The day two of the Global Youth Marketing Forum, held in Mumbai on February 4, saw eminent panellists like Andrea Kraushaar, Youth Strategy and Research Director, Youth Dynamix; Zarina Mehta, CEO, Bindass; and Rajagopal Menon, COO, Contests2win.com, discuss ways to keep track of the youth mindset, attitudes, demands and aspirations.
Youth are fast changing, keep track of them
Kraushaar noted, “Today, the youth are in a completely different society thanks to globalisation. Political stability, infrastructure worries, social issues in their surroundings and so on are all impacting the youth. From the marketing point of view, through this we not only have a lot of challenges, but also opportunities. The youth of today have more expectations and demands from the brands. Therefore, they need to meet those global expectations.”
She continued, “In order to reach out the youth, brands must not use only one particular platform, rather it is important that they looked at malls and the Internet as well, as young people could be anywhere or using multiple mediums. The youth today also want certain features that would add value to their brands, which would allow them to stand out from the rest. It is all about innovation and renovation of the brand, as young people have a short attention span and changing flavours every six months just spark an interest in them. We need to use the five senses to providing a multi-sensorial experience among the youth, which is much higher as compared to the adults.”
Mehta said, “Every fortnight, we at Bindass track the youth so that we can see the changing trends. We found out that the youth today, and particularly those who are in their first job, say that college life was the best. We also did a lot of study on their language and, therefore, our TG knows that we are talking to them. The youth today do not want to work hard, instead they believe in smart work. They are very much concerned about their future, particularly during the economic slowdown, but they don’t like to show the concern and somewhere there is a deep fear of failure. However, they are very optimistic. Lastly, the Indian youth today are very proud to be Indian, nevertheless they are also connected with the globe. They want to make a difference wherever they are.”
According to Menon, “Youth is not necessarily about age, but all about mindset. They are digital storytellers and the media allows them to capture their lives, they are constantly telling their friends what they are up to. For them, everything is about a team sport, they take decisions collectively. The youth today are multimedia tasking and, therefore, you have a window of opportunity, which is very brief. They leverage technology for free stuff and if you want to reach out to the Internet users, you need to reach out in different formats.”
“What you must do is listen to what your consumers are saying about your brand online. One-way communication never works, therefore, you need something that can start a conversation. Make sure your brands are always in Beta mode. You need to keep evolving your brand and feel the pulse of the youth,” he advised.
Internet marketing has arrived
Another session at the Forum saw Prakash Bagri, Director - Marketing, Intel South Asia Technology and Youth, speak on Internet marketing coming of age in India.
Bagri said, “Internet in the 21st century is exactly what electricity was in the 20th century. We need to look at the Internet to reach out to a broader set of people. As a marketer, it is important to know that you are dealing with a character that is changing every day, and Internet is turning out to be a medium that is leading out to be user-generated content. Internet in India is to reach 50 million users and two-third of them are youth, radio took 38 years to reach this number, television took 13 years, whereas the Internet took only four years.”
He further noted, “There are three aspects of what the youth like to do. Voyeurism – they like to know what is happening, especially in other people’s lives. They want fame – the desire to be famous. Be God-like – they want to be in control. It is no longer about Internet marketing, but extending marketing on the Internet. There is a great opportunity for marketers in terms of consolidation and that is going to be the next level of web customisation. The future, I believe, is going to be more and more innovative. Internet marketing is out there and is no longer an emerging marketing, and the best way to learn this medium is to engage, collaborate and innovate.”
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