The YouthBeat team was recently in London to present findings from YouthBeat Global at the Youth Marketing Strategy conference. While YouthBeat’s focus is on kids, tweens, teens, and parents, most of the other presenters telescope in on young adults 16-24, given European restrictions on messaging to youngsters. And there was particular focus on English college freshman who are exploring their identities and open to new brands during the initial transition from their parents’ home to college housing.
We were intrigued by several of the presentations—our top takeaways were:
“Ticketmaster knows everything about you.”
Big data isn’t brand spanking new anymore, but companies are still exploring how to utilize it to maximize cross-selling and marketing efforts. Ticketmaster is able to overlay Experian data with its customer records, so anyone who buys tickets with a credit card contributes to the pool of what is known about how such concertgoers behave. It might sound shocking, but really any company who engages in credit card transactions can buy this kind of data. We believe they’re using it for purposes of good – to enhance the experiences, products, and messaging that they offer to today’s consumer.
More than half of Birchbox’s sales are now via mobile device.
The beauty service, which began as mail-order subscription and retail, has moved into the brick + mortar space. They’ve organized their stores differently from typical beauty retail (which is brand blocked), to a broader focus on product categories. This allows in-person shoppers to explore all of the mascaras or moisturizers at one time, rather than having to search through each brand for a particular product. What does this mean for brand loyalty in the future? We’re not sure, but it is a social foot forward in physical retail spaces.
“1,000 True Fans.”
Hearkening back to Kevin Kelly’s 2008 article about the point of momentum it takes for a musician to have a viable commercial career, start-up brands in every category are embracing this concept. Even without large marketing budgets, they can form one-to-one social relationships with hardcore fans who will go on to evangelize for them to their own networks. They don’t necessarily have to be influencers, just people who find a brand that speaks to them, and have the willingness to let their friends know. We’ve seen this in our teen research in the U.S. also—a highly-paid celebrity endorser has far less credibility and influence than a “regular” person on Instagram who really believes in a product..
“Insights aren’t free.”
This is true—there is a lot of widely available information (including this YouthBeat blog), but generating targeted insights into your brand’s category are usually more complex and delicate than the blunt instruments available online allow. That’s why it’s important to partner with an insights agency who is intimately familiar with your target consumers or shoppers and knows how to reach them in the way they like to communicate. It’s worth the investment.