How to Engage Tech Savvy, Gen C Consumers
As technology continues to impact consumer decision-making more than ever before, successful marketers have discovered new and effective ways to interact with the diverse consumer base that is tech-savvy, connected 24/7 and rarely makes a purchase without reaching for their mobile devices. Known as Gen C, these connected customers are not defined by age, income or ethnicity, but rather by their heavy smartphone use and preference for consumer-generated content.
Whether you’re a member of Gen X, Y, Z or a Baby Boomer, if you pull up your airline boarding pass via smartphone, deposit money through mobile apps, use Uber for a ride or, turn to Yelp for restaurant reviews, you likely are a member of Gen C, and marketers are using targeted tactics to connect with you.
Pairing Smart Data with a Marketing Strategy
Simply put, great marketers pair smart data with a well-planned marketing strategy. A tactical strategy connects the right consumers with the right product through a message that appeals to their needs and lifestyle. This is not an easy task. Brands now have access to substantial amounts of data and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing solution, which is particularly challenging when dealing with savvy Gen C consumers.
A reputable database includes information that tells brands where, when and how to make the consumer connection. Competent marketing companies develop this large trove of data by tracking consumers through current and past pay-per-click, social media, and search engine marketing campaigns. With access to hundreds of millions of consumers and their information, they target specific audiences based on their preferred browsing device, shopping preferences, behavioral patterns and spending habits.
It is important to note that not all databases are created equal. Brands should select database companies that:
- maintain large opt-in databases
- update their datatbases frequently
- coordinate marketing strategies across a variety of channels
Finding the Best Ways to Connect
While data is king, all the data in the world won’t matter if you aren’t able to connect with consumers in a meaningful way and close the deal. Here are the top five omnichannel strategies that brands should consider when marketing to Gen C consumers on the road to a purchase:
- Understand what drives the Gen C consumer: Knowing key attributes of your target market, such as their income levels, demographics and purchase history are always important. But Gen C customers vary across many They do, however, share a love for social media and all things related to technology. This group tends to read emails frequently, keep smartphones within close reach, avoid SPAM and are savvy when it comes to brand loyalty perks and discounts. This suggests that sophisticated online content, well-constructed e-mails, relevant social media advertorials and banner ads are most apt to reach them.
- Segment your audience: Building a solid brand image includes knowing your customers and keeping consumer aggravation to a minimum. Not all Gen C consumers will respond to the same marketing appeal in the same way, which is why it is important to segment consumers into groups based upon how they react to various marketing strategies. Some may be receptive to content-based newsletters, some may prefer to receive email discounts and loyalty perks, while others will be more apt to actively click on social media advertorials. A smart marketing company can help you sort through and segment consumers into even more targeted groups. Brands can then market to each sub-set based upon its wants and needs. For example, a consumer who never opens emails shouldn’t be receiving daily emails from a brand!
- Treat your Gen C customer like royalty: Remember that quality over quantity goes a long way in building relationships with Gen C consumers. Make sure that advertisements, online content and e-mails are helpful to them. Send emails from an appropriate business address to avoid them being characterized as SPAM and be clear, concise and captivating with your message, always considering the target audience.
- Be relevant: Geotargeting is an example of an innovative marketing solution that delivers different content or advertisements to a website user based on his or her geographic location. A consumer who is walking out of an auto dealership might receive a text or advertisement on their mobile device offering them a better car deal at a nearby competitor. This capabilty is tremendously relevant and useful to a consumer who is in the market for a new vehicle.
- Provide meaningful content: Gen C consumers are wary of blatant sales pitches. Make sure that online content provides valuable information to your audience, whether through an e-mail newsletter, a blog or even an advertisement. For example, a travel brand blog titled “The Top 10 Christmas Market Destinations to Experience this Winter” can be extremely useful to the consumer, not merely promotional, by including detailed and relevant information, travel tips and unique ideas to make the visit memorable. Presented properly, it highlights a brand’s commitment to quality and elicits trust from a consumer.
- Continue the relationship: Winning a new customer costs four times more than retaining an existing one. Retention is particularly challenging with Gen C, a market segment known for withholding loyalty from all except brands they know and trust. With that in mind, an effective omni-channel marketing campaign must make sure that shoppers keep seeing their interests promoted on the devices they use. For maximum ROI, businesses must plan sequential digital promotions and email campaigns that keep their target audience engaged.
It is not unusual for members of Gen C to reach for their phones to check emails and social media before they get out of bed in the morning. The good news is that their perpetual connection to technology offers marketers more insights into their behavior and preferences than ever before. The secret to success is understanding what makes them tick and connecting with them accordingly.
Alex Radetich is one of two managing partners and founders of Take 5 Media Group, a leader in e-mail and omnichannel marketing and a nationally recognized compiler of double opt-in consumer participation. Radetich is responsible for managing the company’s day-to-day operations across South Florida, New York and Atlanta and for growing Take 5’s strategic expansion into new data products and services. Radetich brings more than 25 years of experience in direct marketing, database management and audience segmentation to Take 5 Media Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.