Connecting with Gen Y

Generation Y is considered to be the most diverse generation, born to the most disparate group of parents. It is a rapidly changing demographic, very much different from previous generations, and––not surprisingly––difficult to approach. Marketers are challenged as to how to best come close to the approximately 60 million members of Generation Y. What are they doing on a daily basis, aside from being online, out and about, using social media as their main source of communication, and pretty much taking control of all their actions?! Gen Y is definitely hard to entertain and gets bored easily. In an article for Ad Age, “Summer Lovin’: Four Ways to Connect With Gen Y This Season,” Charlie Horsey, president of marketing agency MKTG, claims that summer is a great time to connect with Generation Y.

I completely agree with him––from concert festivals, outdoor events, and weekend getaways to general excitement and the summer vibe, summer offers many opportunities to get in touch with Gen Y.

Horsey reveals some interesting conclusions from a survey of several thousands of Gen Y consumers conducted with the help of the Event Marketing Institute. This mysterious demographic explained that a good experience at an event will most likely result in a product sale. Easier said that done, of course, as creating a good experience is not that easy. Marketers need to reach Gen Y consumers’ minds. As Charlie Horsey says: “Brand managers now need to think of themselves as ‘brain managers.’”

He concludes with four rules on how to best connect with members of Gen Y, who––let’s not forget––have grown up with the Internet as a normal part of everyday life:

Let them in. Permit ongoing communication with a brand after an event.

Show, don’t tell. Explain the relevancy of a brand to consumers’ lives.

Sell it. Exploit live engagements.

Constant contact. The relationship should start before the event and continue after it ends.

According to Charlie Horsey’s survey results, when asked how they would like to continue the conversation after a live event:

  • Nearly 21% of survey respondents said they’d like to be driven to a website;
  • 22.1% requested email correspondence;
  • 20.6% asked for promotions;
  • 16.9% wanted invites to future events.

As summer approaches, marketers’ opportunities are greater than ever to reach the hard-to-get Gen Y. Remember: Connect and reconnect in person, and always create relationships. For a more on this topic, please refer to Charlie Horsey’s article:

Good luck!!

Author: Marina Kaljaj


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