Marketing to 3 Generations of ‘Netizens’ – Key Strategies
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
We live in a globally connected world of Netizens, which networks for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. With blurring boundaries between the physical and digital worlds, technology is only shrinking the world. This phenomenon has allowed for interaction between communities and businesses around the world, leading to the creation of a borderless global market. The days of big budget TV commercials and print ads sufficing for your marketing agenda are long gone!
At Plethora, we help you create relatable digital content for your brand, but our work doesn’t stop there. This content needs to be delivered to your target audiences through relevant digital channels in engaging digital formats. That’s easier said than done for today’s marketers vying for the attention of 3 generations of Netizens.
As modern consumers are bombarded with digital ads to the point of developing ‘banner blindness’, brands are fighting harder than ever for customer attention. Marketers are continuously devising ways to create a buzz – leveraging influencers, news hacking, invoking ‘Crowdculture’, conducting ‘social experiments’, using technological gimmicks, and a whole lot more.
At the core of all these buzz-words is the need to make your brand messaging more relatable for audiences. When marketing activities successfully trigger personal emotions or cultural influence, successful brands are born. Nike’s perennial ‘Just Do It’ campaign is a classic example of brand identities that have transcended generations.
For you to be able to engage customers, the first step would be to understand their unique generational behaviors. Perhaps the biggest differences between generations X, Y, and Z is how they have evolved through the technological revolution. Some of the key strategies that brands should keep in mind for each of these audience segments are-
This generation primarily consists of those who are supporting their children and retired parents. They are more likely to remain loyal to specific brands. To catch their attention, brands should focus on-
Providing To-The-Point Information: Since this is the least tech savvy generation, they look for digital information which is easy to access, simple to understand, and intuitive to act upon. They prefer a no-frills experience over a technically gimmicky one.
Building Trust: They look for trusted sellers online. Having lived most of their lives purchasing products by walking in through stores, they are still unsure about the kind of products that will be delivered at their doorstep. The likes of Amazon.com have become household names largely due to the excellent customer service that they offer, and the trust that consumers have in their brand.
The millennials make up the brewing workforce of almost every growing economy in the world, today. They look for unique products and experiences which stand out amongst the various mass produced goods and services being created. Brands will be able to attract them through-
Research About the Latest Trends: When browsing for the best deals online, millennials are more thorough with their online research. They consume a lot of digital information before making their purchase decisions. The most ‘trending’ pieces of brand or product content are bound to influence the Net Generation.
Digital Omnipresence: With multiple devices and digital channels integrated into the daily lives of this generation, brands must strive to be present across several digital touch-points. This omnipresence allows brands to take control over the complete user journey from awareness to conversion. Out of sight, out of mind!
The iGen is by far the most digitally connected generation. They are growing up with the internet and connected devices at the centre of their upbringing. This generation sees technology less as a tool, and more as a digital extension of their being. A few keys to engaging Centennials include-
Connecting with Influencers: Movie and sports stars now have to share their limelight with teenagers uploading YouTube videos from their living rooms. Gen Z are growing up consuming content created by relatable peers on social media. They tend to trust this user generated content over ‘traditional’ celebrity-endorsed opinion. Prominent content creators on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok are heavily influencing consumer decisions for Gen Z.
Innovation in Technological Experiences: Even as mobile video consumption goes off the charts, Gen Z is looking for more varieties of digital experiences. Technologies such as chat bots, digital assistants, augmented reality, and virtual reality form a key part of their brand interactions in the present and near future.
Environmental Conscientiousness: The hyper-connected Gen Z is aware and conscious about issues like climate change and how these issues impact the future of their generation. They are increasingly realizing and acting upon the importance of making sustainable consumer decisions. From steel straws to #TeamTrees, this generation prefers brands that are environmentally conscientious.
In the words of Matshona Dhliwayo, “In a world full of game players, the only way to set yourself apart is to be a game changer.”  Irrespective of whether your brand is targeting audiences from just one digital generation or from all 3, your brand’s ability to stand out in a crowded field depends on your ability to understand and leverage the consumers’ behaviour.