Gearing Up for Future: Is Your Marketing Team Ready for the Millennials?

Research and experience clearly indicate that old-fashioned ideas of marketing might not work in an age of social media. The approach towards marketing is going to need tweaking – or maybe even a total overhaul. If you’re preparing to market your offerings to the millennials, the first step is to understand the concept of generational personas. Recognizing these personas have helped marketers to divide their prospect-pool and focus on strategic groups rather than individuals.

Traditionally, a generation is defined by the amount of time between someone’s birth and when they become parents for the first time. For ease of marketing, it’s a good idea to divide the groups of prospects similar in age, behavior, attitudes into orderly groups – classified as generational cohorts. Dividing prospects into generational groupings is a common practice that helps you build sustainable marketing strategies. These categorizations represent the generational differences among your prospects. These minuscule differences impact everyone differently. For instance, the subprime mortgage crisis, had a different impact on someone was born in 1982, than on someone who was born in 1998, a fairly young age. Similarly, movies, educational styles, values, and differences in other environmental forces play a crucial role in shaping up five major generational cohorts:

1. Greatest generation – born at the beginning of the 20th century

2. Silent generation – born 1945 and earlier

3. Baby boomers – born 1946 to 1964

4. Generation X – born 1965 to 1978

5. Millennials – born 1979 to 1999

Why is it important to understand the portrait of a millennial?

The family life, educational and societal experiences for the millennials were startlingly different from what other generations had experienced. Interestingly, the beliefs and attitudes of millennials constructed a common persona that imported and celebrated all the differences, traits and perceived behaviors. For marketing teams, the very first step is to understand the systematic differences of millennials, when compared to other generational cohorts. The strategies that served well for previous generations don’t work with millennials, and it can mean the difference between success and failure of a campaign. Understanding how a common millennial persona is developed is probably the most crucial step for any marketing team looking to target them.

How have times changed?

Remember the 1980s advertisements – with vibrant colors, puffed up hair, and trousers belted higher than usual. Those ads were happy, filled with songs and jingles, portraying a specific culture across television screens and radios. If you think about it, those marketing styles describe the whole generation, exactly as it were at that time. That is how the marketers saw them. On the other hand, the style might appear a little weird to a person born after 1990. That’s an important point right there.

The marketing messages and advertisements from previous generations appeal to people ONLY from that generation. The same tone and style might not appeal to a millennial.

By contrast, the young people today are entirely different from those in the past. This effectively means the Generation X style, with all those colors, and positivity might not work with the millennial living in a contemporary world. The Generation X style was made up of messages highlighting the emotions. Millennials, on the other hand, are moved with storytelling across the digital mediums. There is a clear difference. Modern marketing teams need to focus on these changing dynamics. A new perspective based on data, facts, and experiences of millennials has to start right now. The mindset has to be strikingly different from previous generations.

Diving inside the mind of a millennial!

Millennials are a generation of extreme beliefs. It’s the generation that has no limits to creativity, thinking, and expectations. Technology is almost taken for granted. The only human generation where the mindset is not limited to a certain idea or any societal restrictions. Lamentably, millennials are often wrongly imagined just as a young person – a gross generalization that should be avoided. Millennials are a specific generational cohort which cannot be divided by a fancy demographic segment defined by someone’s age.

“In fact, a millennial will always have the same values and ideas, not restricted by any age range. It’s just the way they’ve been brought up. Thanks to social media, millennials are free, open, well-informed, and a global generation – systematically molded by the education system, media, technology, and communication around them.”

It’s 2018, and the paradigms of marketing have changed. Interestingly, a lot of today’s marketing C-level executives are part of Generation X. That’s why they often struggle to recognize the mindset of millennials. Fact is, there is a definite learning curve when you’re trying to sell to millennials. It requires a rewiring of mind.

Recognizing crucial patterns (the secret message from millennials!)

When creating campaigns for the millennials, it’s important to get involved in their motivations, while acknowledging the styles and daily habits and issues that drive them different. Here are four important patterns for you to consider:

#1 – Making comparisons to arrive at the decision

A product is mostly bought after millennials have talked about it either online, off-line, or both. They’d like to check out a few reviews, might look into popular social noise platforms like Twitter, Facebook, e.g. They might view a couple of YouTube videos about direct competitors. That’s why plain advertising will never be enough to influence the buying behavior of a millennial prospect.  Advertising is just one side of the coin. You need the support of user opinions and word-of-mouth to market and sell your product or service.

