Millennial Marketing

Millennial GraphicAs a generation that consumes more information and goods than any before, Millennials are an important audience to cater to.  Here at GuentherMedia, we’re especially interested in Millennials because they are the rising leaders and entrepreneurs of our time.  I’m also particularly interested because I am a Millennial, as are many of my coworkers.  There’s a lot of speculation right now about our futures, and I’m more than a little curious to see how they turn out.

The importance of Millennials as a 95+ billion strong generation has led GuentherMedia to the creation of a page about engaging them.  We will be launching it soon to share information like this list, a guide for companies looking to market toward the generation (a train we highly recommend jumping aboard).  Our clients often ask us about how to best persuade Millennials, so we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the best dos and don’ts.

DO:

  • Create opportunities for engagement—Millennials love to co-create in the marketing process, whether through YouTube unboxings, Yelp reviews, or tweeting directly to the companies they love or hate. To ensure their attention for your brand, make sure Millennials can interact with it.
  • Maintain a sense of transparency—because of the level of engagement Millennials seek out, they also expect a certain amount of responsiveness and honesty from their brands. Brands who are honest about the good and the bad will gain more respect from Millennials.
  • Actually have good business practices—in conjunction with transparency goes integrity, and Millennials are all about it. They are demanding more corporate social responsibility and will boycott brands that are not socially or environmentally conscious. Cause marketing is a specific aspect they look for in branding.
  • Non-profits: think outside the box when fundraising—in a recent article from Crossroads, Mike Swenson wrote on the proliferation of unique charity walks and runs that are attracting Millennials.  The Color Run and Tough Mudders are taking the traditional charity walk and turning it on its head with the incorporation of color paint bombs or obstacle courses. Millennials enjoy engagement and are more likely to contribute if a fundraiser is exciting and even a little bit demanding.
  • For-profits: give Millennials something to believe in—this generation knows how to shop and is more likely than previous ones to jump on board with a new, innovative product.  However “new” means nothing if it isn’t high quality, groundbreaking, and/or beneficial to Millennials themselves.  To win them over, you must take risks and show that your brand, product, or service is unique.

DON’T:

  • Do the same ol’, same ol’—like we’ve said, Millennials love innovation and they love to be the first of their friends to try something new.  If you’re utilizing business tactics that were used 20+ years ago, odds are it won’t hit home with them.
  • Rely on logic alone—Millennials have a tendency to look for products and services that go beyond simple functionality. They often look to hedonic criteria as well, considering emotional, symbolic, and subjective attributes and benefits in addition to the functional and economic.
  • Overwhelm or underwhelm their senses—Millennials are, to an extent, walking contradictions. They are impatient, multitasking individuals who seek information and peer affirmation before making decisions. But they can also feel overwhelmed by the information coming at them from all directions. It’s important to strike a balance between the “over the top” and the demure.
  • Forget to reward them—unfortunately, Millennials will switch brands or purchase from a non-favorite company if given additional benefit or offered a discount. They tend to bargain shop or seek out consumer rewards, and if you’re not offering these aspects then they will go elsewhere.
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A Snapshot Of Our Work

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A new client recently asked for a snapshot of our work. As we were looking back at projects, I was reminded that we are very fortunate guys.

Every one of the clients we’ve partnered with shares our values and is making a difference in the world.

Their conviction fuels ours.

This year, we’ve won another half dozen national awards for excellence in film and television, and last year, our work for Jay Inslee, funded by SEIU, did extremely well — more than 300,000 views of one film alone.

We’re doing work we love for people we love.  We want to do more of it. A lot more of it. We want to grow so that we can say yes to poor progressives, risk-loving entrepreneurs and regional candidates in the future. That’s where our heart is.

Our sweet spot is film and television strategy, execution and distribution — broadcast, cable and through social media.  We understand people. We understand issues. We know how to deliver authentic, provocative stories that get results. 

We also provide branding, design and press and speech coaching because once you’ve got a powerful story, you want to be sure it’s equally powerful across an integrated message campaign.  So for more than 25 years, we’ve helped clients weave it all together — and win.

We want to have coffee with you. You don’t have to have an immediate project to be insightful.  We’ll give you a call and see if you have time.

If you would like to see some of recent spots, check out the film page. For a quick look, watch our reel below.

Hope to do a little scheming together soon!

