Tag Archives: advertising

Marketing to Generation Z

Generation Z brings a unique perspective to consumerism. Instead of a silver spoon in their mouths, Gen Z is the first generation to be born with a mobile phone in their hands.

Businesses must rethink how they deliver value to the Generation Z, rethinking scale and mass production in order to focus on personalization. They must act on ethical issues that impact their products and services.

Don’t expect to reach Gen Zers with traditional marketing and advertising methods. Brands need to adapt their channels, messaging and sometimes their offering. McKinsey describes Gen Zers as Communaholic. “Gen Zers are radically inclusive. They don’t distinguish between friends they meet online and friends in the physical world. They continually flow between communities that promote their causes by exploiting the high level of mobilization technology makes possible.” This sense of community leads to great opportunities for brands. Here is how you can get into it:

1. Understand their motivations

When you set up your marketing campaign, be sure to understand Gen Z’s attitudes towards your industry in general and your brand in particular. Are there ethical issues related to your business or industry, and have you made your view on them clear? You need to address the elephant in the room. More than previous generations, Gen Zers understand that no business is perfect, so ensure you develop strategies to start the dialogue.

2. Be where they are

Mass marketing isn’t the solution. Spend time understanding where Gen Z spends their time and strategize around it. You will have to engage a wide range of potentially narrow, specialized communities. You could set up a Tik Tok campaign, sponsor an Esports event, co-create a Youtube campaign with content creators, etc.

3. Be bold

While most of us have increasingly short attention spans, it’s especially true of Gen Z. You will have to be unique and bold to stand out. Take a stand, not just with your message but with your creative approach. Give Gen Z something they’ve never seen before. Surprise them. If you do, the opportunities are endless.

As we noted in our previous article, Generation Z may not yet have the greatest purchasing power, but brands must work to build deep connections with them now, in order to stay relevant and competitive in the future.

Marketing and esports: Understanding the esports fan

Publishers, teams, athletes and broadcasters share a common goal: they want to engage the fans. The more esports can attract and engage fans, the more attractive esports will be to sponsors, advertisers and investors.

But who is the esports fan? Here are some key insights on this growing segment.

The worldwide esports audience reached 395 million in 2018, according to Newzoo, and was expected to grow by 15% in 2019. Fans average 100 minutes per watching session on platforms like Twitch, Mixer or YouTube Gaming.

Asia-Pacific accounts for 57% of the esports enthusiasts, while North America is the largest esports market on a per capita basis, boasting revenues of $409.1 million. The 23.9 million Esports Enthusiasts in North America will generate $17.13 per fan this year, higher than in any other region.

Seven out of ten esports fans are males that range from 18 to 34 years of age with Nielsen reporting that the average age of an esports fan is 26 years old. Most esports fans are young, early adopters, active on social media channels such as Twitter and Reddit, and grew up online or with tech-related interests (video games, media, computers, mobile apps, and IoT).

In fact, it’s reported by Newzoo that among “North American male millennials (age 21 to 35), esports is just as popular as baseball or hockey, with 22% watching it. In North America, the most popular sport in the region, football, is only twice as popular as esports among male millennials. For male viewers between the ages of 36 and 50, football is only three times as popular as esports.”

Reasons why male fans engage with esports:
To learn tips and tricks from the professionals – 44%
Entertainment aspects – 41%
To become a better gamer – 39%
To connect/meet/socialize with other games – 19%
To participate in or see cosplay – 9%

Reasons why female fans engage with esports:
Entertainment aspects – 40%
Learn tips and tricks from the pros – 36%
To become a better gamer – 29%
To connect/meet/socialize with other gamers – 22%
To participate in or see cosplay – 13%

More people watched the finals of the League of Legends World Championship than the Super Bowl in 2018 (approximately 200 million viewers versus 98 million). It is an opportunity brands cannot miss.

Your employees are your brand

What is a QSR brand? Is it your logo and advertising? Or is it your food?

Your brand is the sum total of the entire customer experience: your advertising, your social media activities, the customer service you provide, your community involvement, the restaurant design, the cleanliness of your washrooms… and the quality of your food. Every one of these factors can and will influence the opinion of your customers.

But there’s another aspect to your brand that’s as important as the food: your employees. Many QSRs make sizable investments in-store décor but don’t invest in comprehensive employee training.

QSRs are typically staffed by students working part-time positions. Managers may sometimes not see the value in training them because there is often high staff turnover. However, a well-trained and motivated employee is more likely to remain loyal and not look elsewhere.

The fact is that students are eager to learn and want to do well: there is a sense of well-being and satisfaction that comes from positive achievements.

QSR employees are often provided with basic training on how to assemble the food and serve customers. They may recognize that customer service is important, but not what to do… or why.

They’re told “what” to do, but the “why” is missing from the equation.

• Do your employees understand your brand values and what you stand for as an organization?
• How to they fit into – and contribute to – the delivery of your brand values?
• Do they understand how their contribution helps the company, and how it helps them personally to grow?

Educate your employees on how the skills they learn at your restaurant are life skills and are transferable. They will help them throughout their career and life.