#2 – Offering top-notch value is not just an added option

You can never win by bombarding millennials with marketing messages. Being a technology-savvy generation, they’ll just switch over to another marketing channel, or activate ad blocking to insulate and fail your campaign. The age of interruptive advertising is over. For millennials, advertising is another form of content they ‘have to enjoy’ for it to be successful. As an audience, millennials are tough to please. Since they’re not ready to watch a boring message, you need to attract their attention by offering VALUE in each moment. The marketing messages have to be creative, appealing, and always offering value in some form or other.

#3 – Millennials can make you go viral!

Smart marketers do realize the importance of virality. Know that you can count on an army of generous millennials that can be the source of success for most profit-driven marketing campaigns. The only recipe is to offer top-notch value. Don’t waste time and press the right emotional buttons. The viral campaigns can give you global visibility through social networks. Millennials have a deep respect for great communication which promises quality content – video, audio, news, or anything else. As a marketer, you have the unique opportunity to break the stereotypes and use digital mediums to achieve tremendous ROI on your campaigns.

#4 – Context and Timing are everything

The Internet has changed the concept and definition of time. Depending upon the virality something can be short-lived or everlasting. Quality is a BIG factor here. The online reputation, reviews, interactive posts can vanish in a matter of minutes. The millennials have grown up in a world where advertisements and banner disappear forever if you don’t interact or click on them. This is an instant generation (instant delivery, instant messaging, e.g.), and maybe that’s why the impact in the present moment is far more important than what happens five years down the line. There’s a general lack of interest for an action that happens too far in future. The marketing teams should understand the overall context and give their best offer, right now! Put your best foot forward in the next 10 seconds. That’s the only thing that matters!

Concluding thoughts

Millennials have a tremendous market influence & they’re probably the most studied and researched generation ever. With the death of traditional offline marketing channels, millennials are redefining the rules of marketing communication by introducing new triggers for purchasing decisions. For modern marketers, the battlefield is competitive, and adjusting to the prospect demands will be an act of bravery. To understand the new requirements, you need some relevant pointers to create a more significant impact and better numbers. You have to be ready for the change. With that in mind, we conclude the first of the 3 part series on this subject.

In recent years, without any proper research, young millennials are often misunderstood and misrepresented stereotypically. As a marketer though, you need to be more vigilant and understand the actual pain points of the target audience. To have all of your ducks in a row we’re going to talk about the crucial millennial MYTHS in the next post. These are common misconceptions that lead to flop marketing campaigns. Don’t forget to check out the Part 2 of the series.

The real meat is yet to come so stay tuned!!

Personalization = Revolution? Video Marketing That Feels You

Skeleton whole body ant lat views

I couldn’t get what the hell advertising is when I was a kid. It seems to be a total absurdity: random men and women in a TV screen were falling over themselves to persuade me how great their products are. They were telling me that I definitely should buy those apartments located on the other side of my town or urgently get a massage chair which will heal my sciatica in a day.

No one in my family had sciatica and we have already had a great flat in a good place. I could go days before I spot something really relevant to me or my parents. It was so rare occasion, that I wondered: why should we see this? It’s not for us.

Skeleton whole body ant lat views
What the hell is sciatica anyway?

Fact: there is no ad targeted on kids. They can’t buy.

But a vision of childhood eyes clearly demonstrates how every adult feels like when he or she sees a pushy ad not meant for them.

Something like this

Thus, years have passed, but multi-purpose advertising is still annoying. Fake smirks, tattered plots, and a bunch of offensive clichés — all these things make a standard recipe for one-size-fits-all commercials. They don’t make anyone buy only forcing us to turn this off. But we know what does.

How Less Became a New More: The Rise of Personalization

Modern marketing is on the cusp of a tipping point. Old advertising methods don’t work anymore, so the leading companies start adopting new ways to attract customers. Chatbots, storytelling, growth hacking, SMM, and inbound marketing strategies are at the peak of their popularity. But what really can raise your company over the competition is personalization.

According to ImpactBND, 85% of marketers say their audience segments are too broad. Companies struggle to cover more people who can be potentially interested in their products, so they send tons of generic newsletters, put their ads on the billboards across the city, and waste a lot of money to be broadcasted on television.

