How Data-Driven Marketing Can Reel In Millennials
The consumer electronics industry faces an unprecedented predicament that has quickly shifted the modern retail model. For the first time, consumers hold all the power.
And the primary proponent of this drive is the millennial.
Representing about $200 billion in annual buying power, the 75 million Millennials in America are often incorrectly merged into one category. Now, more than ever, Millennials are looking to create a unique identity in the brands they choose, and it is up to retailers to make those distinctions in both their identity and how to pinpoint the correct audience subsection.
Millennials are the ‘social generation.’ They wear their personal choices, such as supported companies, as a badge of honor. They create a connection with a brand if they feel that the company has correctly identified their needs.
"Big data has developing changed how everybody can market to different targets," said Ted Cardenas, Vice President of Marketing, Car Electronics Division at Pioneer Electronics. "A decade ago, we had very broad strokes as far as advertising and promotions, but we didn't really have a way to define or pinpoint what our messaging was or even what that vehicle was to target them."
Now niche retailers and manufacturers like Pioneer have shifted their focus to Millennials as a market of untapped potential. By seeking out the most influential consumer group in America, Pioneer has devised strategies to maximize its rate of return.
Create A Niche, Make it Resonate
Pioneer's success over the last 78 years expands from a few distinct approaches. One is its ability to stay nimble as trends come and go. Another is its ability to build an organization that lives and breathes its products.
Its primary approach is Pioneer’s ability to recognize its audience and design a message that holds value beyond a single purchase.
Pioneer’s current campaign, for example, does more than promote an improved technology or an updated model; it promotes a lifestyle enhancement. The uncomplicated message, ‘Don't break up with your car, upgrade it,’ emphasizes that there is a way to bring a top of the line technology into any car. Pioneer executed on findings that revealed 86% of millennials have smartphones and that 22% of Americans upgraded their car radio to get the latest features.
"We have ownership of the voice, with respect to the technology and the message we are delivering," Cardenas said. "Overall, that gives us the ability to cut through our peer's messages which might say 'we have the fastest network, the most coverage, or a specific technology.' Our message is simple. We can deliver tech to your car without buying a new one."
Targeting The Social Generation
For as long as many veterans in the industry can remember, widespread tactics has been the primary vehicle for advertising. It was impossible to be confident that the right audience who interact with an individual ad. However, with the emergence of new technologies, specifically the mobile phone and social media, marketers have shifted their big bucks out of traditional advertisement and into highly focused data mining.
"We can see their enthusiasm for the automobile if they are drivers or like things related to a specific car brand," Cardenas said. "We can slice away consumers that are more general, someone who treats the car as an appliance, not someone who is an enthusiast."
"Being able to see the behavioral data enables us to make a much bigger return on that investment," he added.
While things like tracking pixels and cookie data might be uncomfortable concepts for older generations, Millennials respond well to targeted advertising. The only caveat is that the advertising needs to be conversational. Research shows that Millennials don't like to be talked at, meaning traditional advertising can feel untrustworthy. However, Millennials do want to be engaged, and 62% of them are more likely to become loyal customers if they believe a brand can identify who they are and communicate effectively on social networks with them.
Another 42% of millennials said they are also interested in co-creating with companies says a recent survey; something Pioneer backpedaled into with Pandora integration. One of the first partners in the music streaming service, Pioneer never intended to use it from a promotional or advertising standpoint. However, after noticing that the message resonated strongly with its audience, Pioneer has continued to build off of this integration and seize opportunities with the same advantages.
"From that perspective, Pioneer is an early adopter," Cardenas said. "Data gave us the power to answer questions, as a really niche company, that we were in search of."
Reflecting on Eight Decades of Success
Today's buyer craves information. They seek satisfaction and may be more knowledgeable than ever, possibly running laps around the interaction with a salesperson. That's why the most important tool any company has is building a purpose-driven campaign that solves a problem.
Millennials demand a product that will unify their investments, not fragment them.
By allowing customers to integrate seamlessly into an ecosystem, Pioneer and companies like it offer a solution to targeting the modern consumer - a solution that relies on a well-executed plan and a firm understanding of the audience.
Pioneer was founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Japan by Nozomu Matsumoto - a man with a passion for music that he hoped to share with the world through high quality audio speakers. That passion began with a small operation to repair and manufacture speakers in Matsumoto's garage. It has since grown to international stature as a manufacturer of audio and video products for use at home, in the car and in business environments.
The element that has not changed in nearly 70 years is the passion for audio and video products that we hope to share with the world. From the employees at our research labs looking for the "next big thing" to the engineers at our factories focused on quality assurance to our product trainers explaining the new technology to our customers - we remain passionate about creating an unbeatable entertainment experience.