In February 2012, we sponsored the Yale Center for Customer Insights Trends in Marketing Conference — The Higher Velocity Marketplace: Technology, Innovation, and Engagement in the New Marketplace. This intimate, one-day gathering of marketing innovation thought leaders highlighted emerging trends and ideas in technology and customer engagement across a wide spectrum of industries.
Ideas To Go Chairman and Facilitator Ed Harrington and Word Processing Specialist Rickie Friedberg attended the conference and highlighted some of the learnings that we’ll post over the next few days. We hope you enjoy Part 3!
Ross Martin, EVP at Viacom and consultant for MTV, knows a lot about Millennials. He has to, in order to keep MTV relevant as the time between cultural milestones is continually compressed. “Millennials don’t just think about life differently,” he tells us, “they live it differently. The internet is not where they talk about real life—it’s where real life is happening.” With their sheer numbers, diversity, immense ambition, instantaneous access to information through technology, and $890 billion a year to spend, Millennials have the power to kill a slow-to-adapt company through disinterest.
Martin’s example: Blockbuster. The widely visible death of the brand demonstrates that old ways of marketing don’t work anymore. A brand can no longer push ads out hoping that people will look at them, absorb them, and admire them. Content doesn’t move anyone anymore—experience does. And the winners are the brands who create engaging experiences.
Martin has witnessed this process in action. MTV partnered with Dr Pepper Snapple Group to update Sun Drop, a citrus soda previously only available in the Carolinas that hadn’t been advertised in over a generation. The challenge: how to market this beverage to Millennials who refuse to be swayed by a discount or celebrity endorsement. The solution: a nationwide campaign featuring a young woman dancing awkwardly to hip hop music in a variety of situations. The combination of pop culture and embarrassment was a hit and the commercials went viral on the internet, receiving 15 million views on YouTube. Then, fans started creating their own “Drop It” videos. The audience took over the marketing campaign, giving the user-generated content over 30 million views.
This example proves that marketing to Millennials means giving them the power.
Ideas To Go is pleased to also sponsor the upcoming 7th annual Yale Customer Insights Conference in May. Registration has already begun. The fee is $495, and seating is limited. Register for the conference here.