Activating the Modern Consumer

What if consumers cared about experiences over things, prioritized their health, solicited their digital neighbor for reviews and applied conscience-forward thinking to their purchasing behaviors? Well, that consumer is alive and, on its way, to being the majority for brands to target.

Today’s young adults are much better educated than prior generations and with this increase in education comes a heightened sensitivity to their behaviors and the ripple effect of those actions. While we also know that these individuals are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings, additional research tells us that global consumers are skeptical of brands’ corporate responsibility claims.

Now, for all of us marketing and communications professionals, who are arguably responsible for activating this generation of ‘Clean Lifers,’ it is critical for us to take what we know about their preferences and use that to inform our planning process.

Integrate into Experiences
We all know how important it is to grab people where they are likely to make a decision. With an audience that is afflicted with FOMO, they are often found “in the wild” taking in new experiences. So, depending on your brand, the best way to reach them may be intercepting them on-the-go.

For example, a Colorado park added ‘voluntary’ trail donation meters throughout their trails to help with maintenance. Within two weeks, the meters collected $1,000. Innovative approaches like this one demonstrate a unique opportunity that this organization took to activate an audience with a call-to-action where that audience was physically and emotionally connected – and already benefiting from the outcome of the call-to-action.

Pro tip: Identify the result you are looking to achieve with your upcoming campaign – whether it’s purchasing a product, building awareness or driving donations. Then, consider how one of your company offerings could be integrated with an experience in order to connect with your audience.

Connect Everywhere on Digital
Everything is online; which means consumers basically never have to leave their homes to make purchases. However, many purchasing decisions still happen after a great deal of consult – albeit from the comfort of their couch. In fact, younger generations turn to their online networks – social media platforms, blogger influencers, crowd-sourcing apps, your company website/chat capabilities, etc. – to improve their purchasing decisions.

Furthermore, they are active mobile buyers, as this age group makes 40% of its purchases via mobile phone.

Pro tip: How are you reaching audiences beyond your website and social? Do you work with brand ambassadors? Are you engaging influencers to help spread your messages? Find a new tactic for your brand that specifically targets people on mobile.

Narrow in on the Issues They Care About
Did you know that 74% of Millennials are more likely to buy from a brand supporting social issues they care about? Although, it’s not just about forcing your company into a space that audiences care about; it has to be authentic and mean something for your brand. This generation has come to expect brands to address social issues and topics that are related to their business.

Pro tip: As you review your past CSR / sustainability efforts and plan for future activities, consider spending time evaluating how well your efforts are in line with your overall business objectives. Then, make any necessary adjustments and build out plans that amplify your efforts – through partnerships, local market media or employee engagement – to connect with your target audience.

New trends and generations will continue to evolve the purchase cycle and how brands conduct their business. With the right research and planning, you can continue to ensure loyalty from your audience and build new followers as well. We can help.