During the month of October, we're exploring content focused on youth, specifically millennials and the Class of 2016. We asked one of our interns, aka a millennial, to provide perspective on how he felt about the Atlantic labeling him a member of the 'Cheapest Generation.'? Read Sherwin's rebuttal to this classification below. If there's one thing you should know about the millennial generation, it's that we often feel misunderstood. Add to the fact that others think our generation is different in terms of how we behave, think about and interact with different people, brands and things in general. Truth be told, we are very similar to every other generation. The main difference is the abundance of emerging technological and cultural inventions and innovations with which we grew up. This environment shaped our lifestyle, behavior and perspective of the world we now live in. In an age where so much information is accessible and abundant, it should be no surprise that the millennial generation will know more about a brand or product before actually physically interacting with it. This fact totally influences our purchasing decisions. Our generation decides not solely based on what's cheap but on what's most cost efficient. To say that price is the major determinant is like missing the bull's eye on how our generation behaves as consumers and generally as people. We are a value-oriented generation. The reason why we rent Zipcars over buying our own automobiles is due to a variety of factors - including how much our decision would cost (price, convenience, safety, etc) and the functional value and emotional attachment we feel. Rather than hastily generalizing our generation when developing youth marketing strategies, brands need to understand not just where but why and how we spend. It's a much more complex process than they think. For example, renting Zipcars over buying a real car, purchasing songs on iTunes and getting books on Amazon over traditional stores, and searching on Google over the dictionary is not only cheaper, but it is much more convenient, efficient, environmentally-friendly and the list goes on. I would argue that it is value (which is influenced by a lot of internal and external factors) that drives us beyond mere price. We are actually a very expensive generation. Ask any millennial what their favorite brands or products are, and you would hear the most popular, exclusive and expensive brands out there. Although we may not be the actual buyer, we also take the role of being key influencers to those who possess the buying power ' parents, working class, etc. Truth be told, sometimes, we even spend more than what we earn. Take it from a certified mother of two. AMP Agency's VP for Media Services, Elaine Tocci mentioned that her kids nowadays are not only more aware of luxury brands, but also have the desire to always remain in the loop for the latest trends, and guess who has to make the purchase? Not the millennial, but (you got it!) mother dearest. Truly, the millennial generation is an influential group of peeps. Moreover, looking at things from a more proactive standpoint, our generation's behavior (which was shaped by previous generations' decisions) is actually a catalyst to innovation. It is our value determination process that continues to challenge marketers and brands to be more creative and out-of-the-box with their strategies. Our generation will not settle for products that are unable to fulfill our expectations and provide value, and this is a means of quality control that will weed out the good brands from those that are not. Marketers just have to be persistent about understanding behavior. Indeed, the aforementioned cycle of 'understanding' every new generation's behavior will continue to change just as each generation will continue to innovate and shape the environment for that of the future. Before you know it, a new generation will takeover, and hence give rise to new behaviors and buying patterns, a potential overhaul of strategies and a shift and demand in understanding consumer behavior based on the new available mediums and environment. So don't miss the boat, because you never know... the next generation might just leave everyone else behind.
What's it like to eat, sleep and breathe technology? AMP asked the Class of 2016 to answer this question at our Future M session. In the time it takes you to read this, they have switched electronic devices ' twice. They change between 27 content streams per hour. 71% are on Facebook and the majority doesn't watch traditional TV. The Class of 2016 is changing the future of marketing with technology. And you need to know how to reach them. View our presentation to learn about this group of change-makers' behaviors, preferences, buying patterns and key takeaways for brand marketers. How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing? from AMP Agency
Leading up to our Future M session on How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing, we conducted a mini-focus group with our college interns to better understand their mindsets. In this post, we asked our interns to provide advice to advertisers. What's your advice to advertisers in order to reach and connect with your generation? 'Stay on top of trends and when in doubt, just ask us. So many young people are so, so eager to share their opinions (we have a lot of them, apparently). Once you get us talking, you've got access to all the insights in the world. Don't treat us like we're stupid just because we're young. We definitely know about all the hip fashion trends, the indie music, obscure pop culture references, Internet memes, etc before you will even catch wind of what is going on. Get us on your side, and we'll be invaluable to your advertising campaign.'? - Angelina Zhou, Brand Strategy Intern 'Be where your consumer is! People are becoming brands and brands are becoming people, so have a brand personality that is impossible to forget and augment it with social content.'? Proma Huq, PR & Social Media Intern 'I think the best advice I can give to advertisers is to engage in a meaningful way through social media. A brand can gain a lot of respect from young people by taking the time to learn how we interact and be willing to interact with us in that way.'? - Shandi Mahan-Fortunato, Brand Strategy Intern 'My advice to advertisers would be to stop screaming. I understand (as a student of the advertising industry) the desire for a brand to be as visible as possible. However, on the other side as a consumer if I see a brand all over Facebook, Twitter and on the T, I feel like I can't escape them, and then I start to view the brand as annoying.'? - Karol Mendieta, Account Management Intern Interested in learning more, register for our upcoming Future M session on How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing.
The modern college campus is evolving. Quickly. Smartphones, tablets, apps, wireless and cloud connectivity are continuing to play larger roles in classrooms and dorms, and in some cases, are powering entirely virtual campuses. As a result, students are receiving, interpreting, sharing and creating information via mediums and methodologies that simply did not exist ten years ago. Technology is shifting the definition of how we learn, and in doing so, opening up the door to many new and exciting opportunities within the world of education. On a macro level, two great examples of the shift in education are Kahn Academy and edX. Khan Academy What started in 2004 as a Doodle based online tutoring session in mathematics, Khan Academy blossomed into a YouTube hosted, comprehensive collection of online video tutorials across a range of academic subjects. 'I passionately believe that the Khan Academy is a tool that can empower at least an approximate model of what the future of education should look like'a way of combining the art of teaching with the science of presenting information and analyzing data, of delivering the clearest, most comprehensive, and most relevant curriculum at the lowest possible cost." ' Salman Khan edX With a goal of educating 1,000,000,000 people worldwide, MIT, Harvard and UC Berkley have all committed resources to offer up their Ivy-league caliber curriculum for free online. Described as "the single biggest change in education since the printing press,'? by Anant Agarwal, President of edX, the program is redefining the college classroom and potentially shepherding in the next phase of higher education. Ok, it may work in education, but what about for brands? What models like Khan Academy and edX are underscoring is that technology, and the ever-increasing access that it is providing to consumers, is the ultimate enabler. Advances in streaming video, the ubiquity of social media and the ease of access to video on demand have accelerated the speed at which traditional 'offline'? experiences are becoming available as virtual experiences. Examine how advances in technology can create or duplicate experiences that were formally an in-person only engagement point for your brand. Who is doing it well? State Farm's sponsorship of Coachella in partnership with YouTube this past April was a shining example of leveraging technology to offer consumers an online experience that was formerly available only " in-person." Main stages were broadcast live via streaming concert footage and Statefarm integrated a real-time Instagram stream into their Facebook page to provide a glimpse of what it all looked like from an insider's perspective. Another great example is the Obama campaign's recent use of Google+ to host an online hangout with American voters. The virtual town hall connected the Obama brand directly with his audience and in doing so, generated a lot of publicity coverage - much more than a traditional town hall forum would have gathered.