Mitigate Millennial Mishaps3 February 2017
In the face of post-demographic consumerism, advertising agencies have invested heavily in research and focus groups to ensure they deliver brand strategies that hit the mark and meet briefs from clients. Supporting brand disciplines have done the same and it was only last year that it became evident which brands had included tactical campaigns to communicate directly with the Millennial market.
And as the number of big brands that are embracing post-demographic consumerism increase, we ask the question – should your PR agency be embracing this shift in consumerism?
“Absolutely,” says Paul Reynell, strategist for Paddington Station PR. “When the digital age in all its guises exploded, PR agencies were among the first brand disciplines to embrace it and this is what elevated PR from an optional to a crucial discipline within the brand mix. But now that’s old news and two decades later, PR has created a solid reputation for being the solution to building brands and ensuring those brands are engaging on as many touch-points as possible.”
He continues, “But then came the Millennials. For the first time in a very long time, agency and brand alike were challenged as all rule-books were thrown out the window. And the curve ball was not the change in consumer behaviour and how they consume brand material, but rather, how their behaviour had changed the way they think.”
It was this curve-ball that prompted the Paddington Station PR team to sit down and analyse the impact of post-demographic consumerism on PR and more importantly, content generation. The agency then discovered that there was a huge impact on not only tactical campaigns and initiatives, but also with key messaging and the variables from consumer sector to the next.
“It was very interesting to note that the content triggers to get a Millennial consumer and Generation X consumer to engage were practically the opposite, even though the two consumers can literally be a few years apart,” says Reynell. “Whilst one sector will look for aspirational triggers within content, the other will look for authentic triggers and will to a large degree ignore or not respond to aspirational content.”
Paddington Station PR then took their findings one step further by developing a stand-alone product called Brand Travel. This product looks at a brand’s market share as well as for potential areas for growth and/or potential red flags whereby the brand could experience declining market share as a result of their key messaging not being aligned to this new super-consumer.
“We strongly believe that not only do PR agencies need a thorough understanding of the various communication platforms, but also of the attributes that make up the various consumer segments. Post-demographic consumerism most certainly had an impact on tactical aspects of any brand campaign, and more importantly, has a huge impact on key messaging and triggers that get these consumers engaging with the brand,” Reynell concludes.
Paddington Station PR is a member of Brand Council SA. For more information on Brand Travel or the agency, please visit www.paddingtonstationpr.co.za or call +27 21 447-0564.