Finally, remember that continued positive reinforcement is not just important but crucial: recognize and reward your employees successes and good work. Do it both in the moment – a quiet “you did a great job with that customer” goes a long way – and in a more formal manner with a rewards program that has achievable goals and rewards.

The end result: you’ll improve employee satisfaction, retain your best employees longer, and enhance your customers’ experience of your brand.

Marketing and esports: What you need to know

The esports Ecosystem

Esports is “the next big thing”… or so we’ve been told. According to Deloitte, $4.5B USD was invested in esports in 2018 alone. Esports is not without complexity and issues, but it also has the potential to become one of the most important entertainment platforms. What is it, how does it work, and how can marketers leverage it?

What does esports stand for?

Esports is the competitive practice of video games.

Esports word

The value chain of esports

Esports publishers, teams, athletes, broadcasters and streamers all share a common goal in esports: they want to engage the fans.

Esports publishers use their large R&D budgets to develop and maintain games. They create the games and own the intellectual property, which is the main difference with traditional sports such as the NBA, MLB or NFL where the club owners control the leagues. Esports games vary widely, from sport simulation to first-personal shooter. These games can be played with smartphones, desktop PCs or gaming consoles.

Esports events also vary widely, from local competitions to worldwide events that can fill stadiums. Like traditional sports, fans who attend games in person get to see performances by the most elite esports athletes. Click here to see the biggest event in esports in 2019.

Today, esports teams and individual athletes are viewed as professional as in any other sport and are gaining huge followings with fans.

Broadcasters and streamers create esports content for their online communities through platforms such as Twitch or Mixer, playing the game on their own or commenting someone else’s play. These broadcasters and streamers have also generated loyal esports followers.

Whether you are a food brand, a sports apparel company, or another brand that hopes to attract a young, digitally engaged audience, esports represents a growing and attractive opportunity.

Millennials: Healthy Eating vs Convenience

The past decade has seen an increasing consumer trend to move away from functional foods (food that is processed, modified, and/or contains additives) toward more basic, “whole foods”.

But millennials, more than any other age group, prioritize convenience over healthy eating. They spend less time on food preparation than any other age group. They eat at restaurants and get takeout food more than any other age group. And food delivery services and mobile ordering are increasingly popular with millennials.

Millennials say that they prefer healthy, whole foods over functional foods, but not at the expense of convenience, taste, and cost.

This represents a big opportunity for health food brands and quick service restaurants (QSRs). How can your brand deliver both healthy eating AND convenience?

Health food brands should consider offering packaged, prepared take-home meals that offer convenience without processed ingredients. It’s a growing category in groceries, and these meals could also be available via your own online ordering & delivery service.

Likewise, quick-service restaurants can offer complete “meal in a box” packages via their app or website, including home delivery, making it easy and convenient for consumers to have dinner delivered right to their door.

TikTok marketing tips. The new social phenomenon.

TikTok is a social media app for creating and sharing short videos. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance. While the app was originally mostly used to share music videos, it’s now a platform to showcase talent of all kinds: skateboarding, stand-up, dancing, fashion… On TikTok everything revolves around “sounds”. Most TikTok videos are up to 15 seconds long, although you can create stories up to 60 seconds in length. TikTok had over 1.1 billion installs as of March 2019, with more than 500 million new users each month.

Who uses TikTok?
66% of TikTok users are under 30 years old and two-thirds are female. TikTok presents a real opportunity to reach Generation Z.

How can brands use TikTok?
As with most social media platforms, brands can create their own channels and upload engaging content. The key to success is to create content that fits within the style and tone that users are accustomed to on TikTok. This means taking a “soft sell” approach and posting content that is entertaining and follows TikTok’s “talent showcase” format. Blatantly commercial content will be viewed negatively by TikTok’s Gen Z user base.

Brands can also work with influencers to spread their message on TikTok. As with Instagram, influencers are very popular on TikTok, with some accounts having up to 32 millions followers.

TikTok has also introduced an advertising platform, currently in beta testing in the US and Europe. Brand takeover, in-feed video, and hashtag challenges are available for advertisers.

“TikTok isn’t just for kids. It may seem so now… but “cool kids” are trendsetters as we all know, and then others follow. At minimum, for any brand that wants to hang out/understand/target the “cool kids” and their followers… they should be on TikTok.”
– Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director of General Catalyst (Invested in Snap)

More info here.

The New Age of Digital Advertising

This past summer, Google took steps to give users more control over their online privacy, allowing users to block or clear third-party cookies more easily.

The past few years have seen numerous media reports about how companies are harvesting and using seemingly personal data to do everything from delivering personalized advertising to influencing political opinions. Consequently, consumers have become increasingly leery of platforms like Facebook and Google.

In recent years, election interference in multiple countries and cyberattacks have resulted in new data privacy legislation, such as the EU’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. These new regulations control how brands and technology providers gather and use data, which in turn limits advertising capabilities.

Google hasn’t eliminated cookies, because cookies are also used to keep users signed in to favourite websites. But Google and other online providers recognize that cookie technology can be exploited and is under fire from legislators, and eventually new, more secure technology will take its place. Brands must prepare for a cookie-less future.

