don’t overlook these consumers, as radio is affordable and working for many agencies.

Here is a little cheat sheet on how to successfully advertise your business or product via radio.

  1. Find High Frequency Ads

Running your commercial only once or twice a week isn’t enough. In order for listeners to really absorb your information, you need to run your ad multiple times a day on a local station. A commercial will have a better change at resonating with potential customers this way. Just be aware of the “nag” factor, as playing your commercial too much can possibly create a distance with customers.

     2. Production is Crucial

Radio gives you the chance to be extra creative on a small budget as you are depending on the listeners  imagination. Since production is simpler, all you need is good voice talent, music, an original, innovative script and sound effects. However, since your commercial isn’t relying on visuals, it is imperative to capture your audience with these tools, right away. Keep your copy clear and concise. And find good voice talent, with a strong radio presence. An experienced ad agency has access to good talent for less and can write and produce your spot so that it has the best chance of succeeding.

    3. Know Your Target Audience

You need to know that your target audience is listening to your commercial. The best way to do this is to find radio stations in your market. Some simple investigation can help you figure out what kind of listeners are tuning in to these stations and if they could be potential customers for your service or product.

    4. Timing is Everything

Radio ad rates are divided into four quarters, for the year. Generally speaking, ad rates are less expensive in the first and third quarters. Running your commercials during these time frames can be cheaper to advertise and potentially easier to negotiate rates with the station. By keeping in mind quarters or the time of year you are advertising in, you have the potential to be more creative with your approach. For example, by connecting your product with the time of year, or say, a holiday, you can establish a closer connection to your audience.

   5. Find the Best Rates

Obviously, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Even though ad rates are always rising, there are bundle deals and remnant ad agencies that can help you stretch your dollar. Sometimes, the more ads you buy, the better.

Keep an open mind as well.

In the new age of media, it is important not to forget about ad-supported free versions of apps like Pandora and Spotify, as they do run local advertisements. Since these apps have access to your registration information, like zip code, gender and birth year, they are able to provide relevant advertisements to each listener.

I hope you found these tips helpful! For more information, you can contact Media Partners directly at (800) 579-3031.

Writing Radio Ads that Work

Bad writing can mean the death of your radio campaign.writing

Because the power of radio relies so heavily on the quality of the copy, it is in your best interest to find a writer who recognizes this medium and understands how to target your specific audience.

Here are some tips for writing ads that will work and generate sales.

1. When Hiring a Writer

The best writers are those with broadcast experience. Radio relies on skill and salesmanship so you need someone who has an understanding of  direct response marketing. You also need to be willing to spend some money, as good writers aren’t cheap.

When hiring a writer, remember to let them write. Good writers will listen to you, but they will also do what is necessary to create the best ad to sell your product. Don’t get in their way and take over the project. Let them do what you hired them for.

2. Timing

Most radio spots are broken up into 30 second or 60 second segments. 60 seconds gives you twice the amount of time to get listeners attention. 30 seconds are usually good for well known products or a simply offer. We typically advocate for a 60 second commercial, as you need to mention the phone number or call to action, such as go to your website, at least three times. A 30 second advertisement is usually too short to include everything you need.

3. Call Now!

Since the main focus of direct response advertisement is to make the phone ring with inquiries, everything in the spot should prompt the listener to pick up the phone and call. Offer free consultations, free information or limited time offers to instill a sense of urgency in the customer. You want them to ACT NOW.

4. Selling Comes First

When you only have 60 seconds to work with, every single second counts. Get the listeners attention, make an offer and generate a response. That is your objective.  A good way to test if your ad is concise enough, remove the product from the copy. If you still have a complete concept, then your ad isn’t selling. The product, website, offer, phone number or selling idea should make up the entire spot.

5. Know Your Audience

This is key in any form of advertising. With radio, you have two options: Talk Radio and Music Radio.

With Talk Radio, your audience is ready to listen. Catching the listeners attention or blending into the surrounding talk are two ways to infiltrate talk radio. You want to encourage further listening.

With music radio, your ad will be an interruption. Your spot must peak the listeners interest before they can change the station.

6. Choose a Creative Format

There isn’t a set way to write a radio ad, however, here are a few creative formats that have been proven to work and get your listeners calling.

