Marketers knock heads on millennials at The Lab's Think Tank
Approximately 300 marketers gathered at the Spanish Court Hotel last Wednesday for a one-day Think Tank aimed at analysing the behavioural trends of Jamaican millenials and looking at effective ways to reach generations Y and Z.
The event was organised by The Lab under the theme, ‘Reaching The Jamaican Millennial’, and drew from local and international expertise.
Highlighting data linking millennials with target marketing, specifically in the United States, was world-renowned Tina Wells, Chief Executive Officer of Buzz Marketing Group.
Local company, Blue Dot Data Intelligence, led by the three-prong presenters of CEO Larren Peart, COO Anita Jakobavic and Chief Mind Officer (CMO) Zachary Harding, presented some interesting findings from their data-led local research that, at times, differed from that of Wells and the American perspective.
Also contributing were marketing leaders from some of the island’s top brands, who took part in panel discussions throughout the day. Among them were Digicel’s Marketing Director Monique McLeod, Agile Marketing Manager of National Commercial Bank Sade Powell, Brand Manager of Domino’s Jamaica Collise Reid and Acting Global Category Manager of GraceKennedy Company Limited Kimberly Lue-Lim.
Executives of small and medium-sized companies were also given the opportunity to enlighten about their successes with millennials, some whose leaders are themselves listed among the generation. These include Kamal Bankay, Director of Dream Entertainment; Tashoy Hodges, Digital Coordinator of The LAB; dancehall entertainer Ding Dong and singer Naomi Cowan.
Among the data presented, the major difference that was gleaned from that of Wells and Blue Dot Data Intelligence is that, among Jamaica’s millennials, Facebook continues to be the local social media of choice, while the platform has lost ground to Twitter and Instagram in the US.
However, both Wells and Blue Dot agree that millennials in both markets have some similarities in their support for brands. Among the similarities is that the generation will support a brand that aligns itself with a purpose that they support or a brand that is totally transparent with their operations.
In giving further details, Wells said that data shows that in America, 67 per cent of millennials shop online, 76 per cent research products before buying, 63 per cent carry no generational loyalty and will switch brands easily, 63 per cent are impacted by product review, 67 per cent are impacted by options to ship, 88 per cent are willing to pay for expedited shipping, 41 per cent are willing to pay for same day delivery, 64 per cent are willing to ship to other destinations than their home, 54 per cent find using shopping apps easier than websites and 54 per cent buy from brands that advertise on social media.
Meanwhile, McLeod outlined Digicel’s conquest of millennials and explained that the company, which started in 2001, took a decision to be bold by “painting the town red”.
She said the company started with a marketing strategy of finding a synergy and connection with the millennial while being disruptive to the paradigm at the time and also aligning to community initiatives and being a platform with youths at the centre.
A number of marketing campaigns were used to create these goals, including the popular free nights, which although targeting millennials, were also a hit with members of other generations, McLeod said.
She said the company has tweaked its marketing campaigns over the years, which included using influencers to grab hold of the millennial market.
According to Dream Weekend’s Bankay, with the shift from house parties to a formal business in the entertainment industry somewhere about 2010, the company had to make adjustments in an effort to attract sponsors and be relevant.
A significant shift used to reach the market was social media while trying to predict the next trend, Bankay said, adding that Dream Weekend started a Facebook page to get feedback, which resulted in better results for the product.
He said that Dream Weekend has also kept email marketing as a strategy, which he said has been a proven winner. He credits the brand’s high customer loyalty level - a survey was done last year showing that 81 per cent of those who attended Dream Weekend had been a patron for four or more times – to the email system.
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