Kurt

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The Growing Need for Responsible Business

The average citizen is taking an increasingly more active role in holding the businesses they purchase from accountable.  Consumers now have the ability to do this in a variety of ways, such as through applications like Buycott.  The app allows users to scan product bar codes to find out if company business practices conflict with the causes they care for.

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These demands show that there is a potential power shift occurring between businesses and the public.  Cone Communications puts out a report every other year on corporate social responsibility with Echo Research. This year they conducted an online survey of 10,287 consumers in ten major countries.

The survey found that:
- 8 in 10 global consumers expect companies to at least donate products, services, money, or volunteering in support of causes.
- 9 in 10 global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality.

The 2013 Cone CSR report concludes that: “Corporate social responsibility is no longer an option—it is emphatically and indisputably a must-do.”  It is important to note that while the report found an overwhelming demand for better business practices, it also found that just a quarter of those surveyed believed individuals and corporations were making a significant impact on social and environmental issues.

These facts—that corporate social responsibility is a must and that consumers feel there is room for improvement—point to a need that is relevant to any business, large or small. People are showing interest in causes and hoping that companies reflect the same, indicating that businesses of all kinds must be good citizens at their core.

At GuentherMedia, we are lucky enough to work with organizations like MacDonald-Miller, who have found market solutions for the values they believe in. The built environment produces almost half of the CO2 emissions in the U.S.  MacMiller is changing that by making our largest buildings more efficient and more comfortable, and they are saving their customers money in the process.

We would love to help tell your story. Give us a call and we will take you out for coffee. 206-818-0871.

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Introducing Wise!

What do you get when you combine the Woodland Park Zoo with the Seattle Aquarium, Islandwood, the Pacific Science Center, Burke Museum and the Museum of Flight?

You get WISE! The Washington Informal Science Education Consortium. Kind of the Mt. Olympus of science educators in the state. We’re working with them on branding and getting off the ground. On Saturday, we were at the Seattle Science Festival. Very popular booth, showing kids the 66-year-old technology of instant photography. They were mystified by this vintage process! Wise_FestivalPhotoSpread

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Welcome Katie Lohman

Hello!  My name is Katie Lohman, and I’m the shiny new intern here at GuentherMedia.  I’ll be working with the team this summer until I return to school at Emerson College.  I’m a rising senior Marketing Communications major and Sociology minor. I’m leaning toward a public relations/advertising focus.  Truthfully, I’m open to wherever my opportunities take me as long as it has to do with cause marketing and/or non-profit work.

katie for blog

Part of what drew me to GuentherMedia is the fact that the company’s number one value is the “common good.”  This is an essential factor for my future career.  From a young age I’ve toyed with different career paths (psychologist, private investigator, archeologist). I found that throughout high school and now college, I gained the most satisfaction when I’m working towards something I believe in. I’ve helped run Earth Clubs, combated impoverished conditions in a rural village of Guatemala, and am now a president of Emerson’s Alliance for Gays, Lesbians, and Everyone (EAGLE).  Just this past spring, I also realized the interconnectivity all of these causes have with immigration issues when I spent a week in El Paso, Texas as a part of an alternative spring break cultural immersion project.

I stubbornly did not want to pick one issue to fight for at an internship this summer, so I didn’t—instead, I found a place where I could give back to a variety of groups and causes.  Ultimately all of the social and environmental issues I care about relate to each other in some way.  They are about bringing us all together to better the places we share, not dividing us into individual causes.  Contributing to the common good at GuentherMedia is where I hope to apply my skills as a marketer and, ultimately, a community member.

I was so excited when I found GuentherMedia’s site last fall that I immediately started pestering them about when they would begin taking applications.  The company values matched mine, and their mission to give back in their work was the same goal I’ve strived for.  Now I’m here and so excited to see what the next few months hold.  I can tell already that I will be gaining plenty of hands on, practical experience, and I’m eager to contribute to the missions of all of our clients

Did I mention that I’m also a dog person?  Ty and I are good friends already, so I am in heaven!

Here’s to a great summer,

Katie Lohman

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Tour De Vance is 1 week away!

Come join GuentherMedia and 14 floors worth of great organizations at the 6th annual Tour De Vance! There will be an abundance of fun, food, drink, and groups working on issues that matter. Suite 310 has a tradition of having the most fun, but don’t take our word for it, come see for yourself. 

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4 new Telly awards.

The results are in and we came home with 4 new awards! NoaNet: Broadband for all, Earth Ministry: Our Moral Compass, and two spots for Hans Dunshee were winners. Check them out below, and visit our awards page for a complete list of award-winning work.