But what if you send fewer emails, but make them sound more personal? Well, you will profit: they drive 6x transaction rate over generic emails as ImpactBND reports. So you can send 3x fewer emails and get 3x higher traffic. The same applies to other marketing channels: 86% of customers confess that personalization plays a big role in their purchase decisions no matter where they see the ad. Who doesn’t like when a brand literally reads your mind and offer you exactly what you need?

Therefore, it is not surprising that personalization makes your ROI go through the roof — it’s 5-8x higher than non-personalized marketing campaigns could ever bring. Thus, the new motto for far-sighted marketers might be: “Quality over quantity, personal over generic, less is a new more.”

The Future is MP4, AVI and MOV

No GIF? Oh, okay 😞

Let’s look at some eloquent statistics regarding online video content provided by Hubspot. 76% of surveyed marketers say video marketing helped them increase sales and traffic, while 80% reported that customers started spending more time on their websites after incorporating videos into their marketing strategy. 81% of businesses have already used videos. 99% of them liked the results and will continue.

Why are videos so effective? To answer this question, we’ll start with you. When was the last time you watched the video? Today? Yesterday? A couple of hours ago? Just now in the background? And yes, Instagram stories and Youtube vlogs also count!

An average user dedicates about 1.5 hours to watching videos. We all got hooked on video content without realizing. And we can’t get off this train: movies, clips, video ads, and Instagram stories will run the world until someone will invent something drastically new. But I see only the improvement of video content in the nearest future: VR, AR, Internet of Things, and other rising technologies are somehow related to the good old visual motion which is the essence of the video.

Experts say almost the same. Cisco reports that video will represent 80% of the internet traffic by 2021 (in the USA this number might probably exceed 85%). Moreover, we will have about 1.9B video users — that’s 24% of the global population.

Just take a look at your Facebook feed. Video much?

Video + Personalized Message = Success?

So what will happen if we blend two skyrocketing marketing techniques? We will get a very accurate, close-range weapon to win your prospect. The numbers from another Hubspot’s report confirm: personalized videos have 35% more retention rate than non-personalized.

Another evidence that this combination is indeed winning is the example of Adgreetz, the world leading SaaS service focused on the promotion of highly personalized or “smart” videos. Founded in far 2009 by Eric Frankel, it became a harbinger of the marketing revolution. Before setting up Adgreetz, Eric was working as a President for Warner Bros. selling thousands of commercial videos on demand. He actually finds a perfect way to win a customer.

Personalized videos make prospects feel that this particular video was made exactly for them. Adgreetz was the first company which has shifted the focus of ads from company’s goals to customer’s needs and desires. There are a few methods they used:

“How May I Call You?”

It’s sort of offensive when ads treat you as a man, woman, British, Japanese, mother, father, retired, etc. or even simply a “customer”. This suggests that you are only a pawn of the system without personality. In such a case, the following thought crosses my mind:  “Hey, I have feelings and individuality. You’ve just spoiled them, so I won’t buy anything from you”.

Adgreetz and its followers changed the game. Using the name, a personalized video gives you value and respect. And it doesn’t use this data in a creepy way, it politely asks “How may I call you?” and suggests to share your Facebook name or enter it by hand.

Smart Data Usage

Personalized videos are also called smart because they can recognize who, when, and where needs the product. You as a brand can collect such data as location, time of a day, pages viewed on your website, device information, and some other variables that tell a lot about user’s needs. It is so different from the strategy maintained during non-personalized campaigns when you are simply bombarding the roughly targeted audience with your ads.

Sharing and Recommendations

These ads are often built on the principle of a “friend or influencer recommendation”. The user can see the video where brand’s mascot or company’s representative says something like “Hey (name), your friend Joe told us that you always wished you had a VR headset/a washing machine/a BMW car/etc. We have one for you, wouldn’t you like to take a look?”.

Now a friend recommendation is more widespread, but previously Adgreetz used celebrities to create personalized messages to customers. People trust their friends of influencers more than messages received directly from the brand. Especially, when it comes to their inner circle — they will likely open and read/watch such a message urgently.

The results of Adgreetz’s endeavours? Flipkart got 3x increase in CTR and 2x increase in revenue. Disney boosted their open rate by 81% and CTR — by 74%. Toyota experienced 960% growth in opens and 79% increase in CTR. Does it sound impressive enough for you?

Then Stop Forcing and Start Feeling

Except for Adgreetz, there is a myriad of services that can embody your intention in life — SundaySky, Vidyard, Idomoo, and many others. The development of the custom video marketing strategy is no more just “another great option” to promote your brand, it’s a modern-day must.

