Just when Myrtle Beach marketing concerns finally began focusing on attracting millennials, the ground shifted once again as the Gen Z generation began graduating college in 2016.
Myrtle Beach City Councilwoman, Mary Jeffcoat, says she has a social media answer to marketing Myrtle Beach. Jeffcoat told WBTW news, that the city will hire a Social Media Consultant. The consultant will not be hired full-time, but on an as-needed basis. She told WBTW that the consultant will work with the city’s communications department, as well as, other city offices. “I think it’s important to make sure that we’re getting our message across to our audience. [Myrtle Beach] is a great place to live, work and play,” she said.
HIRING A PART TIME COMMUNICATOR: IS THIS A SHORT SIGHTED, BAND AID FIX THAT MISSES CROSS CULTURAL CONCERNS?
The consideration of hiring such a consultant is one clear example of outdated thinking among Myrtle Beach leadership. Especially considering that Myrtle Beach City Council already hires the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber to be its marketing arm, pouring in over $22 million annually in TDF taxes. Why can’t the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber do this marketing job with the monies we taxpayers are paying them?
How do a group of fifty-something year old councilmen, with an even older administrative staff, begin to address hiring a marketing concern to speak to a generation they have nothing in common with? Who in city government is qualified to hire this person? Even so, is hiring this part time, crisis communicator the right fix?
ABOUT GEN Z
This would be the ideal place for Myrtle Beach City Council to begin. Learn your audience.
Gen Z’s were first born in 1995. Those first borns are now turning 23 or are already 23. Can anyone in Myrtle Beach say, “Starter Families”? Well this is your next crop.
Business Insider calls Gen Z, “The Millennials On Steroids”. They also report that this group could lead the charge for change in the U.S.
Says Business Insider: Gen Z doesn’t know a time without the internet, and it shows. They favor streaming content in snack-sized bites, like that offered through Youtube, and consume it mostly on their phones and computers. They largely eschew TV shows and movies, and are unused to live programming with advertising.
Would someone please tell those TDF lawmakers voting next Tuesday that Gen Z tourists won’t watch advertising? These are facts. This is true.
Only 49% of Gen Zers agree with the statement “Social media is an important part of my life” — a truth 61% of millennials admit to.
However, nearly 60% of both generations are concerned that social media is too public and that their posts could come back to haunt them. For Gen Z, this concern has changed its behavior: Members favor Snapchat in part because of the strict control over who can see their posts.
RETHINKING GEN Z MARKETING
According to Forbes Magazine: Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020, according to statistics compiled by Fast Company. Born after 1995, this new generation rivals the ever-popular millennials and consists of a new breed of customers that need careful consideration when marketing to them.
1. Meet Them Where They Live
Gen Z is the most tech-savvy generation. They spend more time on social media. Selling strategies should start on social and mobile, and include multiple touch points, with direct, no-fluff messaging, and use various formats (video, pic posts, stories, etc.). The sales gimmicks of the past won’t work here. Instead, focus on direct, individualized messaging and content with a heavy emphasis on what’s in it for them. – Christopher Kingman, TransUnion (BOTTOM LINE – BRAND STORIES ON THEIR PREFERRED PLATFORMS, VISITMYRTLEBEACH.com IS NOT ONE OF THEIR PREFERRED PLATFORMS AND YOU CAN’T MAKE THEM LINK OUT TO IT.)
