|Target young customers by engaging with big issues
What’s the core aim of your marketing campaigns? To promote specific products and services? To get your name out there to the masses or to a targeted audience? If you’re trying to engage with younger people in particular, these approaches might not actually be the best ones to take. In fact, a recent survey by Channel 4’s 4 Sales has revealed that brands are more likely to build a strong connection with young customers if they engage with important issues.
Indeed, figures showed that 60% of 16 to 24-year-olds believe they notice ads more if they deal with significant subjects. By contrast, just 37% of people aged 45 or above said the same, along with 55% of 35 to 44-year-olds.
The survey also found that 55% of people across all age groups feel brands should be a force for good in the world, with just 45% saying they should focus on selling products and services. The message is therefore clear – if brands want to strike up relationships with younger consumers and get noticed by this demographic, their marketing should go beyond simple commercial propositions and tackle issues that matter to them.
Young people want marketers to raise awareness
Interestingly, many young people feel brands have the power and the platform to act as a spotlight on important subjects. In fact, 57% of this group feel they should use their advertising to raise awareness of social or ethical issues. Meanwhile, 60% of respondents across all age groups said they believe any brand can trigger a conversation or boost awareness of important matters.
Marketers can trigger wider debates
Marketing material that addresses social issues isn’t important to young people simply because it shows how a brand feels about such matters. The survey suggests that marketers are in a position to get others talking about subjects too. Perhaps by casting a light on a particular subject, they can help reduce the awkwardness associated with bringing it up in conversation, or help to remove the long-standing taboo that surrounds some issues. Some 98% of 16 to 34-year-olds said adverts have made them talk about important subjects with friends or family, so it’s clear that promotional material can play a part in getting young people to open up or share their views on sensitive matters.
Brands must reflect young people’s values
How a company behaves is crucial to its reputation and has a profound impact on young people’s purchasing behaviour. The survey revealed, 41% of 16 to 24-year-olds have boycotted a brand because they don’t agree with what it stands for. This compares with just 33% of over-35s, which suggests that being seen to be socially responsible and caring about the bigger issues could become ever-more important to customer retention rates in the future.
Young people want brands to promote diversity
Another factor for 16 to 34-year-olds as they decide who to transact with is how brands portray and represent different groups. The survey revealed this age group is 39% more likely to consider it important for a brand to feature diversity in its advertising. Again, as this group gets older and their buying power increases, it could become an increasingly decisive influencing factor for customers in the years ahead.
Young people will pay a premium with ethical brands
The findings clearly show that 16 to 34-year-olds hold brands in a high regard if they deliver goods and services that feel ethical. But interestingly, they’re prepared to demonstrate the strength of their feelings by paying extra for what they want. Whereas just 44% of over-35s were willing to pay more for ethical products, 56% of 16 to 34-year-olds were happy to pay a higher price tag. Similarly, the younger group were found to be 56% more likely to equate ethical products with better quality than their older counterparts.
It’s clear that young people in particular have strong views on what they expect and demand from the brands they work with. Marketers that want to reach out and turn young people into brand advocates must therefore respond to this and put across relevant and genuine messaging that resonates with their target audience.
Source /Further reading
Channel 4 finds purpose-driven ads resonate most with young viewers Channel 4