Millennials More Desired Consumers Than Boomers
Marketers trying to reach an audience of Millennials, to whom they can sell products and services for a lifetime, should master content marketing, according to Forrester Research. Marketers are less worried about reaching the “least-desired” demographic, Baby Boomers, says a Forrester senior analyst.
“The inflection point is right about now,” Forrester Senior Analyst Susan Bidel says.
Younger audiences with mobile devices — more than four devices, generally — are becoming the most-desired consumers, she says.
Her recent presentation Content Marketing World 2016 in Cleveland may seem blunt, but that’s perhaps true only for today’s audiences.
Years ago, a TV news anchor from the Greatest Generation, who has since passed away himself, once joked to a late-show host that his network got the ratings it did because its audience died during the night and left the television on. These jokes, let alone matter-of-fact declarations about demographics, have largely gone by the wayside.
The tone did, that is, until Bidel’s presentation on Sept. 7 about “Clairvoyance In the Age of Content Discovery — Content Is Only Half the Story.”
Forrester Says What Many Are Thinking
No one likes to think about death. Or talk about death. At least publicly.
But death is a fact of life that really impacts marketers’ ROI, she showed.
Bidel’s Slide 8 states it as such: “TV viewers are dying (literally). Only 34 percent of all U.S. online adults primarily watch linear TV. Among whom, Boomers and older are over-represented.”
History.com says this generation was born between 1945 and 1964, at which point they numbered nearly 80 million. By 2030, they will still represent one out of five Americans, the site says.
But now Boomers are the “least-desired” demographic for marketers’ goals, she says.
She predicts marketers are going to want to reach younger, mobile-first consumers.
Presenting after Bidel, the listed speaker for the session — Anthony Hearne, VP, Global Sales Marketing at Outbrain — said it was important for marketers to hear the analysis. Outbrain is a New York-based behavior-based content recommendation software provider, which essentially means it’s a content distribution tool.
“Predicting the future … certainly begins with knowing the now,” Hearne says.
Reaching a Desired Audience
“If you don’t have a real promotion strategy, you’re not going to develop an audience,” Bidel says.
Eighty percent of marketers have a distribution plan, she says. Bidel mentioned Hearne’s Outbrain as one distribution option. Percolate or Taboola are among the others. [Author’s note: Check the quality of the audience in analytics as you go. Bidel mentions 47 percent of companies using content marketing track its ROI. Simply getting a lot of traffic may not accomplish your goals if, for instance, the audience comes from a piracy site and tends not to buy products and services.]
Another marketing hint is to think of content as needing to be a big part of the customer experience. She says successful companies will create user interfaces and collaboration.
Regardless, marketers need to get the word out about their content. Not just write the words and hope consumers will find them.
“It’s not just going to happen because you put great stuff out there,” Bidel says.
Content Marketing Matters
Forrester’s analysis shows “content marketing is a priority” among marketers, Bidel says.
“Significant sums are involved,” according to Slide 13. “One of four of respondents said their budget would grow by roughly a third; One in two said it would grow more than 20 percent.”
A simultaneous emphasis on analytics is aiding in those content marketing efforts, she says.
However, content marketing still ranks behind search and social budget items. [Author’s note: This is where Bidel’s comment about defining content comes in. Plenty of content marketing strategies include search and social — and more, such as mobile and video. It’s perhaps the ultimate cross-channel experience.]
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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