Thinking ‘Young’ Does Have Its Benefits

The Young and the Rest of Us

As SIPA approaches our 1,000th Linkedin group member this week, we were wondering how to mark the occasion and I came across this from the blog Online Dominance:

“Rewarding is most effective as a retention tool, and not an acquisition tool, Britton says. [That’s Matt Britton, founder and CEO of Millennial generation marketing agency Mr. Youth.] Offering a prize to your 200th follower might get you a few more fans, but they’re only there for the free stuff and not because they’re huge fans of your business. On the other hand, rewarding your existing fans is a great way to bolster their connection to your company.”

I found this while seeking guidance on reaching the Millennial generation, those in their 20s to mid-30s. A New York Times article yesterday said that travel spending by these younger travelers rose 20 percent in 2010, making them the fastest-growing age segment. So hotels are making a concentrated effort to attract them. They are finding that while baby boomers seek comfort, young people seek interest. Out are higher-quality beds, brighter lighting and bigger work spaces—changes that attracted boomers 10 years ago. In are free Wi-Fi service, power consoles, iPads in every room and retrofitted lobbies—where informality feels more like the norm.

“We coined the phrase ‘isolated togetherness,’ because if you watch them in the lobby, a lot of them are texting—but they’re texting each other in the lobby,” said Chris Klauda, a vice president at D. K. Shifflet & Associates, a travel and hospitality market research company.

I bring all this up after re-reading Anne Holland’s incredibly valuable recent SIPA webinar on Group Sales and Site Licenses. (The SIPA webinars are becoming reasons alone for joining. They are packed with ready-to-use information. Check below for the next one.) For good reason, she loves to test, as her site WhichTestWon would attest to. After reporting that an ad with more benefit-oriented copy drew a 184% lift in form submits, she said this:

“By the way, there’s something interesting I learned recently. That is, if the marketer who is responsible for the forms on your site and for lead generation campaigns, is someone who perhaps is under 30, that generation, in particular, tends to always think about images, graphics, the style and design of the page, and they rarely consider the wording on the page to be terrible important. It just isn’t something, I think, that is in their DNA. Now, I was talking to a trainer from the Direct Marketing Association who trains younger marketers on this topic. She said they never want to do a copy test. They just don’t believe copy can make a difference. This proves copy can make a difference.”

These words seem a bit harsh. (Excuse the pun.) I think it may be more inexperience and part what I was speaking about above—that the benefits need to be their benefits, not ours. A question was put to Gerard Greene, whose popular Yotels feature benefits such as social public spaces, power consoles and giant Monsoon shower heads—someone will have to explain that one to me—whether his catering to young people could be jumping on a passing fad.

“Younger people were the first to adopt the iPods, iPads and so forth, and now my mom has an iPhone, as do much older people,” he said. “But the people who got it first were the younger people.”

That is a very interesting way to look at this—that selling to younger people may open the door to more sales to everyone. Rachel Yeomans of Astek recently blogged about her typical day and it included her iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iPod, Tweetdeck, Skype and Mobile Hot Spots. So she is spending money. The trick for us is to tap into that day and show her how that lifestyle can be made better by information on investing, mortgages, education or government regulations or, yes, even shower heads. It’s a challenge but one that needs to be considered.


The SIPA Webinar returns next week with…
eLearning Fundamentals: A Step-by-Step Guide
to Launching Digital Training Content

Thursday, March 22, 2012 – 1 p.m. Eastern time
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• Jonathan Ray, associate publisher, Healthcare Group, Access Intelligence
• Bradden Blair, director of product management
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