While much has been written lately about millennials and Gen Z, often forgotten is Gen C.
Unlike its age cohorts, the moniker Gen C was born 20 years ago at the research firm’s Inaugural Consumer 360 Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. And while the term has taken on different definitions since then, it stands today for connectivity. According to Nielsen, more than 274 million Americans have internet access. This number more than doubled between 2000 and 2011. In addition, social media engagement accounts for more than 81 billion minutes annually.
Since the pandemic, numerous reports and studies showed that traffic on all social media platforms increased. Consumers came to depend even more on these platforms to browse and shop and all indications point to most continuing to do so even in the new normal.
Nielsen reports that the majority of Gen C are millennials and women. The firm also stated that Gen Cers are multitaskers. Even when viewing something on their phone, 57% are also checking emails. 44% are social networking, while another 44% are surfing the web. Simple funnels no longer work in reaching Gen C. Consumer behavior alone is not the key. Amplified strategies that engage and cater to this demographic based on their needs, expectations, and platforms they frequent are key. To best reach Gen Cers, CMOs might consider these four steps.
Key to a successful campaign is a strategy that grabs and keeps the interest of Gen C. Prior knowledge about the brand’s customers is critical in identifying key things like their most frequent social media platforms, including the most popular days and times. Also important is discovering their most popular needs, concerns, and expectations. Ideally, this data should be readily available from earlier comments, surveys, and feedback from the brand’s customer service department. Nielsen found that ads that deliver real value are more apt to be seen by Gen C. Similarly, the firm reported that ads with music and humor are also highly popular. The next step is delivering what was learned and discovered to be of prime interest to Gen C when and where they frequent. Displaying empathy and an understanding of customer concerns in today’s environment can also be powerful. So, too, is asking for feedback and comments as well as requesting recommendations. Asking for the sale is the third step. Oftentimes an advance notice to loyal customers with a special limited time offer of a discount and/or free shipping can generate the momentum leading up to a great sale. New customers would also find such offers appealing.
Sometimes forgotten in the wake of a successful digital PR campaign is the follow-up. Even a simple acknowledgment and thank you are important. What’s also helpful and powerful is alerting Gen C about what their purchase enabled the brand to accomplish either in the community or for a cause they embrace. And again, asking for feedback and recommendations is always good. Nielsen reported that Gen Cers are nearly twice as likely to be influencers because others often flock to them for purchasing advice.
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