Youth marketing is harder than it looks, as simply adapting a general campaign to focus on the youth market is rarely successful, president of Canadian youth marketing agency Intercept Group, Andrew Au, says in an interview for Voxburner.
Moreover, he adds that even though adapted campaigns are more cost-efficient, a special strategy solely targeting the youth market would be better. Young people are, unsurprisingly, most influenced by digital channels and online experiences; this is why many marketers are looking for ways to combine the two and turn individual experiences into group ones, Au explains.
However, when it comes to engagement, marketers tailoring a campaign for youths should bear in mind that peer reviews are as official as product reviews. Successful youth marketing will manage to engage the target group in such a way that it will turn its members into advocates of the marketed brand; this can be done through campus marketing, which ensures very precise audience targeting, or through consumer marketing. In both cases, marketers should be aware of traps such as field representatives who don’t reflect the audience and a lack of passion about the brand being marketed. Young consumers are more likely to become engaged if they are offered instant gratification and if the campaign they see has a sense of authenticity, Au advises.
The biggest challenge for youth marketers, according to Au, is finding the balance between engagement and believability. However, as much as a brand may want to reach out to young consumers, it should first consider if its strategy is in line with its overall image and reputation. To deal with this challenge a brand should get to know its youth audience better and thus reduce the risk of discrepancy between its image and the message it sends to young people.