Four Millennial marketers took the stage today at the Adobe Summit, in Salt Lake City, to talk about how they capture the hearts and minds of both their teams and their customers. Is there anything about them but youth that allows them to take calculated risks while thinking mindfully about digital marketing?
Here are four pieces of advice all marketers might benefit from, which were heard during the panel discussion, moderated by Lisa Nirell, author, marketing adviser, and expert contributor for Fast Company and Forbes.
1. Remember, innovation looks different to everyone: When Rebecca Sisson joined the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston five years ago, she didn’t chase any bright shiny objects, such as SnapChat, to engage the museum’s customers. The museum had no email program, no social outreach, and was still mailing out print brochures to its customers. The first thing Sisson did was institute a data warehouse.
“We couldn’t do anything until we organized our data and got it all into one cohesive space,” Sisson said. “You need that foundation first. You can’t innovate your marketing without a solid foundation, and you can’t always start with the biggest, brightest, shiniest ball in the room.”
2. Get to know Millennials if you want to successfully market to them: Jerry Jao, CEO and co-founder of Retention Science, said that marketers need to figure out the channels Millennials really appreciate because only then will this audience take them seriously.
“No one believes what they see in a commercial,” Jao said. “The Millennial generation believes what they see on YouTube, SnapChat, and Twitter. That’s how they absorb news and information. Millennials are resourceful, and they want to solve things more efficiently. For them, it’s not about the brand. Don’t tell them what you are marketing--tell them how it can help them.”
3. Advertisements are the worst way to augment happiness: When Brian Wong, CEO and co-founder of Kiip, walked the aisle of a plane a few years ago, he notice that people were playing games on their mobile phones and relishing their wins—only to be disappointed when a big ad splashed on the screen. This Millennial marketer knew this was a big mistake.
“When people would get a high score, they would be served a big ad,” Wong said. “That’s not the best way to augment happiness. Instead, reward someone in that moment of happiness. ... No normal person intentionally taps on a mobile banner ad.”
4. True innovation is often the spawn of inefficiency.
Matt Scharf, manager of display media operations and analytics at Adobe, said that innovation used to be defined as happening because of necessity. It actually spawns from inefficiency, and that’s why Millennials are so good at it.
“Millennials are digital natives, and they understand technology,” Scharf said. “When something is inefficient, they are implored to dive into it.”
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