There’s a whole new frontier of customers who have grown up in the Amazon era and wouldn’t think of purchasing anything without a plethora of UGC at key conversion points to help them along. Forget one or two sad reviews from some free plugin. I’m talking hundreds of reviews, user-generated photos and more. This is the new standard — not a “nice to have when we get big enough,” but a must. – Ali Fazal, Yotpo Brand Story telling on cross channel platforms is vital here. (BRAND STORIES TOLD BY THE TOURISTS ON THEIR PLATFORMS)
3. Sell The End Game
This is a benefit and results-driven group, so don’t sell the product to them. Instead, sell the success they will achieve by using it. This sales approach lets you connect the dots for them, with workflows and processes on how to maximize the use of your product. Plus, this puts you in the position to be viewed by the customer as an expert who truly understands their needs. – Julie Sokley, Autodesk (Brand Storytelling is central here)
4. Get To The Point
Increasingly tech-centric, Generation Z is accustomed to making decisions quickly — a byproduct of the shortened attention span that comes with the increased ability to instantaneously access virtually anything. When selling to Generation Z, communicate your message and value proposition clearly and quickly, or run the risk of losing your audience and the sale. – Adam Mendler, Custom Tobacco
5. Ensure Your Tech Design Is Superior
Automation and self-service are trends rising to appease this generation of technology-driven, self-educating consumers, but the key to automation is to do it correctly. Companies must ensure their technology’s design is superior and meets buyer expectations, or buyers won’t consider it a quality purchasing option, thus diminishing goodwill toward your brand as well as your product or service. – Christian Valiulis, Automatic Payroll Systems
6. Don’t Label Them
I think one of the big mistakes is that society labels these folks. Unlike seniors, they do not want to be called out or pointed out as a group. Your question says it all: they are increasingly tech-centric so that is where they are and how you have to gear the marketing to their group — without calling them out. They are people and very powerful consumers that just do things differently. – Wayne Elsey, Elsey Enterprises
7. Entertain Them
Gen Z has lived their entire lives online, which impacts their connected interactions. While not as advertising-averse as their older counterparts, they expect authenticity, entertaining interactions and experiences that provide what they need before they tell you. To win with Gen Z, marketers have to evolve from informing to delighting, from celebrity to authenticity and from generic to predictive. – Lisa Box, WP Engine, Inc. (Brand Storytelling is critical once again)
8. Leverage Video Communications
Gen Z never uses voicemail and prefers text to email. They also are the YouTube/Netflix/Reddit generation — consuming quick one to three-minute videos on their phones. If you want to engage them throughout the sales process, video should be your medium of choice. Sales organizations will be adding video-building capabilities to their toolkits, arming their sellers to better engage Gen Z buyers. – Jim Ninivaggi, Brainshark (DID WE MENTION BRAND STORYTELLING?)
9. Use A Mobile-First Strategy
With the Generation Z and millennial consumer, your company needs to clearly articulate their products and services through a mobile-first strategy. Goodbye, desktop web browser and emails! Hello native apps, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat! – Adam Livesay, Elevat Inc
10. Treat Them As Individuals
Generation Z was born into a social world, unlike many who still fondly remember the miracles of dial-up. With the availability and impact of their favorite celebrities to influence them, they seek to be treated as an individual by the brands they interact with and purchase from, especially on e-commerce. This means data is key so that you can tailor their experiences. – Jared Shaner, Trellis
11. Provide Them With Information
Generation Z like to be informed consumers and want to know who they are doing business with. Share your company message, be transparent in your products and be precise. Their buying power isn’t different than any other group, they just do their homework. Ensure your online message is that of other selling vehicles, and that the format is viewable on a mobile device. – Emily Hauptvogel, H&H Products Company (NOT TO BEAT A DEAD HORSE, BUT BRAND STORYTELLING)
12. Focus On Customer Experiences
Advertisers are silly to think selling works anymore. Currently, it’s all about persuading and referring. Let’s disarm the upcoming generation by hitting the breaks on the too-tired “flash sale,” “one-time offer,” and other tried-and-failed marketing campaign tactics. Instead, let’s market to Generation Z by providing quality customer success efforts and beautifully elegant customer experiences. – Andrew J. Herkert, M.A., TruScribe
13. Highlight Company Values On Their Preferred Platforms
Gen Z grew up with an instant source of data at their fingertips that they can use to respond to your sales tactics. To create powerful marketing messages that resonate well with them, highlight your company’s values and the social good you provide. Tailor your messaging on each social media platform they use and provide quick but meaningful information to capture their attention. – Joey Holt, Amerisleep (AND THIS IS DONE THROUGH VIDEO BRAND STORY TELLING)
VIDEO BRAND STORIES DONE WELL
We ask our readers to ignore the brief fowl language in this video. Above is a key example of how WARBY PARKER EYEWEAR tells a Brand Story that works!
Brand Stories are not about the one, single bullet brand story that drives home the entire message. Brand stories are about the drip, drip, drip of stories that create an over-riding narrative about what a brand is.
Complex Media Explains Why The NIKE EQUALITY BRAND STORY worked.
We ask our leaders and our readers, which does Myrtle Beach need more? A social media consultant? Or a Brand Story Expert?