Cultural shifts - Understanding the youth marketing nuances

Cultural shifts have made things easier on some fronts, especially execution, due to the growth of technology, but have also made it difficult for marketers to create content to attract the youth, say industry experts

e4m by Kanika Mehrotra
Updated: Dec 26, 2013 9:17 AM
Cultural shifts - Understanding the youth marketing nuances

When it comes to marketing to the youth, brands have to be tuned in to what they think, their ever-changing preferences and the trends that they follow. Throwing light on some youth marketing mantras, industry experts discussed at length on ‘Indian Youth Trends: How can marketers adopt to cultural shifts’. The panel discussion was part of the Pitch Youth Marketing Summit and Awards 2013, held in Delhi recently.

The panel consisted of Nikhil Sharma, Head - Marketing, Perfetti Van Melle, India; Rajiv Mehta, Managing Director, Puma, South Asia; Avjit Arya, Founder and CEO Internet Moguls; and Rajesh Varma, Founder Director, CRI Events. The panel was moderated by Samyak Chakrabarty, Chief Youth Marketer, DDB Mudra Group.

Giving his insight into the effect of digital mediums, Nikhil Sharma noted that access to technology is one shift which affects the marketers. He said that use of technology is omnipresent. Even when they are sitting with a group of friends, the young lot is multi-tasking with their mobile phone/ tablets. He also added that owing to social media, alertness of social issues has seen a dramatic spike and consumers are exposed to international confectionary brands with great ease.

According to Rajiv Mehta, with every cultural shift that takes place in society, marketers are exposed to new opportunities and avenues to reach out to their consumer base. When television became the primary form of media for example, it opened up a huge new medium for marketers to exploit - whereas earlier print was the only option. Similarly, the explosion of the digital and mobile medium has given savvy marketers the ability to target their audience more effectively, reach out to them consistently (gone are the days of specific, time-bound campaigns - nowadays every message is a brand statement in its own right thanks to the immediacy of the digital medium), and this sets them apart from other marketers who are slow to adapt and embrace the cultural shift.

“For a brand like Puma, we have been able to effectively exploit emerging sub-cultures, such as the resurgence of Vinyl in the music world with ‘Puma Loves Vinyl’, or alternative pursuits such as street dancing, surfing, skateboarding, etc. Identifying experts in these fields and making them Puma loyalists enables us to predict the next big cultural shift and stay ahead of it,” Mehta added.

Avijit Arya, Founder and CEO, Internet Moglus shared his experience from the hospitality industry. According to him, another major cultural shift is how popular and common traveling within India and abroad has become. An average Indian is now exposed to trends and habits of so many other countries simply because he or she travels more and is more exposed. So as a marketer, that affects how we communicate to our audience because we have to keep in mind what they already have access to, and still give them something new and different.

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