First of all, you need to know your prospects deeper. Get away from your goals and plans for a minute and try to put yourself in the place of your potential customer. Brands use videos because they have more impact. Emotions are what drive people to buy, so you should consider this factor as the primary one while creating an influential personalized video.

Visualize. Personalize. Feel your customer.

deep feels
So deep

What’s Next?

To my mind, the next stage of personalization in video marketing is going interactive. Here you not only get personal but involve your prospect in a mini-game what makes your video more entertaining and engaging. The bright example of interactive videos are Instagram stories where you can add polls, links to your website, or even “shoppable links”, so the customer can buy a product right away. But I think it’s a wide topic that deserves a stand-alone article.

Let us know if you wish to learn more about interactive videos or whatever else you like in comments. We are open to any suggestions.

How to use personalized video throughout the customer journey

Video camera

In a fastchanging world of marketing, what used to work a few months ago isn’t generating same results anymore. With time and increased overall usage, marketers started creating a higher number of messages which were increasingly inferior. Naturally, this led to poor click-through rates or conversion rates. Plus with so much noise around, its harder than ever to stand out in the crowd. One quick look at your inbox & you’d realize that it’s full of unnecessary stuff that you have to compete with. Precisely the kind of noise that’s making the old marketing methods redundant...and this noise is what we’re up against as marketers.

Personalized video help you systematically grow your sales funnel
Personalized video help you systematically grow your sales funnel

The audience today expects genuine communication. Not scripted, boring generic messages. That’s exactly where well-crafted personalized videos could make us stand out. These videos are generated to educate and entertain, so our prospects could watch them with keen interest and engage. What’s important is that it helps us solve two major problems

You get audience attention amongst noise with a customer moving ahead in their buyer’s journey.
You could improve those pathetic 0.5-1.5% conversion rates – that we’re forced to become comfortable with.

 

The personalized video is a fantastic way to engage people on one to one level like never before. It changes the concept of communication letting you build trust, relationships, and credibility. With the advent of new tools, its the perfect time for marketers to push themselves to make deeper connections with the potential prospects throughout their journey. Let’s take a quick look at the process.

First, you need to think beyond the name!

A truly personalized video is more than just getting someones name right. The entire message must be crafted towards your viewer, and what interests them in the buyers journey. It’s their occupation, the phone number, their email, their interests, even a job title; you can customize a photo as well, a message wholly based on what they want to see. As a marketer, you are allowed to run your imagination. The possibility of customization is almost endless.

Video camera
Professional videos are worth it, but if you’re a bootstrapped startup, iPhone will do

and with groundbreaking technology, it’s much easier than it sounds. It allows you to imagine a video with content customized to the individual interests of the prospects. You could efficiently & strategically place the personalized elements at the right times on the video. The best part – everything happens even before your prospect comes into direct contact with anybody in your company. This’ll help you cut through the clutter and improve audience engagement at a mass scale. TargetMarketing™ does professional videos and animations alike.

That’s how Flipkart revived their fortunes

Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce giant, decided their ads cannot be same to all people. With that in mind, the higher management was prepared for a major shift!

Flipkart has an equivalent of what people call a Cyber Monday sale in the US, and its called Big Billion Days. They partnered with AdGreetz and replaced one big giant campaign ad with 100,000 personalized commercials, across 20 major metropolitan cities. The campaign relied heavily on customized video marketing based on what the audience has purchased, browsed, left in the shopping cart, etc. Result – Flipkart doubled their revenue from the five-day sale from $500 million to $1 billion.

That’s a perfect example of video personalization done right. All Flipkart did was to analyze the elements of customization considering the data of the recipients and utilize it with precision. As a marketer if you could replicate the same approach, your conversion is bound to get at least 4 to 5 times higher. Just set goals at each stage, and you can use it across the customer journey.

Depending upon the stage of the marketing funnel youre targeting, you can quickly determine the content and calibrate the right messaging for your prospects. It starts with the realization of the problem to the first interaction with your product/service, leading to the ultimate goal – the sale. These stages can be broadly classified into three categories – awareness, consideration, and decision. The idea is to add a personalized video to every step of the marketing funnel and help potential customers swiftly move through the funnel, bringing them closer to a decision to buy or convert. Let’s break the process into realistic goals and see how personalized video can help at each stage.