Straight Announcer- With a clear, straightforward copy and a strong, direct voice, nothing could be simpler for your ad. The announcer should speak as if addressing one single person. Asking questions such as “Have you ever…?” or “Wouldn’t you like…?” helps create a personal connection with the listener and makes the ad feel less like a lecture. With the right voice, this effortless approach can pull listeners in quickly.

Dialog – A typical example of this type of format, involves two people conversing with one another. One person is excited about a product or service and wants to share this information with the other person, who knows nothing about it. That person asks questions, while the other relays the information, thus divulging your product or services main information. If you have voices that match your demographic, speaking in a believable way, then this ad will come across as a testimony or referral, which is great for business.

Person on the Street– Asking real people what they think of your product is a great attention grabber. Get the person you are talking to on the street to describe how the product worked in their own words, or how it benefited them. Ask if they would recommended this product to others. Listeners will hear real people giving their true opinions and this will act as a testimony to your product. You can take this one step further by having the person on the street address the audience directly. Add in a celebrity endorsement or an experts opinion works great as well.

Vignette– This creative format, starts off with a short life scene exhibiting a problem. Then it cuts to the announcer who will describe your product as the solution. Time permitting, the life scene will continue, this time to show how your product has made their life easier. Make sure to return to the announcer to end the spot with a call to action and your 800 number.

7. Establish name identification early and often

Give the name of your company, service or product early in the spot. Since you only have 60 seconds, you want to establish everything your listener needs to know about your business as quickly and efficiently as possible. Repeat this information at least three times throughout the ad.

8. Use a memorable or relevant 800 number

Most radio isn’t interactive, like podcasts and apps like Pandora where you can click to call or purchase right from your phone. Most listeners are in the car or at work when they hear your ad. Therefore, they need to be able to remember your phone number if a phone isn’t within their reach.  A special 800 number relevant to your product, is very helpful.

9. Call to Action

Answer the question that listeners might have: “What do you want me to do right now?” Of course, you want them to call! Don’t be subtle about it either. For example, the announcer could say, “For a free brochure on how to get rid of extra weight fast, call 1-800-LOSE-FAT.”

10. Limited Time Offers

People respond well to limited time offers. It provokes a sense of urgency and urges a call to action. People don’t like to miss out on good deals. Establishing a deadline forces an immediate response.

I hope you found these tips for writing radio advertisements helpful! For more information, call us at 800-579-3031.

Women in the Business of Creative

By Niya Doncheva, MPW Marketing Coordinator – The latest issue of Ad Week contains a great article on page 15 discussingCreative Female “minding thegender gap” in creative agencies. Mark Obrien, the North American president of DDB, declares that “we expect that if we remove the barriers, the rise will happen naturally” when asked about the gender gap in creatives. On the other hand, Tony Hess, the CCO of Wunderman, commented that “the emotional pull to have children & families really can’t be overlooked. We work in wonderful amazing business that is a lot of fun but is incredibly demanding.” This year alone, five women have been promoted to creative chief positions and award show juries have finally become equal in selecting their jurors. Debra Sercy of Grace Blue favors the changes in saying that “Women increasingly are in consideration because they’ve risen through the ranks, they have proven their ability, they’re agile, they’re fearless, they’re strategic, and they’re smart.” Read more about “Minding The gender Gap” by Andrew McMains in the April 20 issue of Ad Week (adweek.com).

5 Ineffective Approaches of Traditional Agencies

As an agency with direct response in our DNA, we were struck by a recent article by the CMO of aCommerce agency, discussing the 5 reasons why you should fire your digital agency. Most digital agencies are trying to create branding and exposure via display, social and search, and as such are not suited for e-commerce in the way a direct response oriented agency thinks.

Within online advertising, the trend has been a shift towards performance marketing, in other words direct response. This means the goal is not to spend more, but spend better. The article cited 5 elements worth repeating here that represent the increasingly ineffective approach of traditional agencies that should steer you to consider shifting toward an agency like Media Partners Worldwide that focuses on direct response, eCommerce oriented media spend:

  • Inefficient marketing spend that drives volume but not quality traffic
  • Overly focused on social, which does not have a direct ROI, but is more relevant to the consideration part of the purchase funnel process. Direct is more focused on ROI, LTV of a customer, and acquisition costs
  • Lax attitude toward analytics and data analysis
  • Declining need for Don Draper styled branding campaigns (the marketing and communications approach epitomized on AMC’s Mad Men)
  • Focused more on traffic volume as opposed to order volume