While many promotional strategies are ageless, to be most effective you need to know how to fine-tune your strategy for your target market. If you’re targeting a particular age-group of individuals, you may be able to capitalize on generational trends. Authenticity is becoming increasingly important to consumers, particularly to millennials and Gen Z. This article, “‘This Is A Business Now’: YouTube Stars Influence Generation Z’s Fashion Tastes“, discusses how one woman, Rhea Park, took her interest in fashion and turned it into a business by posting videos of herself modeling and reviewing various outfits. She has over 250K followers and those followers trust her reviews more than they would trust content found on the designer’s website because Rhea’s videos are perceived as unbiased and authentic. In Chapter 16 we refer to this as Earned Media, promotional strategies not directly generated by the company or brand, but rather by third parties such as Rhea.
The concept of segmentation is important to us as marketers. We use segmentation to help us focus our strategies so we can do a better job of marketing to a specific group rather than poor, generic marketing to the masses. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of equating stereotypes and segments.
This cartoon from marketoonist.com illustrates this concept as it relates to millennials. Millennials represent 25% of the US population and have buying power in excess of $1 trillion so it’s no wonder that companies want to find a way to tap into that demographic but “millennial” isn’t generally a good definition of a market segment. In Essentials of Marketing we define a market segment as a relatively homogeneous group of customers who will respond to a marketing mix in a similar way. Consider that there’s a 23 year age difference between the oldest and youngest millennials and that over half of all millennial households have children. It quickly becomes obvious that further definition is required to truly specify a target market. Try discussing this dilemma with your students. How can companies develop a marketing mix that focuses on “millennials” when that demographic is so diverse?