 

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Will Millennials Volunteer?

Right now, there seems to be a real opportunity to redefine the culture of volunteerism in America, and it starts with Millennials. Millennials are a group of young people, defined by their civic duty, pragmatism, and sense of community. We are a sleeping giant of productivity. We are also equipped to use the power of the internet better than any generation before us. Websites like Volunteerfinder, Sparked and Catchafire already help make volunteering easier and more productive. A generation’s energy is ready to be unleashed, but finding the path to redefining volunteerism is tricky, and I’m not sure we can get there without significant change to the current system.

Millennials are supposed to be all about solving problems by giving back, but in 2011 we were the least likely generation to volunteer. Only 17% of us did. This may have as much to do with our age as our generation, but we’re certainly not distinguishing ourselves.

Technology has changed the way we do many things, including charitable contributions. Thanks to innovations like quick donate, the Obama campaign broke fundraising records in 2012. However, where quick donation technology catches us at the height of our passion, much of volunteering procedure requires sustained engagement.

First, volunteering takes more work than donating money. Pretty simple. Second, volunteering is more work for the organization. It is an investment of time and money to train volunteers. Third, there are legal barriers to a lot of volunteer opportunities that simply don’t exist with monetary donations. None of these are easy to change.

What if volunteering was more of a social event, less of a service? Can we change the perception that we are sacrificing when we volunteer? The ball is largely in the organizations court here. It would have to be proven that creating engaging, fun opportunities for volunteers was in their best interest. Until we prove it’s worth their time, they likely aren’t going to pour energy (or money) into creating highly engaging events.

I want to hear your ideas. How do we engage a generation to dive into the issues our world is facing? Is it a fool’s errand, or is there real possibility for progress? Our legacy as a generation is beginning to be written. What do we want it to say?

Comment below, or send me an email and give me your thoughts.

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The Super Bowl Ad That Grabbed Us.

When the power went out at the Super Bowl, Oreo released this simple ad.

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It was re-tweeted 10,000 times in an hour.

Social media has unleashed the opportunities of real-time marketing. What was once a goal only achieved through tireless planning and strategy is now possible thanks to nimble organizations and the Internet.

This is a great way for small organizations to engage their audiences through social media networks. It is accessible without huge capacity or financial investment.

But it takes getting the right people together at the right time, a branded social media presence, and creativity.

At GuentherMedia, we demystify social media for clients, helping find the right ways to engage the right audiences. Here are just a few guidelines for what works.

- Be social: Anything you can do to encourage interaction with your posts is a plus. The more your audience does, the more publicity your posts receive.

- Be visual: Social media posts are brief. You can get a much deeper message out through images and video than just text.

- Be engaging: Remember, you are competing with the rest of the social media world. That means kittens, backflips, and blooper reels. Make it hard to pass over your posts without clicking to find out more.

- Be consistent: Post quality content as often as possible. Set achievable goals, but commit to them. Just like any other messaging efforts, you want to create a culture that people can count on. Ideally, your audience feels they can share your posts even before they read them.

- Be daring: Get out there and try things! Track what works and what didn’t. Facebook does a lot of it for you. Use the information available to tailor posts to your audience.

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Our Brain’s Favorite Hobby

Take a look at these two words.

Cantaloupe       Vomit

Many things just happened to you. Your heart rate increased slightly, your sweat glands activated, and you likely don’t feel like eating any cantaloupe. Don’t worry, this will all pass. It all happened in a split second, and was entirely out of your control.

You also likely linked the two words together into a causal story and did so without any effort or intention. Hopefully you don’t have any prior experience with the pairing of these two words. We tell ourselves these stories constantly, taking information we have and filling in the missing pieces of the puzzle. It’s how we make sense of our world, and we can’t help ourselves.

When designing a message, we can take advantage of our audience’s amazing ability, but more importantly, the human brain’s NEED to complete the picture. The best stories give the important details, and also give the audience the tools to fill in the rest.

In a data-soaked world your stories have to be powerful and concise. Packing messages full of details is distracting and confusing, so some information must be left out. Luckily, we know our audience will fill in the blanks. It is the storyteller’s job to guide that process so that your audience ends up completing the story you want to tell.

At GuentherMedia, we have been telling stories for over 25 years. We make sure that our stories are designed to fit the best science of today, so that we can continue to bring you results that you can measure on issues that matter.

Apologies to anyone eating or planning on eating cantaloupe in the near future.

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