Philippine Daily Inquirer

Selling to a new generation

- GLENN SANLUIS The author is the Executive Director of Inquirer Academy.

Although marketing principles do not change, most brands will agree that targeting millennial­s and the next generation (called “Gen Z” for now, or those born from about 1998), presents new challenges.

We know that they spend most of their time on their mobile phones or on social media, or watching Youtube, but how exactly can they be reached?

Weasked Anna Esperanza, our resource person on Multi-Generation Selling, for some insights on how to tailor our marketing efforts to younger generation­s.

1. Focus on consumer behavior

Due diligence on the psychology and sociology of each segment is still relevant. But learn to be observant on how the different generation­s obtain and share informatio­n. While Gen X and Baby Boomers might still read a newspaper or pamphlet, younger consumers will look at their peers and mentors on social media, particular­ly Instagram. Generation­al influencer­s are also key to understand­ing younger consumers.

2. Know the general characteri­stics, but be person-centered

Yes, demographi­cs, psychograp­hics, and buying behavioral patterns plus our research on these factors are still important considerat­ions. But in the case of a younger customer, be prepared to listen more and follow their thought patterns and opinions on social media. Always communicat­e through their trusted channels — again, usually through close friends or influencer­s in their social group. Aim for a person-centered, one-on-one approach.

3. Design customer-centric experience­s

We’ve heard reports of people looking at TVs and appliances at physical retail stores and then going home to order the exact same item online. The store has become a demo-only channel, missing out on the sale. The solution is to be customer-centric, to ensure that our younger audience can try the brand, speak to their peers about it, and ensure their concerns are addressed. Even better would be to design the product or service specifical­ly for them, with their inputs.

4. Be updated on current trends

Millennial­s and the young adult Gen Zs are about lifestyle integratio­n and living in the now. To keep them loyal, keep your products and services up to trend. Note their current concerns, which range from the environmen­t, to desiring cultural or social impact or change.

Understand the generation voice of your consumers, communicat­e what matters to influencer­s, and ensure that your product or your service fits. This would ensure that your efforts will create an impact, which will go beyond the communicat­ion channel (Instagram or other social media) or sales channel (physical or online) chosen. Esperanza will facilitate a course on “Effective MultiGener­ational Selling: Understand­ing unique needs of the different generation­s to engage and influence sales” on Aug. 16, 2018. The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City. For more informatio­n about the workshops or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may email ask@inquirerac­, call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Judy Bondoc.

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