Experiential youth marketing company 3RC recently revealed some of the most pertinent results of their FutureFacts survey. Founder and MD of 3RC Kay Cheytanov explains that brands need to consider the bigger picture when marketing to the South African millennials, as this consumer group is unique in terms of the global youth market.
“With load-shedding, a looming education crisis and statues being pulled down, the country is in a state of upheaval. However, this is where brands can seize the opportunity and make a difference, and it is through this that they will play in the space that the youth are playing in.
“The crux of youth marketing is this: your brand must be liked. Your brand must be seen doing good. It must be part of a community or a culture and it must do something for the greater good. This is what millennials want – they want to feel like they are part of something bigger. If your brand can tap into this, then you’re on the path to success,” says Kay Cheytanov, Founder and MD of 3RC.
The Future Facts survey was conducted on 5000 individuals aged between 16 and 21 in various provinces. 1400 surveys were completed completely and it is from these that the insights were garnered. The survey was in two parts: one was a social survey and the other a brand survey. The one is as important as the other, because in order to market to the youth, brands need to first understand this market segment.
The social survey revealed the youth’s hopes, dreams, aspirations and fears and also included questions such as:
Have you had sex?
If so did you use a condom?
Do you drink alcohol?
Do you smoke?
The brand survey focused on brands within various sectors including motor vehicles, toiletries, cold drinks, chocolate bars, cell phones, and social media as well as how the youth assimilate advertising.
Cheytanov also revealed that education plays a vital role in not only the lives of the youth but in the longevity of brands. “Education has to start at home. Parents need to be more involved in teaching their children the soft skills they’ll need in the real world as well as the world of work. For brands, these children are their future employees and their potential consumers, so brands also need to be intrinsically involved in their lives and in their education. This is where potentially brands can have the most impact and create relationships with their future consumers,” she says.
Another crucial element when marketing to millennials is cross-communication. Instead of having a campaign that only communicates via social media, a campaign should include various touchpoints to ensure that a brand is highly visible and is seen “everywhere”.
“Essentially what every marketer wants to know is: how do the youth make choices? Our FutureFacts social and brand surveys answer these questions. As the old adage goes: if you want to market to a consumer you must first know the consumer,” concludes Cheytanov.