Friday, September 5, 2008

Marketing to Generation Y

As a marketer, it’s my job to know how to reach a number of different audiences and industries: B2B, B2C, manufacturing, high-tech, professional services. Each audience is unique but many times they share some similar traits across industries and age groups.

One consumer group however, is separating itself with an increasingly expressive and influential impact on the economy. They are “Generation Y” and they are catching the attention of businesses and marketers alike who are eager to tap into the largest generational consumer group since the Baby Boomers.

In August I was asked to share my perspective on how to reach this new generation of consumers at a Southern New Hampshire University breakfast forum. It was Part 2 of a 3-part Business Indicator Series for alumni of the University who now hold executive and C-level positions in the community. Additional Southern New Hampshire University alumni panelists included Mike Dennehy, political strategist and president of Dennehy Bouley, Ray Garon, president and GM for Manchester Radio Group (WZID, WFEA and The Mill) and Paul Gertin, Regional Sales Manager USPS.

The forum, “Gen Y” – The Evolution of Consumer Behavior, gave attendees a brief overview of who “Gen Y” represents, what they’re like, how they communicate and how they influence our business and consumer markets today.

Also know as Echo Boomers, (kids of Baby Boomers), Millennials, Gen, or the Net generation, this group is computer savvy, uses portable communication (cell phones, text messaging), and is technology forward. They know more than anyone how to find, parse and use the vast amount of available information to their advantage.

They are social, socially conscious, politically active and philanthropic on local and global levels. They thrive in environments where their input makes a difference and are vocal in every aspect of their lives, including consumerism. Demographically, they’re a sizeable force in our economy and are demanding attention.

If you’re interested in learning more, watch the entire “Gen Y” – The Evolution of Consumer Behavior discussion here.

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