Terminology to Describe an Attitude
Connecting with your audience is a fundamental part of your digital marketing strategy. If you’re using traditional generational or demographic age ranges, you may be missing a whole segment of the population. How we interact with our electronics is significantly changing the interaction between buyers and brands. And those behavioral changes aren’t specific to any one age group. Rather it’s cultural shift that crosses generational boundaries. And companies that leverage these attitudes are setting themselves apart.
Who Are They?
In 2013 Think with Google published research on Gen C. They described this group as:
… a powerful new force in consumer culture. It’s a term we use to describe people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. It’s not an age group; it’s an attitude and mindset
Though Gen C isn’t defined with an age group in mind, it’s important to note that Millennials (people reaching young adulthood around the year 2000) dominate. They comprise 80% of this audience.
So what makes this group so unique and important?
8 Characteristics Define Gen C
In Google’s research they combed through data from various sources, including Forrester Technographics, ComScore, Nielsen Netview, etc. They found that Gen C have these eight characteristics:
- State of Mind. This group is driven to connect with others online, creating and curating on topics they care about.
- Strives for Expression. 67% upload photos to social networks. They also share videos, memes and other content.
- Sets Trends. Want to know what’s going to be popular next? Then watch these influencers. 85% of Gen C relies on peer approvals for buying decisions.
- Defines Social Network. 65% if this group post updates to their social networks daily. Their sense of self is based upon their social interactions.
- Connects Constantly. Gen C’s love of connection bridges all devices. 91% of Cers sleep next to their smartphone. Now that’s a deep need for connecting.
- Views YouTube. This group is twice as likely to be a YouTube viewer.
- On All Screens. Mix #4 and #5 and you get “watching YouTube videos” on all screens, with 80% watching via their smartphone.
- Values Relevance & Originality. Gen Cs reject the hard sell yet 39% aren’t opposed to ads when they are relevant. They value conversations that are aligned with their interests.
Ok… Now What?!
So what’s the impact of Gen C and how to include them in your digital marketing strategy? A lot. Maybe. It really depends upon your business and audience. You most likely already know if your audience is super active and connected via social sharing sites. Hopefully you’re monitoring your brand and the conversations surrounding it. If you think you are serving or can appeal this group, then create a persona(s) to ensure your marketing efforts are tailored appropriately. Keep these tips in mind as you interact with them:
- Social Sharing — are you listening to and adding to the online conversation? Connecting with communities and their influencers will have huge marketing ramifications. Gen C is posting to review sites, viewing recommendations and sharing information.
- Help Don’t Sell — Gen C is über tech savvy and connected. They don’t respond well to a hard-sell approach. Go into the conversation with the goal of helping. This group loves to share content that’s appealing, relevant, interesting and often provocative). Be prepared to create entertaining content that contains a surprise or hook for some kind of interaction.
- Trustworthy Recommendations — While this group is online all the time, they don’t have tons of time to do exhaustive research on products and services. Because they are so connected with their community (remember, 91% sleep with their smartphones), they trust others for information and advice.
- Video Translation — YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web and the most visited site on the Web. Brands that show they give back get Gen C raves. Have a great story to tell? Then translate that message into video content.
- Remarketing & Hyper Targeted Ads — AdWords enables you to target ads at a granular level. Remember 39% are open to ads that are relevant to them. Leverage remarketing and demographic settings with corresponding ads that appeal.
If you want more information on how to engage Gen C, this Content Marketing Institute article features several examples of brands (e.g., Toms and ModCloth) doing a great job of engagement.
Do your customers crave creativity and connection? How are you engaging them?
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