3 Digital Ways to Market to a Younger Audience
Digital marketing is allowing brands to target specific audiences on a level never before experienced. Because Gen Y, also known as Millennials, and younger audiences in particular are more likely to be early adopters of the technological advancements that make this possible, reaching them with creative digital campaigns can lead to great ROI.
Let’s look at some ways brands across several industries are leveraging digital solutions to reach a younger audience.
If you’re new to the concept of gamification, it’s defined as the process of applying gaming mechanics to traditionally non-gaming activities and platforms. Gamification allows brands to “gamify” interactions their target audience has with their company, tapping into the natural human affinity for play.
Although gamification has proven to be effective for targeting audiences across different age groups from Millennials in their mid 20s to gen Xers, it can be especially effective for marketing to a younger audience as they are more receptive to gaming as a whole. From Gen Z in their late teens to children about to hit their 10-year milestone, gamification is proven to be an emotional marketing tactic that raises a positive reaction from young audiences.
The great thing about gamified digital experiences is that they don’t have to involve complex gameplay, gaming mechanics, or even graphics and can take place on your website. They can be as simple as the gamification we did as part of the digital marketing campaign for the launch of a new collection for fashion brand, KARL LAGERFELD.
The company wanted a game that would not only raise awareness of the new KARL X YOU holiday collection, but also facilitate email capture and data acquisition. Our creative digital team built a game called Katch Karl which simply involved the player “Katching” (clicking on) that week’s item before it is replaced by another item from the collection. The more times a wrong item is clicked, the faster the items switch.
Players who were successful were entered into a weekly draw to win the item of that week. The game was shareable on social media, allowed participants to challenge their friends, and was a conduit for them to explore the new collection. Katch Karl could be played by fashion fans in Europe, Middle East, and Russia.
The result was 30,000 game plays and 20,000+ emails captured, many of which belonged to a younger demographic.
Gamification is a fun, engaging way to market to a younger audience.
A microsite is a web page or group of web pages that exist separate from your main website. They often have the same branding but may carry a different message or serve a different purpose from that of a company’s main site. Think of them as mini websites.
Microsites are a great digital solution for reaching a younger audience because they can allow brands to display a different side and personality to their company as well as push products and services they might not usually provide. Some companies may want to shake off the label of just catering to an older demographic, while others want to display a more playful side to a younger audience while still maintaining brand integrity. Other still may want to target a very young audience such as those between the ages of 8 to 12 using a digital marketing tool that immediately catches their attention and engages them. Whichever the scenario, microsites can help brands reach their target audience.
Microsites are versatile and because they tend to be temporary, they can be used for specific festive campaigns such as Christmas marketing campaigns. These two features were primary reasons we chose a microsite as the platform to execute variety store Poundland’s gamified Christmas campaign on.
The client wanted a digital innovation that would engage their audience, raise awareness of their Christmas range, and encourage interaction so they could collect data during the festive period. Our microsite agency built Basket Chase, a fun supermarket sweep style game hosted on a microsite.
As can be seen in the gameplay video above, the player had to catch Christmas items while avoiding non-Christmas products. Email capture was achieved by players submitting their email address for a chance to win a trolley dash at a Poundland store.
With 38,840 plays of Basket Chase and a 63% email submission rate — a substantial amount coming from a younger audience — using a microsite to reach a young audience for this Christmas digital campaign was a winner.
Standing for quick response codes, QR codes have seen a resurgence in recent years, pushed by improved usability and the coronavirus pandemic. From the NHS using it as part of COVID-19 track and trace, to sports channels incorporating them into live sports events, these square matrix barcodes are being used to reach the masses. But companies can also use QR codes for more targeted marketing campaigns including marketing to a younger audience.
With a generation of young consumers who are highly aware of social and environmental issues, brands are having to show that they practice sustainability. Showcasing their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) efforts is how they do this.
But a company simply having a page dedicated to CSR efforts on their website is not enough to satisfy an audience who demand more from the interactions they have with the brands they choose. QR codes offer a way to make showcasing CSR more interactive and engaging, two factors the younger audience appreciate.
An example of this in practice is the CSR campaign we partnered up with Scan Trust to deliver for Unilever-owned Knorr. The food and beverage brand wanted their audience to experience their sustainability efforts online. Our creative digital agency and Scan Trust came up with a digital solution that involved QR codes.
By scanning a QR code on a product, customers are taken to a web page that provides information on the sustainability and ethical ingredient-sourcing efforts the company has made for the given product. From this page, the customer can access an interactive page that displays the company’s collective CSR actions including the planting of over 60,000 trees, commitments to CO2 reduction, and the brand’s recyclable packaging plans.
With a younger audience constantly on their smartphones even when in-store making the decision to buy or bounce (my personal terminology that everyone’s going to start using soon…maybe), using QR codes as a CSR marketing tool could be the factor that pushes them towards the former.
SMACK is a London-based digital agency that has helped some of the world’s best known brands to successfully market to younger audiences from tweens to teens to young adults. Contact us to discover how we can do the same for your company.