The demise of cookies will transform how brands and publishers gather and utilize data. As more users block third-party cookies, targeted advertising won’t be as easy as it was during the cookie era. Brands will have to rethink how they reach their target audience, spread their message and trigger interest.

Customization and pinpoint targeting are currently the greatest benefits of digital advertising. Until technology companies find new, less invasive methods of online targeting, digital marketing will become more of a mass marketing platform.

In the cookie-less world, creativity will be the most important factor in order to engage your online audience, encourage conversation and sharing, and provide value to your customers.

Collision (of) Course.

Aside from the star-studded cast of actors, business tycoons and athletes, I didn’t know what to expect with Collision 2019.
As a Collision noob, I took this opportunity to learn, but more importantly find inspiring stories and start-ups with interesting trajectories. Let’s face it – we live in some tough times, and the world needs a lot more positivity.
Upon arriving, I instantly got the impression this was going to be unlike any other conference I’d attended. As a creative, it’s my job to feel out trends and to seek out what works and what doesn’t. For me, Collision was about the struggles and challenges small business faces day in and day out. The hustle was strong, and the pitches were equally so. Many were nervous, and some were less polished. Either way, it was refreshing to see so many bold ideas pushed into a public space for all to see.
Going through the schedule, I knew of most of the heavyweight speakers, so I sought out speakers who were new to me.
With that in mind, here are my top three moments of Collision 2019.
Marketing Amid Disruption with Linda Boff
(Chief Marketing Officer at GE)
What struck me about Linda’s keynote was how she was able to pivot General Electric’s 127-year-old brand to be more in tune with today’s energy conversation. Their clean Instagram feed not only highlights their innovations, it includes the human aspect. People make these achievements possible.

In Defense of the “Jack-Of-All-Trades” with Graham McDonnell 
(Creative Director, New York Times)
Graham’s talk resonated with me on various levels. We’re both musicians, both creatives, and both struggle with trying to take on everything. He spent 30 minutes diving deep into the Specialist vs Generalist debate, and by the end I asked myself one question: Where would I be if I didn’t try to at least learn one more thing?
Here is a link to his bio.
Leadership Lessons
Terrell Owens (Professional athlete), Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite), Alex Kantrowitz (Buzzfeed)
These three speakers were brutally honest and as hard as nails in telling it like it is. Determination and perseverance are among the most important keys to success. As an athlete, I’ve learned that what you put in is what you get out. If you take short cuts, in business or in life, your performance undoubtably suffers.

Click here for more info on Collision 2020!

Exclusive inclusivity – Part two: Feeding our social needs

What motivates consumers to attend specific arts, entertainment or sports programming? Recent behavioral research has identified consumer tendencies towards products and experiences which reflect their ideal self-image.

We’ve always been driven by a need for self-actualization and self-fulfillment. We chose to participate in activities and events that bolster our ideal self-image. Are you an Eagles-loving NFL fan, or is an NBA game and DJ Khaled concert more your style?

What’s different today is that we have the social tools that enable these needs: we constantly curate and define our image via our social channels. Our social content says to the world: “here’s who I am.”

But here’s the catch: while we want to stand out from the pack and be seen as individuals, we also tend to seek experiences where we’ll be among our peers and where we’ll feel comfortable.

How does this impact arts, entertainment and sports marketing? The best entertainment marketing communicates “exclusive inclusivity”. It creates an attitude and image that sets the experience apart as unique but that also mirrors the attitude of the target audience. It says “you’re unique, but you’ll also fit in”. It taps into the psychographic needs of its target audience and encourages us to feel good about our decision to attend and about sharing the experience with others.

Our self-image changes over time – as do our entertainment choices. Field Day’s annual research shows clear and predictable differences in our live entertainment choices based on age, gender, education and geographic location. And those differences are influenced by our psychographic needs. The illustration below shows the differences in entertainment choices of an urban female millennial vs a suburban male boomer.

Tapping into the needs, motivations and idealized self-image of your target demographic and creating an atmosphere of “exclusive inclusivity” is key to marketing success.

Is ethical marketing risky?

Ethical marketing has seen a big rise in popularity and effectiveness in the last five years, but consumers are now expecting more from brands in their social actions. In 2019, brands with a clear social conscience are leading the way with consumers. According to the Shelton Group, 86% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social issues. In 2018, few campaigns were more popular than Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad.

In 2019, consumers want to align themselves with brands that reflect their own ethics and principles. The challenge with ethical marketing is that consumers expect action and not just words and pretty pictures. While consumers sometimes feel powerless to implement social change on a large scale, they know that corporations often have the financial and political clout to influence change.

For example, Starbucks closed 8,000 stores for racial bias training (internal influence), while Patagonia sued the US government in a bid to protect Bears Ears National Monument and coordinated the fight to protect this public land (external influence).

Ethical marketing is far from traditional marketing and it may seem risky. It takes visionary internal leadership to define a company’s moral values and to make them integral to a company’s ethos. It requires close collaboration between operations, public relations and marketing.

But when it’s done right, ethical and social marketing brings to light the core values of a company, and in doing so has a far deeper and longer lasting impact than a traditional ad campaign. It’s not about a product; it’s about a way of living.