Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tips for Marketing to Millennials in 2018

Times are changing. The latest Pew Research figures show that by 2019, at 73 million, millennials will overtake baby boomers in population, becoming America’s largest adult generation. Loosely defined as those between ages 21 and 34, millennials are a unique demographic that have come of age in the digital era.

So, what does that mean for us as brand marketers? When it comes to connecting with millennials, video marketing remains the single-most effective channel that influences what they buy. Yet, there is so much more to consider when we look at how to make memorable brand impressions with this target audience. Here are a few ideas to help guide you:

Be socially conscious. Millennials make purchase decisions based not only on products—but on how products and brands make them feel. Tout those important things about your brand, such as efforts/practices that are environmentally responsible or the opportunities your company affords those in need in your community.

Be authentic. Millennials want real brand connectivity—and they can see right through a self-serving promotion. Instead of traditional sales tactics, try boosting personal interaction like replying to customer reviews, using an online contest to drive interest surrounding your brand, or sharing posts by your team members or customers.

Be engaging. Studies continue to reinforce that millennials value experiences over products, which is why experiential marketing is essential. Brainstorm creative ways to promote interaction with your brand. Sponsor a yoga class, create a pop-up store experience: Engineer opportunities for people to connect with your brand—and create simple ways for them to share their experiences.

Be visual. Digital dependence is growing: Nearly half of all millennials look at their phones more than 50 times a day and 25% spend more than 5 hours every day on their smartphones (B2X 2017). With all that scrolling content, use bold graphics and call-outs to cut through the clutter and communicate your brand message with clarity.

Be social. A recent study by Annalect showed 47% of millennials claim that social media has helped introduce them to new brands; and 71% are more likely to buy from brands they ‘like’ on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Revisit your brand’s social media presence and be sure it aligns with your core values.

Be accessible. Lead with mobile-first design. With 80% of social media time spent on mobile devices, it’s imperative that your digital content be optimized for mobile platforms.

How do you connect with your millennial customer base? Join the conversation on Shamrock’s Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What You Need To Know About Marketing to Baby Boomers in 2018

The claim that 50 is the new 40 might not be too far-fetched. Medical technology and improved nutrition have extended our lifetimes, with many baby boomers (age 54 to 72) living healthier and more active lives than generations before them.

But, while today’s seniors may be more vital, there is still a misconception that boomers are old and stubborn. The reality is that baby boomers are tech-savvy, enjoy learning and, as the most valuable generation in America, are well worth your marketing dollars. Here are a few facts about boomers to consider as you formulate your brand strategy:

They have money to spend. Americans over age 50 have the highest net worth of any segment of our population (Venture Capital Assoc., Ernst & Young) and 70% of disposable income is held by baby boomers (Nielsen). Over the next 20 years, spending by those age 50+ is slated to increase by 58%, so be sure that if this demographic buys your products/services, that your marketing strategy includes reaching out to them directly.

They are social. About 82 percent of boomers belong to at least one social media site, with Facebook being their most popular choice (DMN3). They use Facebook to catch up with friends and family, and to share information: Baby boomers are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation (Fractl). Align your social media content strategy accordingly, using ads, sharing content and engaging with boomers on your page. Be sure to link to your website or product purchase page on your social media posts.

They check their email. According to a Third Age/JWT study, 96% of boomers use email; 92% of those who receive promotional emails click through on the advertising product or service; and 55% have purchased a product or service based on a promotional email. By using a drip email campaign, you’ll keep your brand and services front-of-mind for this audience.

They watch video. According to a study by Google, boomers and seniors spend more time online than they do watching TV. What’s more, more than 50% of baby boomers watch online video. (YouTube is the preferred site with 82% of video watchers using it). The study also found that 3,600+ baby boomers Google "YouTube" every minute of every day—that’s a 10% higher view rate than millennials. Check your brand’s online video activity and consider incorporating YouTube marketing videos and/or ads.

They value personal service. Boomers value—and reward—authentic interaction and exceptional customer service. According to a Loyalty One study, if boomers felt the sales associates did not appreciate their business, 54% were “very or somewhat unlikely” to return (as opposed to only 33% millennials). Include a hand-written note with your product shipment; send an email when a favorite item is restocked—the extra effort will reap rewards.

They are loyal. With many baby boomers downsizing and adjusting to living on fixed incomes, they are partial to incentives and loyalty programs. Start with focusing on maintaining exceptional product/service quality and ROI, and then consider giving a little brand love back to your customers with a simple loyalty program that makes them feel appreciated.

Do you have a strategy for reaching baby boomers through your marketing effort? Join the conversation on Shamrock’s Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Why human interaction is good for your business

Do you remember when you got lost on a road trip and had to pull out a map to get yourself back on track? No voice-assist GPS. No recalculating. Even as a Waze user, I’m confident that need be, I could find my way using map-reading skills. Without digital tools, I could still get there.

But is the same true of my business communications? If I didn’t have a mobile device to connect with customers, would I still be able to make meaningful connections with my clients?
 
In this age when digital is our go-to communication channel, it’s important not to lose the human touch. Forcing ourselves to step away from our phones and PCs—and make personal contact a priority—can help us be more successful, and here’s why:

In-person interaction is more effective. There is value in meeting face-to-face. Interpersonal interaction captures peoples’ attention, engages meeting participants and leads to greater collaboration. It also allows you to ask questions with free-flowing dialogue that can help uncover details that might otherwise be overlooked. Looking to drive productivity? Boost sales? In-person meetings might help get you there:    
  • Research shows face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than those sent by email (Washington Post).
  • Remote meetings generate on average 10.43 ideas, while in-person meetings generate an average of 13.36 (Hubspot)
  • The close rate for in-person meetings is 40% (Hubspot)
  • You are twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting. (Forbes)
Nonverbal cues help clarify communication. The groundbreaking (and still relevant) 1967 study published by the Journal of Consulting Psychology found 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Eye contact, gestures, tone and inflection, posture, and body language all affect our understanding of context and meaning.

You can’t read nonverbal cues in an email. So, in addition to digital touches, make the effort to meet customers in person to ensure the intended message or information doesn’t get lost.

Personal connections build relationships. Greeting your client with handshake and getting to know them on a personal level helps build relationships and establish trust. No matter which business or industry we’re in, we all work with people. In-person contact is genuine and real. In conjunction with digital tools, it can help you nurture the authentic, long-term relationships that drive business success.

How often do you meet with your team? Your clients? Chime in our Facebook page.

Tim Connor