X, Y, Z, Millennials, Centennials, Baby Boomers do you know the difference? Do you know which generation is most likely to buy your product and/or service and why? More interestingly, do you know which generation you are? It turns out I was wrong and I am actually more ‘down wiv da yoof’ than I thought (although I fear my colleagues and children would strongly disagree with this last statement!).
One thing is for sure: the further you get through the alphabet of generations, the less time you have to get your message across. A recent article in Marketing Week suggested that for generation Z or Centennials, attention span may be less than 8 seconds! 8 seconds I tell you! It took you more than 8 seconds to realise this post was likely to be an invigorating article on marketing, click on the link and read my rather catchy title… What the hell can anyone possibly get across in 8 seconds – strike that, less than 8 seconds? Add to that the fact that ‘loyalty’ means little to the under 20s, so in 8 seconds you have to grab them, warm them up and close them – imagine the next set of Miller Heiman sales training CDs – (now I have aged myself).
There has been a lot of talk around the Recenseo barn about generational marketing of late. Helen Thompson, a Chichester University Student, is working with us for 3 months studying this very subject matter. Her project title is “Are there repercussions of Digital Marketing? A study to show the effects of Digital Marketing towards Baby Boomers and Generation Y consumers to Generation X” and she will be looking at how digital marketing and social media has changed the way we buy and to that end how we, the marketing profession, market to a changing consumer. Helen is working with some of our clients as case studies and learning from us how we use different tools to target different audiences. We hope to learn a lot from Helen’s research and put this to good use.
But what is most interesting is the fact that clients and brands are rapidly waking up to this shift and becoming far more aware of who their client is – well, some are.
We have taken on a number of new clients recently that have developed products targeted specifically at the younger generations. Take Spacehus, for example, an affordable, quick-to-build answer to the housing crisis. A house commissioned to its tenants by way of an app. Affordable to buy, to build and to rent and with low running costs it is the perfect solution for the modern world. Spacehus CEO, Rob Charlton, even refers to his target market as ‘Generation Rent’.
I say some are waking up. We do still come across businesses that vehemently refuse to change, adapt and update their approach: “Our clients are third generation clients, 55+, male, high earners, we don’t need to use social media or to change our proposition” – as though 55-year-old males just materialise on earth and are not currently 35 year olds or even 20 year olds…! You have to wonder where companies with this ethos will be in 20-30 years’ time?
I am sorry if the title of this post leads you to think it was going to help spice up your bedroom life – it was designed to catch your attention in less than 8 seconds – something we are all going to have to get used to doing if we are to appeal to the buyers of tomorrow – nay, today.