Awareness stage right at the top of the funnel

Your buyers are aware of the problem and looking for a solution. This is the first touch point, and you’re starting out utterly fresh with these potential customers. While creating the video, keep simple goals in mind – like brand recognition and advertisement recall. The aim is to get more views, a higher level of impressions, and repeated visits. Here are two kinds of video that could potentially work –

1. A well-crafted commercial can highlight your product or service while showcasing a story that directly impacts your prospect.
2. A detailed explainer video is used to break down difficult concepts for your prospects. If done well, the explainer videos have the potential to be distributed on social media platforms without any inorganic push. With the help of smart personalization, explainer videos can bring more engagement You have the option to bring your customers into the video. Maybe it’s their name, their photographs, their interests, or anything else you see relevant.

The goal here is to keep them engaged for a long time and increase your clickthrough rate. You are building relationships at this stage.

Consideration or the midlevel funnel stage

Now the problem is residing in the mind of your potential buyer. It’s fast becoming a pain they can’t endure. They are searching for ways to address this problem. Naturally, they search for this online as well. Assuming that you’ve had at least a single contact with your prospect (retargeting cookie), you have some data for the next step.

For example, if they’ve liked your video – you’re all set for retargeting. Remember, now you’re fighting for the attention and the need to convince your buyers that you‘re better than your competition. You have to stay on top of their mind. You have to remember they’re more likely to buy a product online after watching a quality video.

The goal at the consideration stage is simple. Whenever thinking about theproblem, the prospects should immediately associate with your brand and think like someone with a solution. This is a place where they become a lead since they are closing in towards your product/service. Some videos that make sense at this stage are

1. Testimonial Video can be used to add credibility and push them further in the funnel.
2. FAQ Video offers clear answers to their queries. You immediately become a rich resource to solve your prospect’s problem.
3. Product Review video showcases the complete procedure of how your product solves a particular problem.
4. Product tour video can help them visualize the solution and increase their connection with your brand.
5. Webinars help you tailor the content to each viewer by including the personal information of your audience. When you use their name, and personal details on each page, the whole message seems explicitly designed with them in mind.

Decision or Conversion stage (End of the Funnel)

You should already pat on your back since the prospect has made it so far. Although, they are yet to make a purchasing decision. Given the volatile nature of this stage, this is the right time to showcase your value. Create additional credibility through stats, case studies, coupon codes, incentives, and extended free trials. Your call to action also becomes crucial.

It’s like crossing the final line in a race – you’ll know when you’ve arrived. There would be an uptick in sign-ups, sales, clicks, etc. Some videos that will help at the decision-stage –

1. Process video – Show them the easy nature of using your product/service. It can be in the form of a tutorial video where you take them one step at a time towards the final solution they are looking for. When they view the whole process, there is a temptation to try out the product, and that’s where conversion happens. With personalization cues thrown in, the video could show how natural the actual process is. Theyll be excited to give it a try.
2. A customized personal videoUsing the user data, send an invitation to the prospects that appears it was entirely made just for them. Remember, getting the customization right is very important here. Something personal like a birthday coupon at the right time can be just the final push that is needed for the conversion. A ticket with your prospect’s name on it would work fine as well.

Post sale experience

Conversion or sales is not the last stage. You need to offer greater expertise and show your support after the deal is done. A personalized video at this stage can help reinforce your brand. For example, onboarding videos work really well. The idea is to offer something they appreciate, and your competitors don’t offer. It makes you deeply integrated into their memories. That’s how you create repeat customers and invite word of mouth strategy.

Concluding thoughts

Personalizing a video is far more comfortable than you can imagine. With better technology nowadays, it comes down to the quality of the data source – be it CRM, billing systems, trackers, manual databases and so much more. You just need to map your content marketing to the funnel. With advanced tools at your disposal, you are bound to see high ROI.

A word of caution here. A personalized video showcases your brands point of view. So, it’s important that you should not interrupt your prospects. Remember, your here not just to sell but to create a relationship. The video should not be intruding and should be relevant to what you’re offering. As a marketer, you have a responsibility.

The era of personalization started almost a decade back with e-cards that were customized for Valentine day. With access to tools and experts, it’s amazing to observe how far the technology has come. These videos have moved across different teams in your company and quickly getting integrated into your CRM. You could effectively talk to every prospect and have a unique conversation. Fact is, even within extremely modest video budget, you can get pretty creative with your solutions. All you need is to jump to the next step.

Don’t be late to this party or you will regret it!

Be sure to go to Target Marketing™ website to learn more and let us help you get more customers.