afaqs!

Global Youth Marketing Forum 2009: The best way to reach a young consumer is either online or on-phone

By Khushboo Tanna , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | February 05, 2009
The panelists spoke about what marketers and prospective employers can do to engage today's technology savvy youth

The second day of the Global Youth Marketing Forum was held at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai. The forum aims to understand the psyche of today's young consumer, in a bid to explore marketing opportunities.

The panel for the last session of the day comprised Vikram Sakhuja, chief operating officer, South Asia, GroupM; Sujaya Banerjee, chief learning officer, Essar Group and Girish Shah, head, branding, Reliance ADA Group.

Sakhuja gave a presentation on how youth marketing is different from marketing for housewives, males or children. According to him, the youth segment consumes all forms of media at a very high rate. So, to target them properly, all forms of media should be used. He shared some data to support this, stating that the television consumption rate among youths is much higher (70 to 85 per cent) than in the case of adult males (60 per cent).

He & #BANNER1 & # added that it is easy to target kids, because they primarily watch cartoon channels; or males, for they watch a lot of news and sports. Youths, on the other hand, consume a wider bouquet of channels, such as music, sports, news and lifestyle, because they are interested in more genres.

Sakhuja stated that when it comes to the youth, the important thing is not what your message is, but how you convey it.

Bannerjee shared some insights on how organisations can be ready for Gen-Y. She said that when they join an organisation, the youth consider certain factors, such as the work environment, opportunities for rapid learning on the job and the appraisal process.

She added that the youth is also surrounded by myths, such as lack of loyalty for employers, and that they need a lot of coaching and feedback. The youngsters today are technology savvy, bold, direct and focussed and employers should make full use of these qualities, she stated.

Shah from Reliance spoke about the young generation being technology savvy. Since they spend a lot of time on the Internet and on the mobile, technology has changed the emotional and physical mindset of the youth. He added that the best way to reach a young consumer is either online or on-phone.

He said that the youth prefers brands that are truthful and which change with the times. Getting the young consumer's attention is a very valuable gain for a brand. He presented a case study on Zapak.com, explaining how the brand did an extensive online and on-phone campaign to tap into this segment. The brand was segregated into various segments such as Zapak Girls, Zapak Kids and Zapak Cricket to focus on specific target groups. Various touch points were made available, including gaming contests in various colleges and Zapak Gameplex (gaming cafés), which helped the youth experience the brand physically. Even the commercials for the brand had a tongue-in-cheek tone, as the youth would connect to it instantly.

He concluded by saying that the Zapak communication was successfully accepted by the youth and that has made it a well-known Indian gaming site.